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His published Annals and the Histories examines the reigns of the emperors from the death of Augustus through Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and the First Jewish–Roman War(70 AD.). This period would include the changes in the roman culture that would bring its decline and the time in which Jesus appointed His kingdom to the early Church, the rise of the Christian conflict with Rome and much of the persecution early Christians endured.


Publius Tacitus (also Gaius Cornelius Tacitus; c. 56–after 117 AD), Roman orator, lawyer, and senator. He is considered one of antiquity's greatest historians.

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." Publius Tacitus

"The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Publius Tacitus

“Tacitus repeatedly contrasts the res publica under the emperors with the pre-Augustus libera res publica; and in the Germania 37, encountering the disasters which Germans inflicted upon the res publica Romanorum, he distinguishes between the old res publica, which he calls the populus Romanus, and the new res publica, which he calls “Caesar.” The old res publica hardly had the mixed constitution which dreamers assigned it and which actually never can exist, but it was something greater and majestic which lives on as a glorious memory in a mean age.”[1] see Republican form

More quotes

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." Publius Tacitus
"To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace." Publius Tacitus
"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." Publius Tacitus
"A bad peace is even worse than war." Publius Tacitus
"In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous." Publius Tacitus
"Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader." Publius Tacitus
"Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty." Publius Tacitus
"Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable." Publius Tacitus
"A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all." Publius Tacitus
"Things forbidden have a secret charm." Publius Tacitus
  • "Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth; when perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth any cause to wonder that he does not hear it." Publius Tacitus
  • "Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable." Publius Tacitus

The Agricola and The Germania

  • "It is the rare fortune of these days that a man may think what he likes and say what he thinks." Publius Tacitus, The Complete Tacitus Anthology: The Histories, The Annals, Germania, Agricola, A Dialogue on Oratory
  • "They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace." Publius Tacitus, The Agricola and The Germania
  • "This is in the sense that the matrimonial bond was strictly observed by the Germanic peoples, this being compared favorably against licentiousness in Rome. Tacitus appears to hold the fairly strict monogamy (with some exceptions among nobles who marry again) between Germanic husbands and wives, and the chastity among the unmarried to be worthy of the highest praise. " Publius Tacitus, The Agricola and The Germania (Ch. 18).
  • "No one in Germany laughs at vice, nor do they call it the fashion to corrupt and to be corrupted." Publius Tacitus, Chapter 19
  • "Nay, the Germans even ascribe to women a certain inspiration and power of prophecy ; they do not either despise the advice they give or neglect their forecasts." Publius Tacitus
  • "Their traditions tell that more than once, when a German line was wavering on the point of giving way, the women rallied it, urgently entreating the men to fight on, baring their breasts and crying out that their captivity was at hand. Captivity for their women is a thing the men abhor far more than for themselves." Publius Tacitus
  • "Unlike the great majority of barbarians, they are content with one wife ..." Publius Tacitus
  • "the wedding gifts... are no toys collected to suit feminine frivolities or adorn a bride ; instead of that, they consist of oxen, and a bridled horse, and shield and spear and sword. These are the presents that await her as a wife, and her own wedding present to her husband in return is a gift of arms. This is the strongest bond of union this the mystery of marriage ; these are their gods of wedded life. Lest the woman should think that masculine courage and the perils of war lie beyond her sphere, these tokens remind her upon the threshold of marriage that she comes as the man's partner in toils and dangers ; and that in peace and in war she must expect ... to dare the same." Publius Tacitus
  • "So they [German women] guard the chastity of their lives, with no shows to entice them nor orgies to excite their evil passions... To men and women alike such a thing as secret correspondence is unknown... Amongst all this immense [race's] population adultery is extremely rare, a woman becomes a wife with a wife's hopes and wishes once and once only....to the end that she may not look beyond him nor let her desires stray further ...To limit the number of the family or to put to death any of the later-born infants is held to be an abomination, and with the Germans good customs have more authority than good laws elsewhere!" Publius Tacitus

  • Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.
"Because they didn't know better, they called it "civilization," when it was part of their slavery." Publius Tacitus.

On Jesus

Non-Christian sources which are used to study and establish the historicity of Jesus include Jewish sources such as Josephus, and Roman sources such as Tacitus. The sources are compared to Christian sources such as the Pauline Letters and the Synoptic Gospels, and are usually independent of each other (e.g. Jewish sources do not draw upon Roman sources), and similarities and differences between them are used in the authentication process.

Both Josephus and Tacitus agreed and wrote of Jesus Crucifixion. Roman historian Tacitus referred to 'Christus' and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44. The very negative tone of Tacitus' comments on Christians make the passage extremely unlikely to have been forged by a Christian scribe. The Tacitus reference is now widely accepted as an independent confirmation of Christ's crucifixion, although some scholars question the authenticity of the passage on various different grounds.


  • “The communities are wont, of their own accord and man by man, to bestow upon their Princes a certain number of beasts, or a certain portion of grain; a contribution which passes indeed for a mark of reverence and honour, but serves also to supply their necessities.”[2]

The words 'of their own accord' is from the Latin 'ultro' meaning 'voluntarily'. “[O]ur modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm.”[3] See Orders

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  1. The Ruling Power: A Study Of The Roman Empire In The Second Century After Christ Through The Roman Oration Of Aelius Aristides, James H. Oliver, Kessinger Publishing, July 25, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1428659315.
  2. Tacitus says of the ancient Germans, in Germania 15,
  3. The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State. Bruce L. Benson Publisher: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (San Francisco), 1991 ’