Tacitus' <i>Agricola</i> and the Conquest of Britain

Mark Bradley

in Classics and Imperialism in the British Empire

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584727
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595301 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Tacitus' Agricola and the Conquest of Britain

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This chapter examines the reception in Victorian and Edwardian Britain of Tacitus' Agricola, an encomiastic biography of the historian's father‐in‐law Agricola, governor, subjugator, and arch‐Romanizer of Britain. The Agricola set Britain on the receiving end of imperial conquest and scrutinized the moral and ethical ambivalence of empire that also permeated British intellectual and popular debates in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This chapter explores the impact of Tacitus' provocative text on the formation of nationalist attitudes and experiences in the context of contemporary political, social, and educational developments, as well as how imperial culture influenced editions, translations, and interpretations of Tacitus' work.

Keywords: Tacitus; Agricola; British Empire; reception; rhetoric; scholarship; translation

Chapter.  12347 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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