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5 The Representation of Greek Diplomacy in Tacitus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some of the background to the historiography of diplomacy between Greek communities and Rome. It begins with some simple broad-brush examples which show the Romans conducting diplomacy away from Rome, which, it should not be forgotten, is an important aspect of the way that diplomatic activity is presented in Polybius and Livy as well. The chapter considers a few episodes of diplomacy in the Annals in greater detail. A significant aspect of Tacitus' presentation of diplomacy in the Annals is the emphasis on the past. However, the actual content of the episode presents a more complex and nuanced picture. In effect this episode presents an historical investigation of the past, which might also be seen as an historiographical investigation as well. The chapter concludes that the Tacitus' presentation of diplomatic activity can be seen as a way of reflecting on Rome and its past.

Keywords: Annals; Greek diplomacy; historiographical investigation; Rome; Tacitus



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