Tacitus and Tyranny: propaganda (Germania) and denouncement (Annales)

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Abstract

Tacitus writes in the Annales for the survivors of tyranny, innocent victims of oppression, for those who have suffered punishment and defamation at the hands of a tyrant like Tiberius. Hiscraftsmanship as a historiographer is not a form of distraction or entertainment. It is an accusation making it possible to take precautions and set up prophylactic measures so that thehorror does not have the opportunity to rearise. That said how can we understand Tacitus’Germania as one of the “one hundred most dangerous books ever written” (Arnaldo Momigliano) Germania was a textbook taught in German schools. It was widely spread in Nazi pamphlets. It fueled with enthusiasm all sorts of people, from foot soldiers to high ranking leaders. Germania was an intellectual epidemy (Krebs). Therefore, we will try to detect its symptoms, its aetiology. How can we come to terms with demagoguery embedded in rhetoric?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics and Image
EditorsPedro Magalhães, Constantino Pereira Martins
Place of PublicationCoimbra
PublisherInstituto de Estudos Filosóficos
Chapter8
Pages125-148
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-989-54328-3-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameeQvodliber
Volume6

Keywords

  • Caeiro
  • Tacitus
  • Tyranny
  • Propaganda
  • Germania
  • Dangerous book

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