IntroductionLife and Works of Tacitus
Our scanty knowledge of the life of Cornelius Tacitus is derived chiefly from his own works and from the letters of his intimate friend, the younger Pliny. The only certain dates are the following: in 78 a.d. he married the daughter of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, whose life he later wrote;1 in 88 he was praetor and a member of the college of the XVviri, but he may have been appointed to this sacred office before this year.2 The consulship he obtained in 97 (or 98),3 and between 113–116 (or 111–112) he governed the province of Asia as proconsul.4 His earlier political career can be determined with somewhat less
- 1Agric. 9: consul (77 a.d.) egregiae tum spei filiam iuveni mihi despondit et post consulatum collocavit; et statim Britanniae praepositus est.
- 2Ann. xi. 11: is quoque (Domitianus) edidit ludos saeculares, iisque intentius adfui sacerdotio quindecim virali praeditus ac tunc praetor.
- 3Pliny, Epist. II. i. 6: laudatus est (Verginius Rufus) a consule Cornelio Tacito; nam hic supremus felicitati eius cumulus accessit, laudator eloquentissimus. The question as to the year obviously depends on the date of the death of Verginius. For the literature on the dispute see Schanz: Geschichte der röm. Litteratur, § 427.
- 4See an inscription from Mylasa, published in the Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 1890, p. 621 f.