I’m real excited to announce that I’ve taken over LJ’s “Classic Returns” column, in which I get to write about cool old books that are coming back into print, have been newly translated, or have got themselves a spiffy new edition, etc. Read about all my picks over at LJ, and meanwhile here’s a peak at one, a new translation of Tacitus’s Annals:
What’s to look forward to in a 2,000-year-old book, the title of which many people mispronounce without the second “n”? The decades-long moral degradation of Tiberius (once an honorable imperial step-son but in the end a rotten, ruined emperor) for one thing. If that isn’t enough, add to it the death of Agrippina (poor Claudius’s fourth wife), whose boat was specially constructed at her son, the Emperor Nero’s, instructions to collapse at sea, and who, when she failed to die, demanded that her assassins stab her womb, from where her ne’er-do-well son sprung.
The image above is a statue of Nero and Agrippina, in which they look a little bit like: