Tacitus: The Year of the Four Emperors (Histories 1)
In this course, Dr Ellen O'Gorman (University of Bristol) explores Tacitus' Histories, focusing in particular on Book 1. We begin by providing a broader introduction to the Histories, thinking about the scope of the work, as well as how the first half of Book 1 fits in with some of the central themes of the work. In the second module, we look in more detail at the Preface to the Histories (1.1-3) and some of the problems that Tacitus admits to facing when writing a history of the period, before turning in the third module to the significance of rumour, flattery and other kinds of false speech in Book 1 of the Histories. In the fourth module, we think about Tacitus' approach to historical causation, focusing on the importance of miscommunication and misrepresentation as motivating factors, before moving on in the fifth module to consider the importance of the military in the Histories. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the figures of Galba and Otho themselves – what kind of men they were, their relationship with the military, and why it was that Otho ultimately came out on top.
What this playlist includes:
13 lectures across 2 courses.
All resources designed and delivered by university academics and researchers.
Courses and Lectures
1. Tacitus: The Year of the Four Emperors (Histories 1)
Dr Ellen O'Gorman
Bristol University
1.1. Introduction – 09:33
1.3. Rumour and Flattery – 08:52
1.4. Subjective Causality – 08:53
1.5. The Soldiers – 09:37
1.6. Galba and Otho – 09:12
2. Tacitus: The Year of the Four Emperors (Histories 1)
Prof. Christopher Whitton
University of Cambridge
2.1. Tacitus and the Histories – 08:59
2.2. Galba – 10:30
2.3. Otho – 09:55
2.4. The Army – 10:15
2.5. Truth and History – 12:55
2.6. Past and Present – 09:04
2.7. Further Reading – 05:02
What Next?