The Annals of Imperial Rome (Classics)

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Tiberius is described as 'Caesar' or 'Nero', the same nomenclature is used in W. Some titles and terms that are often Anglicised in translation are preserved princeps , singular and plural, is one; curia another. More important, W. Thus Tacitus prefers claritudo to claritas, and W. Metaphors are emphasised rather than being ironed out: e.

Another aim is to replicate as far as possible some of the verbal play and echoes in the original word-play and echoes of this kind are a feature of Tacitean style in which W. Alliteration is preserved wherever possible: thus 'tam proiectae servientium patientiae' becomes 'such prompt and passive prostration from the servile' iii. It may seem that W. How does all this work out in practice? In fact it is remarkable how readable and thought-provoking W. The general effect is of dignified and fluent English in a rather 'writerly' style, modulating between unusually complex sentences and vigorous shorter clauses or climactic sequences.

The vivid dramatic qualities of the mutinies in Germany and the campaigns of Corbulo are well preserved.

Annals Imperial Rome by Tacitus Michael Grant - AbeBooks

Speeches are as skilfully handled as narrative or analytical passages. Only a scholar steeped in his author and deeply versed in the resources of English and Latin could have accomplished this task at such a consistently high level. Here are a few samples of W. In these and other cases I have compared not only Grant but the more exact version by Church and Brodribb, as well as the Loeb translation by the remarkable amateur J. Jackson translator of Virgil and Marcus Aurelius as well as the author of the distinguished Marginalia Scaenica.

Detailed analysis would extend this review unduly, but I find W. Mighty wars, storming of cities, routed and captured kings, or -- whenever they turned their attention to internal matters -- discord between consuls and tribunes, agrarian and grain laws, and contests of plebs and optimates -- it was these which they recalled and had the freedom to explore. My work, on the other hand, is confined and inglorious: peace was immoveable or only modestly challenged, affairs in the City were sorrowful, and the princeps indifferent to extending the empire.

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And if so, was Jackson a pioneer of intertextuality, seeking to remind the reader of the source of this phrase in the proem to Georgics iv? There was the same inflexibility of spirit: attentive in conversation and look, sometimes he tried to cover up his failing condition however evident by a studied affability; and, after numerous changes of location, he settled at length on the promontory of Misenum in a villa of which L. Lucullus had once been owner.

These mentors of the Commander's youth were mutually harmonious a rarity in an alliance of power and equally forceful by different means, Burrus in military concerns and the severity of his behaviour, Seneca in his precepts for eloquence and an honorable affability, each helping the other so that they might more easily retain their hold on the slipperiness of the princeps' age by permitting him pleasures if he spurned virtue. But some passages may encourage profitable debate among students.

The unforgettable moment at which Agrippina is murdered is given in the following form:. Here the key phrase is 'protendens uterum "ventrem feri" exclamavit'.

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Granted, the Latin too uses two different nouns, but I wonder if they felt as different as 'womb' and 'belly' do to the modern reader. It seems that 'womb' would be more telling in the direct speech cf. Dio's elaboration at But perhaps W. Grant avoids the need to find a synomym by rendering Agrippina's words as 'strike here'. A passage on which I found myself stumbling was i.

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Here 'modest' is ambiguous in English and we are unlikely to think first of wealth, which is what 'modicis' conveys. Second, 'extermination' is W. Third, the admittedly difficult phrase 'quanta Tiberii arte' is here subordinated, whereas in the Latin it forms a parallel indirect question to 'quibus initiis'; the parenthetic phrase 'given the degree of T's skill' in the English is puzzling, especially to those who know little of the importance of maiestas in Tacitus' view of the Tiberian principate not a topic addressed in the introduction; nor, oddly, is there an entry under 'treason' in the glossary.

Fourth, what is gained by the preservation of the passive construction 'ut noscatur'? Surely Tacitus means that the reader will become acquainted with this information, whereas in English we would assume that it is the same person as the implied agent behind the infinitive 'to record', i.

Tacitus himself. The sentence is not unduly long, but the compression of the thought is such that it might have been better broken up. Finally and here I speak more tentatively there is the issue of the metaphors: they are all in the Latin, but make an odd sequence in English 'flare', suggesting a spreading fire, suits 'was suppressed' but sits strangely alongside 'crept The core of the problem, for me, is W. Would e. But that would have involved W.

It is this insistence on one-to-one correspondence that will surely be the most frequently criticised aspect of W. When I first heard him speak on this subject in a lecture, I was immediately struck by what seemed to me then a contradiction of the very nature of translation. Now that I have seen the results, I must modify my previous scepticism; but I still feel that his successes are often achieved despite his policy rather than because of it.

Sometimes elsewhere W.

Top 20 Tacitus Quotes (Author of The Annals of Imperial Rome)

Was 'largitio' as curious for the Roman reader as 'lavishment' is to the reader of English? Is 'juveniles' ideal for 'adulescentes'? Cynthia Damon Translation. The Annals Paperback. Alfred J. Church Translator. William Jackson Brodribb Translator. Alison E. Cooley Introduction. The Annals Kindle Edition. The Annals of Imperial Rome Hardcover. Michael Grant translator. Annali Mass Market Paperback.

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