The Da Vinci Code movie apparently claims that there aren’t really any pagan sources telling about early Christianity.
This would rather shock Tacitus, who is not only proud to be a civilized worshipper of the Roman gods, but highly annoyed by the Christian “superstition”. (He would have been equally annoyed by his guest appearance here in the Christian section, but one hopes he changed his opinion, upon his appearance before Truth Himself.)
Tacitus is writing in AD 109 about the events of his childhood. His research and critical thinking have made him a highly credible historian from the day he finished the Annals until now. He is but one of the many contemporary pagan sources which survive, but he’s definitely one of the more interesting ones.
I’ve included the whole story of the Great Fire (and the paragraph right before it starts) so that you can see Nero’s decision (and Tacitus’ comments on Christianity) in context. So the excerpt starts with some commentary which is rather too relevant to life today, and may not be work-safe for touchy colleagues. (But if you really expected a Roman historian recounting Nero’s deeds to be work-safe, you don’t know much about Nero or Romans.)
Btw, I apologize for my excessive sloth in the past few weeks. Poor Mr. Sponge is languishing on a cliffhanger, and so is Dr. Thorndyke. I will try to do better.