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Green Arrow
06-18-2014, 01:27 PM
I just got a Penguin Classics copy of Tacitus' Agricola and Germania, and it always intrigued me how Tacitus treated the Germanic tribes with more adoration and respect than his own native Roman Empire. In Tacitus' mind, the Roman Empire was decadent and corrupt, while the Germanic tribes had more of a culture of honor.

KC
06-18-2014, 02:30 PM
I just got a Penguin Classics copy of Tacitus' Agricola and Germania, and it always intrigued me how Tacitus treated the Germanic tribes with more adoration and respect than his own native Roman Empire. In Tacitus' mind, the Roman Empire was decadent and corrupt, while the Germanic tribes had more of a culture of honor.

I think there was a lot of nostalgia for the Roman Republic. Roman culture had always been more of a warrior culture, so I imagine Tacitus would have had a lot to admire about the Germanic warrior culture.

Mister D
06-18-2014, 03:13 PM
It's also interesting to note that it's not entirely clear if Tacitus had ever been to Germania or had ever seen a "German". He also describes them as lazy drunks.

Green Arrow
06-18-2014, 03:40 PM
It's also interesting to note that it's not entirely clear if Tacitus had ever been to Germania or had ever seen a "German". He also describes them as lazy drunks.

Yes, it's not all positive. I haven't read it since junior high, I've been looking forward to getting back into it.

Mister D
06-18-2014, 03:47 PM
Yes, it's not all positive. I haven't read it since junior high, I've been looking forward to getting back into it.

He definitely looked fondly on the Roman Republic.

KC
06-18-2014, 03:50 PM
He definitely looked fondly on the Roman Republic.

I haven't read him personally, but I'm familiar with him from having studied a little bit of Roman history. I wonder whether his positive view of the Republic would have been different had he not come from a patrician family.

Mister D
06-18-2014, 03:53 PM
I haven't read him personally, but I'm familiar with him from having studied a little bit of Roman history. I wonder whether his positive view of the Republic would have been different had he not come from a patrician family.

I haven't read much of his work either but he ALWAYS comes when reading a history of Rome. I've read quite a few of those.