Belief and Make-Believe
This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of emperor Napoleon's assessment of Tacitus. How Napoleon wielded his authority instantiates the authority itself. He embodied what he identified as a problem in Tacitean historiography: the uncomfortably close bond between style and content. The chapter then sets out the book's main theme, that literary analysis, while indispensable to the interpretation of historiography, is inadequate unless it incorporates investigation into the experience of a lived, historical reality.
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