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Germania

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  825 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Updated to include the findings of archaeological investigation over the century, it serves to lift the veil that shrouded the pre-history of the Germanic peoples and the process of their expansion over central Europe.
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 17th 2009 by Duckworth Publishing (first published 98)
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Vaishali
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-cultures
Fascinating, so I took massive notes :) Tacitus claims Rome invaded Germany for 2 centuries, and mentions many tribes... including Aryans. I hope to find studies confirming relations with P.I.E-speaking peoples entering South Asia millenia ago.

Quotes:
-------
Silver and gold the gods have denied them… silver vessels have been presented to their princes and ambassadors, but not esteemed more than earthen vessels. The Germans adjoining to our frontiers value gold and silver for commerce.

Their genera
...more
Elly
"...wild en blauw hun ogen, rossig hun haar, fors hun lichamen en slechts tot een momentane krachtsinspanning deugdelijk: voor moeizaam afmattende arbeid hebben zij niet eenzelfde uithoudingsvermogen. En geenszins zijn zij erop ingesteld dorst en hitte te verdragen; aan koude en hongeren zijn zij door klimaat of bodemgesteldheid gewoon geraakt".

"...En zij rekenen niet naar dagen zoals wij, maar naar nachten; op deze wijze stellen zij [een tijdstip] vast, aldus maken zij afspraken: hun dunkt het
...more
Neil
Comes with a good introduction, setting the Germania in the context of Roman ethnological writings of the same period and traces the history of the text from its rediscovery in the renaissance period down to modern times. Then comes the text and translation of the Germania. The best part are the extensive notes and commentary, stretching to nearly two hundred pages. The commentary supplies useful notes on early Germanic tribes, customs and religion. Rives work on the Germania is easily one of th ...more
Mark Fuller
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting

The language in the book is very date,but easily translated to the modern tongue. The book described very civilized people, which surprised me. Excellent read.
Fede
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had studied the topic of this little book at school, but I decided to read it anyway and it turned out far more interesting than I thought.

I liked more the first part because, even though it speaks generically about the Germanic populations, it gives satisfying insight into their lives and traditions. It was striking to read how they were advanced and underdeveloped at the same time: their technological developments were probably rude, but their morality was an high standard for that time -eve
...more
Richard Reese
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone everywhere has tribal ancestors. Folks with European roots know little about their kin who lived in the countless centuries of wild freedom. Tacitus gives us a glimpse at their world, as it was over 1,900 years ago. He was a Roman historian, born in A.D. 56, and died in 117. He wrote Germania in 98. It provided a brief overview of several dozen Germanic tribes of the era, as viewed from a civilized perspective. For example, the Batavi, Chatti, Usipii, Tencteri, Chauci, Fosi, Cimbri, Ang ...more
Arvid Jakobsson
Ca 60 sidor text och drygt 100 sidor kommentarer. Klassiskt! Tacitus är rätt högfärdig gentemot de barbariska horderna öster om Rhen, men det är uppenbart att han samtidigt är vettskrämd för dem. Några rader om Sverige får han med mot slutet.
Francesca
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
… nam primi in omnibus proeliis oculi vincuntur.

… dato che in ogni battaglia i primi ad essere soggiogati sono gli occhi.

De origine et situ Germanorum, 43

Tacito è uno di quegli autori che, quando ti toccavano in traduzione al liceo, odiavi sinceramente. Almeno a me capitava così.
Invece, ora, a distanza di un lungo-non meglio quantificabile-e comunque meglio non renderlo tale tempo, in una, a mio gusto, splendida traduzione di Bianca Ceva, con la possibilità di confrontare la traduzione con il t
...more
that cute little red-eyed kitten
Sure, there were many good names of old Germanic tribes in this short text, and the "wow factor" of reading something so old that it could basically be from a different planet always gets me, but for some reason, I found it a bit unsatisfactory. Very vague, not much material to learn anything from, at least not without commentary, which I'm sure exists. The version I read was a free ebook with a translation from 1910, maybe a newer one with commentary would have been better. I do admit that my c ...more
Ron
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
A first century Roman's report on the Germana with whom Roma shared an long and occasionally contested border. Interesting for both what he got wrong as well as got right. Historians seem sympathetic.

I read this a dozen years ago while preparing a historical fiction series set in sixth century Britain, where the sub-Roman Britons are under pressure from the immigrating (and sometimes attacking) Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

The translations I read--not necessarily this one--was clear and easy to read
...more
Crispy
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tacitus-my-man
I enjoyed Tacitus' Germania very much when I first read it many years ago, although my venerable Penguin paperback has long since disintegrated, not unlike the Roman Empire, gone to dust. The Duckworth edition is an erudite representation of Germania, it's historical context and literary genesis. I'm not sure, however, if "the Silent One's" pithy style of expression is always well served by this translation. Still it was fun to catch up with an old friend, as it were. I would recommend The Annal ...more
Teresa
The prose is simple and straightforward. It's literary merit is in its subtlety. Brilliant! Since it is a bilingual edition, you can easily follow the Latin text with the Portuguese despite some memory problems with the vocabulary.

A prosa é simples e directa. O mérito literário encontra-se na subtileza com que este surge na prosa. Como é uma edição bilingue, pode-se seguir facilmente o texto latino com o apoio do português, apesar de alguns problemas de memória face ao vocabulário.
Ukamikazu
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I gave Tacitus three stars because I was researching Germania and I wanted a historical perspective which he gave me perfectly in both Latin and English. This was a very utilitarian read for my purposes but pleasurable nonetheless. His objective was a simple & brief regarding the customs of the Scandza descended Goths and their geography and he did just that pithily and not without a soupçon of humor no doubt born from his heritage.
Maclain
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-fun
Awesome, I would like way more info on the Germanic tribes.
Shawneci
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellant description of Ancient Germany by Tacitus!
Cicely
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great translation. Brings history alive.
Jeff
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really interesting ancient account of ancient German tribes during the Roman Empire. Probably a bit jaded but you would probably expect that from a Roman writer. My favorite quote: "In all their houses the children are raised naked and nasty."
David
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's self-evident what it is. I didn't learn anything; I gave it 3 stars, as if I didn't already know most of it.
I don't nitpick the writings of ancient men as if they lived now, every "classical" author has written something politically incorrect.
Caroline Beatle
3.5/5
Diogo Jesus
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting. An inside on the senatorial early imperial roman era of the different inhabitants of the germanic lands east of the Rhein.
Marco
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Obiettivo trattato etnografico sui popoli della Germania, realizzato con fonti autorevoli quali Cesare e Plinio il vecchio.
sabisteb
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hörbücher
Tacitus (Publius Cornelius Tacitus) war ein adeliger römischer Historiker und Senator. Seine historische Abhandlung Germania, ist eine der wenigen Schriften der Antike, die unsere Germanischen Vorfahren behandeln. Er beschreibt seinen römischen Mitbürgern ein wildes und ursprüngliches Volk, das sich grundlegend von dem der Römer und deren Lebensweise unterscheidet. Er stilisiert die Germanen zu einer Art edlem Barbaren, den er dekadente Römer der Kaiserzeit sich teilweise als Vorbild nehmen soll ...more
Nick
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty damn interesting. This is like a very early ethnographical account of the Germanic peoples from the Roman perspective. It gives a theorized origin and then delves into their manners, customs, religion, politics etc. I have no idea how accurate it is, but it reads weirdly similar to the "noble savage" literature of later centuries. So I am suspicious that the Tacitus idealized the warrior nobility aspect of Germanic culture here. Combined with that idealization are semi-patronizing comment ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Tacitus is one of those writers whose name crops up in other books or reviews I've read so I downloaded a free edition of Germania onto my Kindle. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the Leopold Classic Library Edition of Tacitus' Agricola, Germania and Dialogue on Oratory.

It was after careful consideration that I bought this edition after reading several reviews about other translations which received mixed reviews. Frankly how do I know how accurately Church and Brodribb translated Tacitus' wor
...more
James
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick, well-written read. And in view of Germany’s admitting 800,000 migrant refugees in 2015, Tacitus’s observation — 1,900 years ago — of the German character, seems particularly trenchant today:

‘In social feasts, and deeds of hospitality, no nation upon earth was ever more liberal and abounding. To refuse admitting under your roof any man whatsoever, is held wicked and inhuman. Every man receives every comer, and treats him with repasts as large as his ability can possibly furnish. When the
...more
Lau
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Este libro es un caso verdaderamente singular, en diversos sentidos, es el que representa en el conjunto de la literatura latina la Germania de Tácito.
En primer lugar, estamos ante la única monografía etnográfica (un texto autónomo que se ocupa de la vida y las costumbres de un solo pueblo) que ha llegado hasta nosotros desde la Antigüedad. Además, por su contenido, constituye una de las fuentes escritas más importantes acerca de los antiguos germanos, lo cual hizo de ella no sólo una obra de co
...more
A. Hotzler
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm extremely skeptical--even reading the annotations provided--of Tacitus' information. Hearsay, commonplaces, and the overly-influential Roman mode(s) of life in comparison to Germanic life are only a few of the issues of Tacitus' report on the Germani. Although Tacitus did have family/connections in the Roman army's front lines facing the Germani, this is no way explains the ability of Tacitus to provide a detailed account of the "Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Sauarini and Nuito ...more
Johanna
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fann Tacitus' Germania att vara en mycket kort men intressant text. För mig synes det som att han vandrar från att beskriva delar som verkar mycket troliga rent sakmässigt, samtidigt som det finns ställen där han antar en ton som helt klart är lite smått hånfullt.

Helt klart så handlar det inte om objektivitet i romersk "historieskrivning" - och det märks också på flertalet ställen där hans åsikter faller åt det mer personliga hållet.

Tyckte speciellt om följande citat:

“För övrigt, bortsett från d
...more
Phil
Footnotes and explanations 5 stars.
5 stars also to the translation into very readable modern German.

3 stars to the text itself. I expected longer and more in-depth descriptions of the "Germans". I new Tacitus not to be the most exact researcher and people talking about this text always said that he wrote about the "romantic ideal of the non-civilized culture being in it's core better than the Roman one which was deteriorating into sinfulness" (much like the view of Karl May about the Native Ame
...more
Amanda
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
The best part of reading history like this, for me, is recognizing its impact on other points in history. Apart from Tacitus' apparent disgust with his own society (which is interesting enough), his description of most Germanic tribes as being noble, brave, strong, moral, and untainted by the influence of a foreign lineage surely influenced the idea of the supreme Germanic race in the minds of men who would later form the Nazi party 1,800 years later. Pretty heavy stuff for what could otherwise ...more
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Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. AD 56 – ca. AD 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 t ...more
More about Tacitus...
“Secure against the designs of men, secure against the malignity of the Gods, they have accomplished a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains even to be wished.” 8 likes
“In wonderful savageness live the nation of the Fennians, and in beastly poverty, destitute of arms, of horses, and of homes; their food, the common herbs; their apparel, skins; their bed, the earth; their only hope in their arrows, which for want of iron they point with bones. Their common support they have from the chase, women as well as men; for with these the former wander up and down, and crave a portion of the prey. Nor other shelter have they even for their babes, against the violence of tempests and ravening beasts, than to cover them with the branches of trees twisted together; this a reception for the old men, and hither resort the young. Such a condition they judge more happy than the painful occupation of cultivating the ground, than the labour of rearing houses, than the agitations of hope and fear attending the defence of their own property or the seizing that of others. Secure against the designs of men, secure against the malignity of the Gods, they have accomplished a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains even to be wished.” 0 likes
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