Tacitus: Histories Book II
The Histories is the first historical work by Rome's most accomplished and challenging historian, Tacitus. It narrates the brutal civil wars which broke out in AD 68-9 across the Roman Empire after the suicide of the last Julio-Claudian emperor, Nero. Book II covers the bloody finale of the war between two of those emperors, Otho and Vitellius, and the emerging challenge from the eventual victor, Vespasian. The progression of events, kaleidoscopic and gripping, unfolds over a broad geographical sweep and is presented by Tacitus with consummate artistry. This commentary on Histories Book II, the first in English for twenty-five years, elucidates historical questions, clarifies Tacitus' historiographical techniques and explains grammatical difficulties of the Latin for students. It also includes a Latin text, relevant maps, and a comprehensive introduction discussing historical, literary and stylistic questions.