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The Agricola and Germany of Tacitus


The Agricola and Germany of Tacitus

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    Cornelius Tacitus
Excerpt from book: NOTES ON THE LIFE OF AGRICOLA. (i) Many too thought that to write their own lives showed the confidence of integrity rather than presumption. (A c plerique, suam ipsi vitam narrare, fiduciam potius morum, quam arrogantiam arbitrati sunf.) " Fiducia morum " seems naturally to mean "the Chap. i. confidence inspired by a good character." The word " fiducia " usually denotes " a well-grounded, and therefore praiseworthy, trust" in anything. Possibly by " morum " may be meant the manners of the age in which Rutilius and Scaurus lived. To write their own lives was, in fact, to bear a testimony to the virtues of a less corrupt time: and they would feel that to praise themselves was, in fact, to praise the State. But the difference between these two meanings is very slight Of Rutilius and Scaums no one doubted the honesty or questioned the motives. Rutilius, who was consul 105 B.C., is spoken of by Cicero (De Orat. i. 53) as a man of learning, devoted to philosophy, and of singular virtue and integrity. Chap, i In the Brutus (ch. 29), he is named with Scaurus : both are said to have been experienced, though not first-rate orators, men of great industry and some talent, but not possessed of true oratorical genius. Rutilius was a Stoic, and a pupil of Panstius. He wrote a history of Rome in Greek, which is referred to by Livy (xxxix. 52). His memoir of himself and of his times is mentioned only by Tacitus. Rutilius Rufus and Aurelius Scaurus were contemporaries and rivals. Each impeached the other for bribery, in seeking to obtain the consulate. Scaurus was "princeps Senatus," and twice consul, in 115 B.C. and 107 B.C. Tacitus here refers to Scaurus's autobiography in three books, of which Cicero says (Brutus, 29) that it was good enough (sane utiles), but that it was r...  
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  • PDF | 118 pages
  • Cornelius Tacitus
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
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