- Purchase/rental options available:
The paper examines the conceptions of literary history found in Tacitus' Dialogus. It argues that the speeches in the work, despite being directly at variance with one another in other respects, develop between them with increasing sophistication a single account of literary history, with a complex interrelation of aesthetic and political factors. However, when one seeks to slot the Dialogus itself into that account, one finds that the form in which the work is written appears to challenge the very analysis that it has developed. The paper concludes by looking at the implications of this for the interpretationof the Dialogus.