Nineteen Years Ago Today ~ Missing Tacitus Manuscript

… and still no updates:

(Vatican City). Staff in the Vatican Library announced
today the discovery of a complete book including the
missing portion of the ancient historian Tacitus’ Annals. Tacitus
lived in the first century A.D. and his work is an important
historical source for the early Roman empire.
“What we seem to have is a complete codex of the Annals,
including the missing sections dealing with the emperor Caligula
and the early reign of Claudius,” said Vatican spokesman Benito
The book itself was discovered when shelving was being replaced
in one of the many reading rooms of the Vatican Library. “We knew the book
existed because it appears in catalogs dating from the fourteenth
century, but it seems to have fallen behind some shelves years ago
and forgotten.”
“What’s really exciting, however, is how much light it sheds
on the early Roman Empire. Scholars consider Tacitus to be quite
accurate and this discovery sheds new light on a number of controversies.”
Among the new information is the date of Christ’s crucifixion, which is said
to have taken place in 41 A.D., shortly after the emperor Claudius
came to the throne. Although the codex was discovered over a month
ago, the Vatican delayed announcing it until Good Friday, which
seemed appropriate.
“Outside of the importance for Christianity, the text also
is surprising in the portrait it paints of the supposedly `mad’
emperor Caligula. Scholars have, for example, argued often over
Caligula’s building a boat bridge across the Bay of Naples. Usually
it is seen simply as a sign of his insanity. Tacitus tells us,
however, that it was in fact a military exercise conducted shortly
after Caligula’s failed attempt to cross over to Britain. It appears
that the soldiers were afraid to cross the English Channel by boat
and the boat bridge was designed to allow them to march across.
Unfortunately Caligula was murdered before he could attempt it.”
Mr. Trovato did not reveal when the text would become
available to scholars, but did say that a number of publishers
had already been in touch with him.

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