5

The surviving books of Tacitus' Annals end off midway through the year AD 66 (during Nero's principate). Had the rest of the work survived, would the Annals have ended in June 68 (Nero's death) or December 68 (six months into Galba's reign)?

Bearing in mind that Tacitus explicitly states that his companion work, the Histories, begins in January 69 (Hist. I.1) rather than from Nero's death.

  • Though there may be an ancient reference to such a text, Tacitus' own statement on the matter would seem to answer your question in the affirmative. – Peter Diehr Jul 1 '18 at 20:38
2

For a detailed commentary, please see the Introduction to Tacitus: Annals, on Lacus Curtius, from which you will find the following analysis:

The Histories were followed in 116 A.D.24 by the Annals (libri ab excessu divi Augusti); which, after a short introduction, open with the death of Augustus in 14 A.D., and closed in 68 A.D., not, however, at the dramatically appropriate date of Nero's suicide (June 8), but, in accordance with the annalistic scheme, at the year's end. The probable distribution of the books was hexadic, Tiberius claiming I‑VI, Caligula and Claudius VII‑XII, and Nero (with Galba) XIII‑XVIII.25 Of these there remain I‑IV complete, p235 the first chapters of V, VI without the beginning, and XI‑XVI.

Footnote 25 should also be consulted for the author's sources.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.