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Tacitus (full name: Publius/Gaius Cornelius Tacitus; A.D. 55-120) was the Roman author of Histories, Annals, and Germania, describing first century Rome. His work comprises one of the earliest sources outside of the Bible to mention Christians, as it chronicles Nero's blaming of the Christians for the fire in Rome and the resulting large-scale persecution of Christians that ensued. Tacitus did not think highly of Christians or Jews. He painted an unflattering picture of Rome under the rule of the Emperors, paying careful note to corruption or scandal. His works give a detailed history of life under the Emperors from the death of Augustus, the first Emperor, to the death of Domitian covering a period from A.D. 14 to A.D. 96.[1]

As with many others writers of antiquity, only portions of his writings have survived.


  • "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." [2]


  1. McDonald, Alexander Hugh. “Tacitus.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Tacitus-Roman-historian.
  2. Words from the Wise: Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said‎ - Page 290, by Rosemarie Jarski

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