Download e-book for kindle: Agricola and Germany (Oxford World's Classics) by Tacitus, Anthony Birley

By Tacitus, Anthony Birley

ISBN-10: 0192833006

ISBN-13: 9780192833006

Cornelius Tacitus, Rome's maximum historian and the final nice author of classical Latin prose, produced his first books in advert ninety eight, after the assination of the Emperor Domitian ended fifteen years of enforced silence. a lot of Agricola, that's the biography of Tacitus' past due spouse's father Julius Agricola, is dedicated to Britain and its humans, seeing that Agricola's declare to reputation was once that as governor for seven years he had accomplished the conquest of england, all started 4 many years past. Germany offers an account of Rome's most deadly enemies, the Germans, and is the one surviving instance of an ethnographic examine from the traditional international. each one booklet in its manner has had mammoth impact on our belief of Rome and the northern barbarians. This variation displays contemporary learn in Roman-British and Roman-German background and comprises newly found facts on Tacitus' early profession.

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All the same, it is clear enough that he used written sources, in particular Caesar’s Gallic War and the monograph by the Elder Pliny (now lost) on Rome’s wars in Germany. Germany is almost exactly the same length as Agricola, but very different in character, even if some turns of phrase and thought xxx Introduction patterns recur. It falls into two parts: in the first there is a discussion of the Germans, the origin of the people, their country, and their characteristics (chs. 1–27), in the second (27–46) a presentation of information about the individual peoples of Germany, in geographical order, from west to east.

Tacitus’ discussion of the name ‘Germani’ (ch. 2) has provoked endless scholarly debate. From chapter 5 onwards the theme that is dominant is that the Germans are a primitive people, ‘noble savages’, with, to be sure, faults such as laziness and drunkenness, but endowed with desirable qualities of simplicity and uprightness that the Romans had lost. On the other hand, in many places what is portrayed is a strange world where everything, for better or for worse, is just the opposite of what happened at Rome.

One of them, Conrad Celtis, produced an edition of Germany which was reprinted over fifty times in the sixteenth century. Early on there were attempts to make political capital out of the work: in 1501 Jakob Wimpfeling claimed that Tacitus supported the case for Alsace having always been German. Throughout the sixteenth 17 Among lost specimens of this genre one may note Arulenus Rusticus’ biography of Thrasea and that of Helvidius Priscus by Herennius Senecio, see Agr. 2. Cf. also Pliny, Letters 7.

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Agricola and Germany (Oxford World's Classics) by Tacitus, Anthony Birley


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