The Classical Quarterly (New Series)


Three Historical Puzzles in Histories 3

Kenneth Wellesleya1

a1 University of Edinburgh

The present paper proposes to discuss three passages in Tacitus, Histories 3 where current interpretations have led to difficulties which can be shown to be baseless so soon as it is realized that Tacitus is willing on occasion to sacrifice truth and clarity to stylistic effect. In each of these passages the same literary device lies at the root of the matter, a device which (for want of a better term) may be labelled ‘die grouping of participles’: the juxtaposition of participles in a sentence to die detriment of strict chronological order.