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Comparing Two Historians

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Tacticus (2000) and Stephen Ambrose (2005) are perhaps the most notable scholars in both their genres of writing. Each has taken a distinct path in the production of literary works but their mutual love for writing unites their very diverse styles. This paper seeks to discus the differences between these two brilliantly gifted scholars.

Publius Cornelius Tacticus was a Roman historian born around the 56th century to a large family in northern Italy. He firstly studied rhetoric in groundwork for his career in law and the political arena. In his political career, he advanced from senator to consular and reached the height of his career when he ingeniously prosecuted an African leader for corruption. After this climax, Tacitus settled back into writing and went on to accomplish works such as Germania, Agricola, The Histories and The Annals. His particular works The Histories and Annals are an incessant history of the first century in the Roman Empire, from the demise of Augustus to the demise of Domitian. Though parts have been unrecovered, the remnants are a priceless account of the era.

Tacitus' literary works investigate the lands, customs, and governments of the Roman Empire. Their treatment of outsider communities is of varied value to historians and scholars. In spite of this prejudice, he does endow scholars with numerous conquests with which Rome had come into contact. Tacitus' data was not generally first-hand knowledge, and recent findings have shown that many of his theories were incorrect. In fact, he is responsible for the misnaming of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. His literary style combines various approaches to history flawlessly merging timelines and ethics in a dramatic account of Rome's hunger for power. Tacitus skill with written Latin is undisputed, unsurpassed by no other scholar or author. His words are seldom rhyming or striking, but their point is always clear largely thanks to Tacitus' education in rhetoric. It is extremely succinct and brutal, even epic.

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On the other hand, Stephen Ambrose was born in 1936 in Illinois to a similarly large family. With the emergence of World War II, young Ambrose was drafted to the Navy where he went overseas to serve his country. The patriotic atmosphere of the war years remained an integral part of Ambrose's life and work since then. With the end of the war, his family settled in Wisconsin and Ambrose enrolled at the University of Wisconsin as a med student largely inspired by his father. After much thought Ambrose quotes "I went to the registrar's office and never looked back" American history permanently changed his direction in life.

His book Band of Brothers is basically a reflection of his war years. It talks of a group of paratrooper soldiers drafted to go and serve in England but find themselves in Germany the Nazi hub. The troop bravely and successfully manages to conquer the American enemies by ambushing Berchtesgaden, Adolf Hitler's last stronghold. This leads to the surrender of Germany and Japan in turn. The troubles and misfortunes that this group goes through not only as soldiers but as men give meaning to the title of the book. They indeed become a Band of brothers. Ambrose' particular style of writing is largely romantic emotional recollections of the events that shaped the war. He uses his own experiences to convey the sentiments of the book. He mastered a way to bring history to non scholars but mere fiction lovers through this book. He made studying history a popular pastime. Unlike Tacitus, Ambrose' friendly style and interesting findings drew readers in every time.

Ambrose and Tacitus are both similar and different in a number of ways. Although both have been accused on various occasions of Plagiarism and giving false facts, both have written on issues relating to the army and conquests, though their literary styles differ, they are both brilliant scholars with highly creative works.

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