Ordering Anarchy: Armies and Leaders in Tacitus Histories Rhiannon Ash

ISBN: 9780472111138

Published: December 15th 1999

Hardcover

246 pages


Description

Ordering Anarchy: Armies and Leaders in Tacitus Histories  by  Rhiannon Ash

Ordering Anarchy: Armies and Leaders in Tacitus Histories by Rhiannon Ash
December 15th 1999 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 246 pages | ISBN: 9780472111138 | 9.60 Mb

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 theMoreTacitus 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 Ashs 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 Romes 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 Vespasians methods and reputation.Rhiannon Ash is Lecturer, Department of Greek and Latin, University College London.



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