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By Timothy Joseph

Allusions to the epic poets Virgil and Lucan within the writing of the Roman historian Tacitus (c. fifty five - c. a hundred and twenty C.E.) have lengthy been famous. This monograph argues that Tacitus models himself as a rivaling literary successor to those poets; and that the emulative allusions to Virgil's 'Aeneid' and Lucan's 'Bellum Civile' in Books 1-3 of his inaugural historiographical paintings, the 'Histories', supplement and construct upon one another, and give a contribution considerably to the image of repetitive, escalating civil battle inthe paintings. The argument is based at the shut interpreting of a chain of comparable passages within the 'Histories', and it additionally broadens to contemplate convinced narrative strategies and techniques that Tacitus stocks with writers of epic.

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Additional info for Tacitus the Epic Successor: Virgil, Lucan, and the Narrative of Civil War in the Histories

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Praef. 1, and Sulp. Sev. 1. Like Tacitus, Frontin. uses adgredior with opus as a direct object: nam cum hoc opus, sicut cetera, usus potius aliorum quam meae commendationis causa adgressus sim, adiuuari me ab his, qui aliquid illi astruent, non argui credam. 32 chapter one of moueo in his proem. 45. Tacitus’ use of adgredior is no less fraught. 10 The more precise adgredior is, in fact, inherently more violent, more hostile, more war-like than Virgil’s moueo. ”11 It is as though the Roman Tacitus, like Virgil before him, consciously and meaningfully inserts himself into the action of the civil wars he is about to narrate.

1. On Aen. 312, and on moueo’s many resonances in the poem, see Hershkowitz (1998) 95–100 and Horsfall (2000) 218. 8 Of the 42 appearances of adgredior in Tacitus, 23 are in the sense of “attack” (Gerber and Greef (1903) 35), in military and, metaphorically, judicial contexts. See Martin and Woodman (1989) 146 on its metaphorical use at Ann. 1. 9 Gerber and Greef (1903) 35. 10 For the authorial conceit of claiming to do what one is describing, see also Hor. C. ), Juv. 10 (bella quae … agimus). However, in an emphatic position that is comparable to Aen.

2–3, demonstrates this well. 1–2): opus adgredior opimum casibus, atrox proeliis, discors seditionibus, ipsa etiam pace saeuum. quattuor principes ferro interempti; trina bella ciuilia, plura externa ac plerumque permixta; prosperae in Oriente, aduersae in Occidente res: turbatum Illyricum, Galliae nutantes, perdomita Britannia et statim missa, coortae in nos Sarmatarum ac Sueborum gentes, nobilitatus cladibus mutuis Dacus, mota prope etiam Parthorum arma falsi Neronis ludibrio. [2] iam uero Italia nouis cladibus uel post longam saeculorum seriem repetitis adflicta: haustae aut obrutae urbes, fecundissima Campaniae ora; et urbs incendiis uastata, consumptis antiquissimis delubris, ipso Capitolio ciuium manibus incenso.

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