Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, better known simply by his cognomen, was born around the year 55 in Vasio, Italy. He was a prominent figure within the Roman government even before Emperor Trajan made him governor of the Roman Province of Asia. He was also a historian, and, some contend, the most important in the entire Roman Empire. He did often express strong opinions in his writings, but he is now respected for the way that he analyzed a very large margin of other sources, including biographies, interviews, minutes of the Senate, the work of other historians, inscripitions, speeches, and pamphlets. However, most of these sources are now nonexistent. Some books that Tacitus wrote are On the Origin and Country of the Germans and On the Life of Julius Agricola in the year 98, as well as the Histories in 106. The most famous book he wrote is titled Annals of Imperial Rome, which is a history of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Nero. He died in the year 120.