This is the final essay reflecting on the validity of Roman historian and senator Tacitus’ work regarding Julio-Claudian Emperor Tiberius Caesar.

“I shall write without indignation or partisanship” (Cornelius Tacitus, The Annals Book I)
To what extent is this statement true regarding Tacitus’ reflection of Tiberius Caesar?

Even though Tacitus was an accomplished senator, orator and historian his exaggerated and inaccurate characterisation of Tiberius and distortion of facts reveals an indignation and partisanship in his work that questions the validity and the integrity of his historical work. Unequivocally one of the most celebrated Roman historians, his final work The Annals has proved to provide details that have become the foundation of our knowledge on the Julio-Claudian era and stands as the most useful literary source on the early principate to date. Such widespread acclamation has led to the ready acceptance of Tacitus’ work as accurate when recent analysis of his manuscripts discussing Tiberius’ Caesar and his reign have revealed the presence of a resentment and prejudice that he so actively sought to avoid. Commensurate with senatorial influences as well as the various relationships Tacitus had in his own life, the Tacitean style uses exaggerations, juxtaposition and false appearances to distort the facts.   His characterisations are openly subjective, the exaggerated negative nature of Tiberius achieved through unfavourable analysis of fact. The manipulation of these facts to compliment his theories is evident and comparison between the work of Suetonius and has proved that Tacitus’ reflection of Tiberius Caesar is exaggerated and limited, his characterisations inaccurate and openly subjective.

Previous senatorial duties and other employment affiliations affected Tacitus’ objectivity when writing about Tiberius Caesar. This disproves his statement regarding the impartiality of his work. Tacitus belonged to a tradition of historians that did not...