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"Tacitus, in certain respects an utter fool"

It's not every day that you run across one of the leading modern historians of the Roman Empire calling the man generally regarded as the finest ancient Roman historian "an utter fool", but that is what Ramsay MacMullen has to say about Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his Roman Social Relations 50 B.C. to A.D. 284. Here, for the record, is the passage, which illustrates the "almost incredible snobbery" of Rome's minute upper crust: Citizens of the capital felt themselves vastly superior to men of any other origin.
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