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The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2009. VIII,401p. Original blue gilt titled cloth. Errata leaflet loosely inserted. ?S. identifies quite specific criteria for analysing Tacitus? deployment of tragic models in the ?annals?. S. presents the crucial factor as being ?the repetition of paronomasic vocabulary form specific lexical fields? and stresses that Tacitus is generally selective about introducing this rhetorical strategy to open up a tragic register, which he reserves for particularly emotive scenes. The risk is, however that not everyone will be convinced that this technique of repetition in itself can categorically nail down tragedy as the dominant generic model. In ch. 1 (?) S., (?) considers how Tacitus? representation of Tiberius? accession evokes one tragic model above all, Aeschylus? representation of the House of \Atreus. She sees this sequence as programmatic, preparing the way for the more obviously theatricalized ethos of Nero?s principate. (?) In ch. 2, S. Argues more broadly that Tacitus uses clusters of words (involving binding and loosing, reversal, knowledge and ignorance, vision), which pertain to the poetics of tragedy as conceptualised by Aristotle and that they are reserved for particularly emotive episodes. Her discussion of these individual ? Aristotelian? clusters reveal some nice points, but it might perhaps have been useful to complement the sub-sections about particular types of cluster with some more extended analysis of particular episodes (?.). Ch. 3 considers how Tacitus? portraits of women ?display elements of gender reversal reminiscent of the portrayals of the masculinised women of tragedy? (p.112). (?) There is much here to engage readers with interests in rhetorical invective, the law courts, and stereotyping along gender lines, but the material needs to be more thoughtfully integrated with the preceding chapters (?). The final chapter is by far the most persuasive of the book. It tackles the issue of Tacitus? stagecraft from a much broader perspective and is full off insightful observations. (?) Anyone seriously engaging with Tacitus? historiography is obliged to engage seriously with his language. S. does so in constructive ways, particularly when considering his networks of metaphorical usage. (?) In conclusion, this is a bold and often enjoyable monograph.? (RHIANNON ASH in The Journal of Roman Studies, 2008, pp.250-251).

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