The Annals of Imperial Rome - Tacitus, Alfred J. Church, William Jackson Brodribb Tacitus covers the reign of Tiberius through most of Nero’s reign in The Annals of Imperial Rome. His writing is crisp and his narration rarely gets sidetracked away from the chronological recording. Unfortunately, significant sections have been lost to time and Caligula’s reign as well as the final years of Nero’s are absent.

The drama of the time was not so much in military conquests, but the political maneuverings of the Imperial court. Tacitus seems self-consciously aware of the mundane nature of his time.
Much what I have related and shall have to relate, may perhaps, I am aware, seem petty trifles to record. But no one must compare my annals with the writings of those who have described Rome in old days. They told of great wars, of the storming of cities, of the defeat and capture of kings, or whenever they turned by preference to home affairs, they related, with a free scope for digression, the strifes of consuls with tribunes, land and corn-laws, and the struggles between the commons and the aristocracy. My labours are circumscribed and inglorious; peace wholly unbroken or but slightly disturbed, dismal misery in the capital, an emperor careless about the enlargement of the empire, such is my theme. Still it will not be useless to study those at first sight trifling events out of which the movements of vast changes often take their rise. pg. 94, Book IV
One has to admire his fidelity to his time. Seemingly without exaggeration nor bolstering, he records. Even without the defeat and capture of kings and cities, Tacitus’ Annals compellingly conveys the disintegration of Tiberius, the tragedy of Germanicus and the madness of Nero.

My biggest complaint rests with this particular edition rather than Tacitus. The Digireads edition uses the Church and Brodribb translation, but the lack of accompanying footnotes made for a summary reading. Many of the players in Rome come and go in a whirlwind of intrigue. Unless you have a thorough background in ancient Roman politics, finding an edition with supplementary references will probably make for a much more enjoyable, and informative, experience.