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Cornelius Tacitus
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A Roman historian and rhetorician (ca. 56–118 ad) who wrote several important works related to the history of the Roman Empire. Although Tacitus maintained a political career in the Roman world, he is primarily known for his writings. His lesser-known works include a biography of his father-in-law (Agricola), a volume on Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire (Germania), and a work on oratory (Dialogues). Tacitus is best known for two historical books, Histories (Historiae) and Annals (Annales). The two volumes, which Tacitus originally intended to form a single volume, cover Roman history from the death of Augustus to the death of Domitian (14–96 ad). Although both historical works survive only in part, they provide valuable insight into life and politics in the Roman Empire and the reigns of several emperors. However, Tacitus—like most ancient historians and writers—writes with a highly subjective perspective intended to persuade his audience in favor of his view, and thus should be read in light of other ancient sources.Most importantly for the study of early Christianity, Tacitus mentions key events and people mentioned in the New Testament. In Annals, Tacitus provides one of the earliest non-Christian references to the crucifixion of Jesus while also referring to Pontius Pilate: “Christus, the founder of the name [i.e., “Christian”], had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus” (Tacitus, Annals, 15.44.3). Although this passage is subject to different scholarly interpretations, the reference to Jesus’ crucifixion and Pilate’s role—along with much of Tacitus’ historical accounts—sheds light on the Roman Empire during the New Testament period.Derek Brown
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Tacitus
Tacitus A Roman historian and rhetorician (ca. 56–118 ad) who wrote several important works related to the history of the Roman Empire. Although Tacitus maintained a political career in the Roman world, he is primarily known for his writings. His lesser-known works include a biography of his father-in-law
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Tacitus (Person)
TACITUS (PERSON). Roman historian, born ca. 56 c.e., probably of a Gallic or N Italian family. He received his rhetorical education under Marcus Aper and Julius Secundus, the most distinguished orators of his time. In 77 c.e., Tacitus married the daughter of Agricola, the consul, shortly before the latter’s
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Tacitus, Cornelius
TACITUS*, CORNELIUS Roman historian (c. ad 55–120).Little is known of Tacitus personally, but his writings present an invaluable picture of Roman life during the first century ad. These works are Dialogus de Oratoribus (c. 77); The Life of Agricola, his father-in-law (c. 98); Germania (c. 98); Histories
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Tacitus
TACITUSPublius(?) Cornelius Tacitus was born into an equestrian family about a.d. 56, probably in Cisalpine Gaul. He was in Rome by a.d. 75 and married Agricola’s daughter in a.d. 77. By following the sequence of Roman public office he gained senatorial status; he was governor of the senatorial province
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Tacitus, Cornelius
Tacitus, Cornelius (born c. AD 55), Roman historian. A senator and the chief orator of his day, he was last heard of as governor of Asia, c. 113. His surviving writings are: (1) a life of his father-in-law, Agricola, who was governor of Britain, 78–85; (2) the Germania, an ethnographic work; (3) a
Compton’s Encyclopedia
Tacitus, Cornelius
Tacitus, Cornelius(55?–120?). Little is known of the great Roman historian Tacitus. He was educated to be an orator and became a senator and a consul. Agricola, a Roman general and governor of Britain, was his father-in-law. Pliny the Younger was his good friend and admirer.The works of Tacitus are
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 5, Q–Z
Tacitus
Tacitus tas’uh-tuhs. Cornelius Tacitus was born in A.D. 56 or 57, was trained as a rhetorician, and served in various political offices, including consul or chief magistrate (in 97) and proconsul or governor of the province of Asia (112–13). He probably died in 118 or shortly after. Tacitus is best known,
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs: A Reference Guide to More than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Fathers
Tacitus
TACITUSCornelius Tacitus was a notable Roman historian who provided an accurate historical account of the Roman Empire in the first century. Tacitus, however, was not favorably disposed towards Christians, calling them “enemies of the human race.”Like some others, you are under the delusion that our
Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
Tacitus on Christians
TACITUS on CHRISTIANS. Tacitus was a well-known Roman historian who lived between AD 55 and 120. His cursus honorum was aided by his marriage to the daughter of Julius Agricola. He kept to himself during the reign of *Domitian; in the year 97, under Nerva, he was made consul. He wrote his historical
Who’s Who in Christian History
Tacitus, Cornelius
TACITUS, CORNELIUS (c. 55–120)Roman historianLittle is known of Tacitus personally, but his surviving writings present an invaluable picture of Roman life during the first century a.d. These works are Dialogus de Oratoribus (c. 77); The Life of Agricola, his father-in-law (c. 98); Germania (c. 98);