a study of cn domitius corbulo as found in the annals of tacitus

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHRONOLOGY In dealing with the question of the chronology of Corbulo's life and campaigns my aim will be to show that Tacitus (and his source) followed merely the sequence of events, and that he either had no clear idea of the chronology or, if he had, did not care to make use of it. In the account of the campaign against the Chauci,1 Nipperdey regards the events as spread over more than one year, although they are given as having taken place in the year 47, and there is nothing in the narrative itself to show that they extended over a longer period. The question of chronology which has caused so much discussion, begins with the appointment of Corbulo to take charge of affairs in Armenia. Nero came to the throne in October of 54, and one of his first acts was to appoint Corbulo to command in the East. While not expressly so stated, the natural inference is that he went to the East in the spring of 55, but the events narrated in xiii. 8, 9, must have extended over more than one year.2 When we come to the account in xiii. 34-41, we again find events given under the year 58, which must have extended over more than one year. The chronology of the chapters and the assignment of events depends somewhat on the way in which we interpret the "miraculum" in chap. 41. Egli takes it to refer to the eclipse of April 30, 59, mentioned by Pliny, N. H. ii. 180, and thus assigns a definite date for the destruction of Artaxata. Laufenburg, Furneaux, and Henderson reject Egli's argument on the ground that such a description could not refer to an eclipse and that Corbulo could not have reached Artaxata so soon in the spring. Henderson explains it as some effect of cloud and sunshine. They all admit that Tacitus knew of the above eclipse and refers to it in xiv. 12, where he says: iam sol repent...
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