Muratoris great collection, the Rerum Italicarum 5cr iptores in combination with his Dissertationes, the chronicles and other historical material published by the Archjvjo Storjco Italiano, and the woiks of detached annalists of whom the \Tjllanj are the most notable, take first rank.
As a general rule the annalists wrote in a spirit of uncritical patriotism, which led them to minimize or gloss over such disasters as the conquest of Rome by Porsena and the compulsory payment of ransom to the Gauls, and to flatter the people by exaggerated accounts of Roman prowess, dressed up in fanciful language.
The first of the annalists, the father of Roman history, as he has been called, was Q.
C. Licinius Macer (died 66), who has been called the last of the annalists, wrote a voluminous work, which, although he paid great attention to the study of his authorities, was too rhetorical, and exaggerated the achievements of his own family.
The writers mentioned dealt with Roman history as a whole; some of the annalists, however, confined themselves to shorter periods.