Tacitus, Cornelius (55?–120? A.D.), a Roman historian. He was also a statesman, serving as proconsul of Asia. He is considered the most brilliant writer of his era and the leading Roman historian. Tacitus wrote searing denunciations of corruption under Rome's emperors. His major works, dealing with Roman history, 14–70 A.D., were the Annals (12 books surviving) and the Histories (4 books and a fraction of another surviving). Among his other works were a biography of Agricola, his father-in-law, and a valuable report on the German tribes.