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Classics and Imperialism in the British Empire$
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Mark Bradley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584727.001.0001

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Tacitus' Agricola and the Conquest of Britain

Tacitus' Agricola and the Conquest of Britain

Representations of Empire in Victorian and Edwardian Englan d

Chapter:
(p.123) 5 Tacitus' Agricola and the Conquest of Britain
Source:
Classics and Imperialism in the British Empire
Author(s):

Mark Bradley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584727.003.0006

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

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