This essay reassesses the role of Tacitus in England, arguing that instead of initiating radically novel ways of understanding politics, his works served to reinforce and refine attitudes already present within English culture, derived from both classical and chivalric traditions as well as from practical experience. He was especially influential in shaping ideas about Roman warfare, the activities of informers and spies in incriminating Catholic aristocrats, and ways in which royal envy and jealousy exposed men of active virtue to attacks by court rivals. His Agricola and Germania provided important sources for information about the ancient history of Britain and the English.