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Germania, by Cornelius Tacitus / Dual Language Edition

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From Wikipedia: The Germania, written by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus around 98 ad and originally entitled On the Origin and Situation of the Germans (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum), was a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire

Ethnography had a long and distinguished heritage in classical literature, and the Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus himself had already written a similar—albeit shorter—essay on the lands and tribes of Britannia in his Agricola (chapters 10–13). The work can appear moralizing at points, perhaps implicitly comparing the values of Germanic tribes and those of his Roman contemporaries, although a direct comparison between Rome and Germania is not explicitly presented in the text. In writing the work, Tacitus might have wanted to stress the dangers that the Germanic tribes posed to the Empire.

Tacitus’ descriptions of the Germanic character are at times favorable in contrast to the opinions of the Romans of his day. He holds the strict monogamy and chastity of Germanic marriage customs worthy of the highest praise, in contrast to what he saw as the vice and immorality rampant in Roman society of his day (chapter 18), and he admires their open hospitality, their simplicity, and their bravery in battle. All of these traits were highlighted perhaps because of their similarity to idealized Roman virtues. One should not, however, think that Tacitus’ portrayal of Germanic customs is entirely favorable; he notes a tendency in the Germanic people for what he saw as their habitual drunkenness, laziness, and barbarism, among other traits.