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Ancient Historiography and its ContextsStudies in Honour of A. J. Woodman$
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Christina S. Kraus, John Marincola, and Christopher Pelling

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558681.001.0001

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Voices of Resistance

Voices of Resistance

(p.312) 18 Voices of Resistance
Ancient Historiography and its Contexts

Richard Rutherford

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes a sustained comparison between the speeches of Calgacus and Agricola in Tacitus's Agricola, and the longer sequence in the narrative of the Batavian revolt in Tacitus, Histories iv, involving orations by Julius Civilis, Petilius Cerealis, and others. Both works use rhetorical topoi current in the tradition of criticism of Roman imperialism; something is also said by way of defence of empire. These rhetorical arguments are deployed in complicated ways and as always, the speeches must be seen in relation to the narrative. The aim is not to reach facile conclusions about Tacitus's view of empire, but to examine the complexities of conflicting views in the texts, both in the speeches and in the authorial narrative.

Keywords:   Tacitus, Agricola, Histories, Civilis, Cerealis, Roman imperialism

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