The Histories (unabridged)

Audio Sample


The Histories

Read by David Timson


The Roman historian Tacitus was a successful politician who eventually became Governor of the province of Asia. He is thought to have died around AD 120 and benefitted from the patronage of the Flavian Emperors. The Histories, of which only just over four out of 14 books survive, covers the years following the assassination of the Emperor Nero: Rome was plunged into further civil war with the Year of the Four Emperors (AD 69), which culminated in the accession of Vespasian, the first of the Flavians. Notwithstanding his proximity to the ruling family, Tacitus regretted Rome’s development from republic to empire – which is especially evident in his Annals. The Histories is a fascinating close-up account of a critical period in Roman history.

  • Running Time: 10 h 51 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-356-0
    Cat. no.:NA0494
    Edited by:Andrew Riches
    Translated by:Hamilton Fyfe
    BISAC:HIS005000, HIS002000
    Released:June 21
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The Roman historian Tacitus details the turbulent ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, 69 CE, which was rife with war, political violence, chicanery, inept and vicious leaders, and even an assault on the Capitol. Narrator David Timson, with a fine voice and an easy mastery of pacing, tone and the intelligent expression of the text’s meaning, goes beyond mere narration to bring out the mind and character of Tacitus implicit in the book: the worldly, but not jaded, judge of men, at once broad-minded and censorious. Timson gives appropriate emotions – anger, disdain, despair – when reading speeches quoted in the text, but Tacitus he renders as both coolly sophisticated and sardonically judgmental. He doesn’t read Tacitus; he performs AS Tacitus recounting the history, which gives this audiobook an extra spark.

W.M., AudioFile

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