Tacitus | Critical Essay by Ronald Syme

This literature criticism consists of approximately 56 pages of analysis & critique of Tacitus.
This section contains 16,610 words
(approx. 56 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ronald Syme

Critical Essay by Ronald Syme

SOURCE: Syme, Ronald. “The Technique of Tacitus” and “Roman Oratory in the Annales.” In Tacitus, Vol. I, pp. 304-39. London: Oxford University Press, 1958.

In the following excerpt, Syme analyzes Tacitus's handling of such literary devices as digressions and speeches, praising his skill in portraying assorted Roman orators as individuals.

The Technique of Tacitus

The matter was heterogeneous—both literary and documentary, stylized with elegance or baldly prosaic, removed by three generations or recent and personal. How was Cornelius Tacitus to evince his mastery, blending and transmuting? His principal devices are structure, digression, comment, and speeches. And not least, omission—which more recent exponents of imperial Rome have seldom skill or courage to emulate.

The exordium of the Historiae exhibited a technique firm, confident, and mature. The Annales from the opening...

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This section contains 16,610 words
(approx. 56 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ronald Syme
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