Clarendon Press, Oxford,1998. XII,255p. Original dark blue cloth with dust wrps. Spine gilt titled. Nice copy. Woodman 'often says that he is not concerned with 'what really happened' (pp.24,41), but only with what the ancient historian actually said. Such a program sounds innocent enough, but those who have read W.'s papers of heard them delivered know how very subversive he can be. For in his careful readings - weiging a precise definition here and the exact force of a conjunction there, tracing subtle verbal allusions, and taking tenses and moods more seriously than historians are wont to do - he does no more than literary critics do in reading Horace or Propertius. But, he would argue, such a close reading sometimes undermines the accepted historical interpretation and thus challenges some of the revered truisms of Julio-Claudian history. (...0 W. has collected ten papers and book chapters on Tacitus published over the past twenty-five years and added two new essays. Though most of the papers are well known to Taciteans, a few were published in less accessible venues and it is useful to have them republished in convenient form. Their collection also makes clear the methodological continuities throughout W.'s carer. (...) the overarching value of these essays is that they serve as a goed (or an inspiration) to historians to read their texts more cloesely. The essay on the death if Agrippa Pos. humus 'A Death in the First Act (Ann.1.6)", strikes me as almost wholly successful in this regards. Here W. shows against common scholarly opinion that Tacitus does not blame Tiberius for the murder of Postumus. (...) W. has made his case well: historical texts are written with all the rhetorical and poetic tricks in the writers' arsenal and, if we are to understand them properly, we must read them in that light. If that argument seems less shocking than it might have thirty years ago, W. has contributed to that change in perception and to much of the vibrant new scholarship on the Latin historians.' (RONALD MELLOR in The Classical Review (New Series), 2000, pp.83-85).