The Germania and Agricola


Book Details

Author  Cornelius Tacitus
Publisher  Forgotten Books
Publication Date   July 5, 2012
Pages  204

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Umbria, and that he received a part of his education at Massilia (the modern Marseilles), which was then the A thens of the West, a Grecian colony, and a seat of truly Grecian culture and refinement. It is not improbable that he enjoyed also the instructions of Quintilian, who for twenty years taught at Rome that pure and manly eloquence, of which his Institutes furnish at once such perfect rules, and so une an example. If we admit the Dialogue de Claris Oratoribus to be the work of Tacitus, his beau-ideal of the education proper for an orator was no less comprehensive, no less elevated, no less liberal, than that of Cicero himself; and if his theory of education was, like Cicero√Ęs, only a transcript of his own education, he must have been disciplined early in all the arts and sciencesin all the departments of knowledge which were then cultivated at Rome; a conclusion in which we are confirmed also by the accurate and minute acquaintance which he shows, in his other works, with all the afiairs, whether civil or military, public or private, literary or religious, both of Greece and Rome. The boyhood and youth of Tacitus did, indeed, fall on evil times. Monsters in vice and crime had filled the throne, till their morals and manners had infected those of all the people. The state was distracted, and apparently on the eve of dissolution. The public taste, like the general conscience, was perverted. The fountains of education were poisoned. Degenerate Grecian masters were inspiring their Roman pupils with a. relish for a. false science, a. frivolous literature, a. vitiated eloquence, an Epicurean creed, and a voluptuous life. But with suiiicient discemment to see the follies and vices of his age, and with suiiicient virtue to detest them, Tacitus must have found his love of wisdom and goodness, of liberty and law, strengthened by the very disorders and faults of
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