Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York, 2011. XIV,255p. Paperback. The third chapter is one of the most useful for the intended audience of the book, especially since there is no comparable treatment for non-specialists in other books on Tacitus. Mellor explains Tacitus’ (and, more broadly, Roman) attitudes towards different ethnic groups, barbarians of the west (Germans, Gauls, and Britons) and Easterners (mostly Greeks and Jews), supporting his account with appropriate passages from Tacitus’ output. Tacitus’ xenophobia, Mellor argues, was not driven by hatred for any special group (certainly he was not anti-Semitic): his prejudices are in line with widespread ancient feelings for the other. Tacitus had understood the dangerous influences from the outside, and his extreme hostility towards the Greeks, Mellor suggests, was a result of the perverse hellenization The best chapter of the book is surely the fourth. Mellor challenges the traditional view of Tacitus as 'the greatest painter of antiquity'. Tacitus, Mellor suggests, certainly displays vividness in his descriptions, but this vividness is rarely, if ever, achieved through pictorial descriptions. Tacitus offers dramatic representations not through the description of physical reality, but rather through character development and psychological analysis. His language is rarely purely ornamental, and even if, at times he seems to offer a dark picture of an event, such darkness is achieved not with visual, but with narrative devices. The mutinies of the legions in Annals 1-2 are the focus of Mellor’s reading. The fifth chapter is devoted to a major theme of the Annals: the loss of freedom. Mellor provides an interesting analysis, drawing examples from the Agricola and Histories as well, but of course emphasizing the Tiberian narrative. (SALVADOR BARTERA in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.08.49). 'For many readers, the most interesting chapter will be the final one, 'The Importance of Tacitus' 'Annals', since this draws on M.'s years of research into the historian's influence in western Europe. (...) Able to be read als supporting good rulers (...) Tacitus, particularly by his depiction of Tiberius, provided useful ammunition for attacks on autocratic monarchs from the sixteenth century through to the Founding Fathers and Napoleon. (...) Perhaps this chapter suggests the most likely audience for this book: readers interested in the political, literary and artistic influence of Tacitus in modern times will find this a valuable introduction to his major work.' (A. POMEROY in The Classical Review (New Series), 2011, p.480).