Tacitus the Sententious Historian: A Sociology of Rhetoric in Annales 1-6

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Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 262 pages
A study of Greek and Latin rhetorical and historical culture centering on the Roman historian Tacitus and his use of aphorisms and maxims known as sententiae.
More than any other single rhetorical device in Latin oratory and literature, the sententia is the supreme expression of the self-image of Rome during the imperial period, the Principate. Whether one defines sententia as a generalizing maxim or a prose epigram, its importance in Roman rhetoric, literature, and public life during the early Principate indicates that it is a literary form intimately connected with the unique social code of that period. An illuminating example of the skillful use of sententiae is found in the Roman historian Tacitus's narration of the history of Emperor Tiberius (A.D. 1437) in Books 1-6 of the Annales.

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Contents

SENTENTIAE AND THEIR AUDIENCE
33
THE SENTENTIOUS PRINCEPS
79
A SENTENTIOUS SOCIETY
117
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Patrick Sinclair is Associate Professor of Classics, University of California, Irvine.

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