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Tacitus

The Roman senator and historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (55-120) held the highest political positions among several emperors. From 88 he was praetor, from 97 consul and from 112 governor of the province of Asia. He was considered one of the most important speakers of his time; his rhetoric was based on style Cicero (Curiously, Tacitus means "the silent one"). Tacitus is committed to the maxim "sine ira et studio" (Latin "without anger and zeal" = nobody praises and nobody hates). It should be noted, however, that he often failed to adhere to this principle and took sides. He wrote an extensive, cultural-historical work, but only ventured after the death of the dictatorial emperor Domitian (51-96) to publish his writings. Because he basically rejected the monarchy and repeatedly complained of the loss of senatorial freedom.

Tacitus - statue in front of the parliament in Vienna (Austria) and page from the annals

The work "Agricola" is an excursus about Britain and "Germania" a description of the landscape and inhabitants of Germania. In the second, he reports on the drinking habits of the Germanic tribes along the Rhine and mentions that viticulture is unknown there. His most important works were "Dialogus" (causes of the decay of eloquence), "Historiae" (time of the Flavians) and "Annales" (time from Augustus death to Domitian), in which he presented a psychological history of the rulers in an illusionless and rather pessimistic way this time draws. In the "Annales" he reports of one Carthaginian Wine made from dried grapes.

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