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Religion and Memory in Tacitus' Annals - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Religion and Memory in Tacitus' Annals

Kelly E. Shannon-Henderson


This study demonstrates the importance of references to religious material in Tacitus’ Annals by analyzing them using cultural memory theory. Throughout his narrative of Julio-Claudian Rome in the Annals, Tacitus includes numerous references to the gods, fate, fortune, astrology, omens, temples, priests, emperor cult, and other religious material. Tacitus, who was not only a historian but also a member of Rome’s quindecimviral priesthood, shows a marked interest in even the most detailed rituals of Roman religious life. Yet his portrayal of religious material also suggests that the system is u ... More

Keywords: Tacitus, Annals, Roman historiography, Roman religion, cultural memory, Julio-Claudians, emperor cult, Imperial cult, Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, Latin literature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198832768
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198832768.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kelly E. Shannon-Henderson, author
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Alabama