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Tacitus on Germany

Cornelius Tacitus

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e lodged all the nearest and most interesting pledges of nature. Hence they hear the doleful howlings of their wives, hence the cries of their tender infants. These are to each particular the witnesses whom he most reverences and dreads; these yield him the praise which affect him most. Their wounds and maims they carry to their mothers, or to their wives, neither are their mothers or wives shocked in telling, or in sucking their bleeding sores. Nay, to their husbands and sons whilst engaged in battle, they administer meat and encouragement.

In history we find, that some armies already yielding and ready to fly, have been by women restored, through their inflexible importunity and entreaties, presenting their breasts, and showing their impending captivity; an evil to the Germans then by far most dreadful when it befalls their women. So that the spirit of such cities as amongst their hostages are enjoined to send their damsels of quality, is always engaged more. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Tacitus is most famous for his Histories and Annals, but three of his shorter works also survive. The Agricola and Germania are his first books, published in AD 98.

The Agricola is a short biography of Tacitus’ father-in-law. Gnaeus Julius Agricola served as governor of Britain from 77-85 an

I’ve been on a Celtic bent lately, as one of the family is taking Celtic Studies at Uni and I have a few books to pass on. I can’t remember when, or why, the Tacitus took up residence on my shelves, but I thought I’d at least glance through it before it found a new home. Somewhere I’d gathered the i

They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.

Tacitus as Graham Greene. Whether offering a biography or an anthropological survey, Tacitus remains both ter

For fans of the great Roman historian Tacitus who gave us "The Histories" and "The Annals," his two short works, "Agricola" and "Germania" will give you a mild fix.

"Agricola" is a short biography of Tacitus' father-in-law, Julius Agricola, who was governor of Britannia. This is the beginning of Taci

I don't read a lot of classics anymore (probably from having to binge on them in grad school) but these short works were both engaging and enjoyable. Like a lot of ancient writers, Tacitus is something of a jack of all trades.

He doesn't simply write history, or political commentary or cultural/anth

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