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INTRODUCTION xiii
the form of recitation to sympathetic audiences that the
works of Tacitus were first given to the world' (vol. i, \x 337).
Those epigrams, called by Seneca sententiae, hold so much
sense in a few words. They were then miich in fashion.
Many of them are to be found in Seneca and other writers of
the Silver Age. Those of Tacitus are not merely showy
conceits. They come direct from life. We admire the
pungent flavour he has given them ; but we are still more
impressed by the profound knowledge they manifest of
character and life^
Many instances of such epigrams might be quoted from
the Fourth Book of the Annals. The following are some of
the most noteworthy :
cuius pari exitio uiguit ceciditque (1)
negotia pro solaciis accipiens (13)
huic uegatus honor gloriam inteudit (26)
nimis ex propinquo diuersa arguens (33)
si irascare, adgnita uidentur (34)
punitis ingeniis gliscit auctoritas (35)
haec mihi in animis uestris templa (38)
contemptu famae coutemni uirtutes (38)
inuidiam et preces orditur (53)
idque Augusta exprobrabat, reposcebat (57)
patuit breue confinium artis et falsi (58)
tristibus dictis atrocia facta coniungere (71)
It is a great mistake to regard the Tacitean prose of the
Annals and Histories as 'Silver Latin' and nothing more.
Tacitus has not the common fault of the Silver Age, — the
stilted declamatory manner, which the education of the time
encouraged. A Ciceronian in his youth, later on Tacitus
developed a style of his own, of which the main features are
^ See Boissier, p. 23.

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