Tacitus germania summary

Horses pass by inheritance along with slaves, homestead, and rights of succession.

germania tacitus

The power even of the kings is not absolute or arbitrary. All have fierce blue eyes, red hair, huge frames, fit only for a sudden exertion.

tacitus germania pdf

The presiding priest dresses like a woman; but the deities are said to be the counterpart of our Castor and Pollux. They worship the Mother of the Gods, and wear, as an emblem of this cult, the device of a wild boar, which stands them in stead of armor or human protection and gives the worshiper a sense of security even among his enemies.

Tacitus bogs

Their gums, drawn out by the rays of their near neighbor the sun, flow in liquid state into the adjacent sea and are finally washed up by violent storms on the shores that lie opposite. Above all other gods they worship Mercury, and count it no sin, on certain feast-days, to include human victims in the sacrifices offered to him. The sacrifice of a human victim in the name of all marks the grisly opening of their savage ritual. Chapter V Climate and Soil. Turning, therefore, to the right hand shore of the Suebian sea, we find it washing the country of the Aestii, who have the same customs and fashions as the Suebi, but a language more like the British. It is a special characteristic of this nation to comb the hair sideways and tie it in a knot. In their funerals there is no pomp; they simply observe the custom of burning the bodies of illustrious men with certain kinds of wood. If a proposal displeases them, the people shout their dissent; if they approve, they clash their spears. That the Gauls were in times past more puissant and formidable, is related by the Prince of authors, the deified Julius [ie Julius Caesar] and hence it is probable that they too have passed into Germany. They assemble, except in the case of a sudden emergency, on certain fixed days, either at new or at full moon; for this they consider the most auspicious season for the transaction of business. They do not heap garments or spices on the funeral pile. They pass whole days on the hearth by the fire. Free from imposts and special levies, and reserved for employment in battle, they are like weapons and armour - 'only to be used in war'.

They cultivate grain and other crops with a perseverance unusual among the indolent Germans. The grove is the centre of their whole religion. They also carry supplies of food to the combatants and encourage them.

Tacitus germania translation

They assemble, except in the case of a sudden emergency, on certain fixed days, either at new or at full moon; for this they consider the most auspicious season for the transaction of business. Some tribes even consider the former tie the closer and more sacred of the two, and in demanding hostages prefer nephews to sons, thinking that this gives them a firmer grip on men's hearts and a wider hold on the family. The children play at riding; the grown men compete in riding; even the old will not give it up. Individual men of other tribes adopt the same fashion, either because they are related in some way to the Suebi, or merely because the imitative instinct is so strong in human beings; but even these few abandon it when they are no longer young. A conduct which proved more pleasing than secure; since treacherous is that repose which you enjoy amongst neighbors that are very powerful and very fond of rule and mastership. They inhabit not much territory upon the Rhine, but possess an island in it. Then the priest of the state, if the consultation is a public one, or the father of the family if it is private, offers a prayer to the gods, and looking up at the sky picks up three strips, one at a time, and reads their meaning from the signs previously scored on them. It is well known that the nations of Germany have not cities, and that they do not even tolerate closely contiguous dwellings.

Many of the Chatti delight always to bear this terrible aspect; and, when grown white through age, become awful and conspicuous by such marks, both to the enemy and their own countrymen.

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Tacitus Germania Summary Essay Example