Cornelius Tacitus (Rome? 55 A.D.? - 120 A.D.?)
Cornelius Tacitus comes from the Greco-Roman tradition of historical writers
whose purpose is as much to promote a moral agenda using rhetorical flourishes
as it is to elucidate facts. In Rome, Tacitus studied oratory, including Cicero,
and may have written oratorical treatises before his four best known
historic/ethnographic pieces, "Agricola", "Germania", "Historiae" ("Histories"),
and "Annales" ("Annals").
Little is known for certain about his origins, although he is believed to have
been born in France or Transalpine Gaul (about A.D. 56) into a provincial
aristocratic family. We don't even know if his name was Publius or Gaius
Cornelius Tacitus. He became a senator, a consul, and eventually governor of
Asia. He probably lived and wrote into Hadrian's reign (117-38) and may have
died in A.D. 120.