Sententiae in Antiquitatem: Boswell and Johnson Criticize Tacitus

From Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson:

“We talked of Tacitus, and I hazarded an opinion, that with all his merit for penetration, shrewdness of judgement, and terseness of expression, he [Tacitus] was too compact, too much broken into hints, as it were, and therefore too difficult to be understood. To my great satisfaction Dr. Johnson sanctioned this opinion. ‘Tacitus, sir, seems to me rather to have made notes for an historical work, than to have written on history.'”


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