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Ad Tacitum: Renderings from Tacitus

ISSUE:  Summer 2006


Annals I.1     To relate a few facts . . . without bitterness or partiality . . .
Annals I.81     I can hardly venture any positive statement about the high elections.
Annals XIV.44     In every great precedent, there is some injustice.
Annals V.10     The renown of the name drew the ignorant.
Annals XIII.19     Of all things human, the most precarious and passing is a reputation for power.
Annals XVI.18     Indolence raised him to fame, as industry raises others.
Agricola 30     Theft, slaughter, and plunder they give the false name of empire.
Annals III.59     Such the lesson he first takes from his father’s counsels.
Annals IV.31     His words escaped him with a seeming struggle.
Annals III.59     Such is the training of the future ruler of the world.
Annals XIII.3     The first emperor who needed another man’s eloquence.
Annals I.4     He had the old inbred family arrogance.
Annals I.9     Sensible men, however, spoke variously of his deeds with praise and censure.
Annals IV.1     The daring wickedness by which he made plays for power.
Annals I.7     Wishing to have had the credit of being called and elected by the State rather than slinking into power through intrigues.
Annals XII.64     It was portended there were to be political changes for the worse.
Annals IV.62     Then came a violent shock as the building fell inwards.
Annals XII.43     As the panic spread, the weak were trodden down in the bustle and confusion.
Annals XV.59     Even brave men are scared of sudden terrors.
Annals IV.64     This disaster was not forgotten when a furious fire damaged the capital.
Annals V.3     This was at the beginning of a grinding and unmitigated despotism.
Annals XV.53     The emperor, who seldom went out and holed himself up in his house and gardens, used to adjourn for the entertainments of the circus.
Annals XIV.16     He enjoyed the wrangles of opposing dogmatists.
Annals I.2     He concentrated in himself the functions of the Senate, the magistrates, and the laws.
Annals XIII.43     We must punish the perpetrators of atrocious acts.
Annals IV.11     Every circumstance was scrutinized and exaggerated.
Annals XIV.20     The nobles were disgracing themselves on public stages, pretending to be orators and poets.
Annals IV.74     Terror at home had filled their hearts.
Annals I.6     The checkbook of empire, he said, can only be balanced by one person.
Annals VI.28     All this is full of doubt and legendary hyperbole.
Annals III.65     How ready these men are to be slaves.
Annals III.6     Let them go back to their usual pursuits.
Annals IV.30     Better, he held, to undermine the constitution than depose its guardians.
Annals I.34     He was heard in silence, or with but a slight murmur.
Annals V.3     Now they threw off the reins, so to speak, and loosed their fury.
Annals IV.72     They sought a remedy in war.
Annals XIII.8     All this however was related with exaggeration to the Senate.
Annals XV.53     Lust for dominion is the most flagrant of the passions.
Annals III.46     There was then a deafening cheer.
Annals I.72     He had revived the law of treason.
Annals I.75     This, though it promoted justice, ruined liberty.
Annals IV.69     They applied their ears to cracks and crevices.
Annals III.40     It was, they said, a great opportunity for the recovery of freedom.
Annals II.72     This was spoken openly, other words were whispered.
Annals IV.18     All this the emperor regarded as subverting his own power.
Annals XIV.44     Granted that he hid his purpose.
Annals II.87     Speech was restricted and perilous.
Annals III.65     So corrupted indeed and debased was that time by sycophancy.
Annals III.28     Over all hung a terror.
Annals VI.17     Thereafter followed a scarcity of money.
Agricola 29     In his grief he discovered one source of relief in war.
Annals XII.9     It was then resolved to delay no more.
Annals I.49     Uproar, wounds, bloodshed were everywhere visible.
Annals I.51     Go forward, he said, and hurry your guilt into glory.
Annals II.18     From nine A.M. to night the enemy were slaughtered.
Annals III.39     Half-armed stragglers were cut down without bloodshed to our side.
Agricola 30     They make a wasteland and they call it peace.
Annals XII.7     There was a hardness and general arrogance in public.
Annals III.44     All good folk were saddened by anxiety for the country.
Annals IV.36     Only the insignificant and unimportant were punished.
Annals XII.13     Having crossed the Tigris they roamed over the country.
Annals XII.39     Now began a series of engagements, for the most part raids.
Annals XII.17     Deciding that they should die by the just doom of war.
Annals XII.39     Encounters due to chance or courage, carelessness or calculation.
Annals XII.39     Under orders of officers, or at times without their knowledge.
Annals XIV.26     Having harried by fire and sword all whom he thought were against us.
Annals XIV.23     He was incessantly attacked by that tribe skilled in guerrilla warfare.
Agricola 15     The miserable have more vehemence and greater resolve.
Annals XIII.2     And now they went on to further murders.
Annals III.74     Less than us in military might, but equal in a war of surprises.
Annals III.28     Then followed two decades of continuous strife.
Annals III.71     Next came a religious question.
Annals XI.18     None were to fall out of line.
Annals II.30     There were other interrogations of the same sort, inane and idle.
Annals XIII.44     Then, as is usual in lovers’ spats: harsh words, oaths, reproaches, and excuses.
Annals II.47     That same year twelve famous cities across Asia fell by an earthquake.
Annals XIV.29     A horrific disaster was sustained in Britain.
Annals XVI.13     A year of shame and so many evil deeds heaven also marked by hurricanes and pestilence.
Annals IV.74     The emperor kept our losses a secret.
Annals II.5     Meanwhile, the scuffle in the East was rather pleasing.
Agricola 20     Peace had become as much dreaded as war.
Annals XIV.35     But heaven is on the side of a righteous revenge.
Histories IV.17     The gods favor the stronger.
Agricola 24     I have often heard him say that a single legion and a few auxiliaries could take and occupy Ireland.
Annals III.44     Even war is a good trade for a wretched peace.
Annals II.50     Meantime the law of treason was gaining momentum.
Annals XII.7     It was a tough and, so to speak, macho despotism.
Histories III.20     A leader properly leads by forethought, by counsel, and by delay more than temerity.
Annals XI.24     These and similar arguments failed to sway the emperor.
Annals XI.28     The emperor’s advisors indeed shuddered.
Annals I.3     How few remained who had seen the Republic!
Annals IV.31     Little joy interrupted this long litany of horrors.
Annals II.26     He had now had enough of success and disaster.
Annals VI.17     Rigor at the outset becoming negligence at the end.
Annals IV.9     He fell back on those idle and oft-ridiculed promises of restoring the Republic.
Agricola 9     Public opinion is not always mistaken.
Annals I.40     Abundant and more than abundant blunders, they said.
Annals III.34     You must not check vices abroad without recalling the scandals of the capital.
Agricola 2     We should have lost memories as we lost our voices, were it as easy to forget as to keep silent.
Annals XI.27     I do but record what I have heard.



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