Intrigue, scandal, treachery, murder – and that’s just the first page of Book IV of Tacitus’ Annales. In this course we will be reading about the exciting events of 23-28 CE as described by Tacitus in this book, including the deterioration of Tiberius’ principate and the increasing influence of the ‘evil genius’ Sejanus. We will consider Tacitus’ place in Latin historiography in general and through a close reading of the Latin text discuss the historical context of this book as well as examine it as a literary work in its own right through the observation of the dramatic qualities and structure of Tacitus’ narrative.
Note: Students may take Latin 401 more than once, since the content varies each year.
Text: Tacitus: Annals Book IV, edited by R. H. Martin and A. J. Woodman, University of Cambridge (1990), ISBN:9780521315432