The Historian's Presence, or, There and Back Again
Arts and Humanities
This chapter is an investigation of a Tacitean metaphor for historiography and its implications for the historian's role in history. The metaphor of the historian's physical proximity to his subject matter, which is found in the Annals 4 digression contrasting Tacitus's work with that of historians of earlier periods, is an offshoot of the enargeia that often enlivens a narrative. It is also one of the many connections between this digression and both Tacitus's account of the trial of the historian Cremutius Cordus (4.34-35) and what he suggests about his own work as historian.