The Annals, the last and greatest achievement of Tacitus, records the history of the Julio-Claudian emperors from the death of Augustus (A.D. 14) to the reign of Nero (54–68). These are stories of mutiny and murder, of whole armies disappearing beyond the Rhine, of an unstable and gloomy frontier. Tacitus brings us Nero himself, whose reign saw the burning of Rome and the mass slaughter of Christians, and whose vices still captivate and startle us with their imagination and cruelty.
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