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Ordering Anarchy: Armies and Leaders in Tacitus' Histories
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Ordering Anarchy: Armies and Leaders in Tacitus' Histories (Hardback)

Currently unavailable. Foyles can order for despatch to customer when the publisher is re-supplied on 30/12/1999.
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Tacitus made his debut as a historian with the powerful Histories, a fundamentally important book for students of the literature and history of Rome in the early imperial period. Long regarded chiefly as a source of historical information about the civil war of 68-69 C.E., it has recently benefited from critical reevaluation. Scholars in the last few years have determined that the form of a work is as important as its contents. Therefore, a closer reading of "historical" works--like the Histories--has revealed the frequent use of suggestive juxtaposition of episodes, pointed allusion to previous writers, and other literary techniques traditionally not associated with "history."

The aim of Rhiannon Ash's new volume is chiefly to examine Tacitus' techniques as a literary artist in the Histories. Beginning with a close study of collective characterization in Caesar, Appian, and Cassius Dio, the author analyzes Tacitus' ground-breaking depiction of the armies in the Histories. Drawing on material from the Roman historiographical tradition and from Flavian epic, Ash explores how Tacitus evokes the ethnic identities of Rome's foreign enemies to characterize the armies of the civil war in a complex and distinctive way. Next, using different analytical techniques, she investigates Tacitus' portraits of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian, and of the Flavian general Antonius Primus, who plays a comparatively minor part in other accounts of the civil wars. Only the charismatic Primus possesses the necessary leadership skills to control the armies, but Tacitus shows us why there is no room for this talented general in the new Flavian regime after the war. In doing so, Tacitus raises disturbing questions about the victorious Vespasian's methods and reputation.

Rhiannon Ash is Lecturer, Department of Greek and Latin, University College London.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismEssays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: classical, early & medievalHistory & PoliticsHistory General & TheoryGeneral & world historyHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalAncient history: to c 500 CEHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyReference & Research Publisher: The University of Michigan Press Publication Date: 01/12/1999 ISBN-13: 9780472111138  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable. Foyles can order for despatch to customer when the publisher is re-supplied on 30/12/1999.  

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