A commentary and analysis of Tacitus’ works by a famous English journalist.
About Tacitus (from Wikipedia):
Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in AD 96. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including one four-books long in the Annals.
Other writings by him discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and the life of his father-in-law, Agricola, mainly focusing on his campaign in Britannia (see De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae).
Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, and as well as the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, he is known for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics.
About William Donne (from Wikipedia):
William Bodham Donne (1807–1882) was an English journalist, known also as a librarian and theatrical censor.
Donne’s writings were mainly in the periodicals of the day. He became a contributor to the leading reviews, including the Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review, Fraser’s Magazine, and the British and Foreign Review, of which Kemble was editor. He was a frequent contributor to the Saturday Review. He also wrote some articles in Bentley’s Quarterly Review (1859–60), when it was edited by Robert Cecil.
A classical scholar, Donne published in 1852 Old Roads and New Roads, involving classical literature and modern history. His Essays on the Drama, collected from periodicals, were published in 1858, and reached a second edition in 1863. He wrote the volumes Euripides and Tacitus for the series Ancient Classics for English Readers (William Blackwood and Sons). As a theatre critic, Donne expressed reservation about contemporary trends, in the direction of historical accuracy, and towards concrete representation rather than relying on imagination.