Answer to Question #84856 in History for Mohamed Traore

Question #84856
Famous writers have recorded Rome’s early glories and disasters. The Augustan Age, too, had its distinguished historians. But then the rising tide of flattery exercised a deterrent effect. The reigns of Augustus’s successors as emperor, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Nero, were described during their lifetimes in fictitious terms, for fear of the consequences; whereas the accounts written after their deaths were influenced by raging animosities. So I have decided to say a little about Augustus, with special attention to his last years.

1) Based on this paragraph, what is Tacitus’s perspective or point-of-view about Augustus and Rome’s emperors?
Expert's answer

1) Based on this paragraph, Tacitus’s perspective or point-of-view about Augustus and Rome’s emperors is that Tacitus was sure that only a principatus could maintain peace, the fidelity of the armies, and the cohesion of the empire. Discussing Augustus rise to power, Tacitus says that after the battle of Actium, the unification of the power in the hands of a prince was necessary to keep the peace. The prince ought not to be a tyrant, like Domitian, nor a fool, like Galba. He should be able to keep the imperium safe, while protecting the prestige and the dignity of the Roman Senate. Galba's preoccupation with formality and lack of political realism rendered him unable to control events. In contrast, for his successor Nerva adopted Trajan, a general who was able to keep the legions unified and the army out of imperial politics, and to stop disorder among the legions, preventing rival claims to the throne. Tacitus, without any illusions, considered the rule of the adoptive Emperors the only possible solution to the problems of Empire.


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