Germania and Agricola
by Caius Cornelius Tacitus
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Caius Cornelius Tacitus

With Notes for Colleges

By W. S. Tyler

Professor of the Greek and Latin Languages in Amherst College


This edition of the Germania and Agricola of Tacitus is designed to meet the following wants, which, it is believed, have been generally felt by teachers and pupils in American Colleges.

1. A Latin text, approved and established by the essential concurrence of all the more recent editors. The editions of Tacitus now in use in this country abound in readings purely conjectural, adopted without due regard to the peculiarities of the author, and in direct contravention of the critical canon, that, other things being equal, the more difficult reading is the more likely to be genuine. The recent German editions labor to exhibit and explain, so far as possible, the reading of the best MSS.

2. A more copious illustration of the grammatical constructions, also of the rhetorical and poetical usages peculiar to Tacitus, without translating, however, to such an extent as to supersede the proper exertions of the student. Few books require so much illustration of this kind, as the Germania and Agricola of Tacitus; few have received more in Germany, yet few so little here. In a writer so concise and abrupt as Tacitus, it has been deemed necessary to pay particular regard to the connexion of thought, and to the particles, as the hinges of that connexion.

3. A comparison of the writer and his cotemporaries with authors of the Augustan age, so as to mark concisely the changes which had been already wrought in the language and taste of the Roman people. It is chiefly with a view to aid such a comparison, that it has been thought advisable to prefix a Life of Tacitus, which is barren indeed of personal incidents, but which it is hoped may serve to exhibit the author in his relation to the history, and especially to the literature, of his age.

4. The department in which less remained to be done than any other, for the elucidation of Tacitus, was that of Geography, History, and Archaeology. The copious notes of Gordon and Murphy left little to be desired in this line; and these notes are not only accessible to American scholars in their original forms, but have been incorporated, more or less, into all the college editions. If any peculiar merit attaches to this edition, in this department, it will be found in the frequent references to such classic authors as furnish collateral information, and in the illustration of the private life of the Romans, by the help of such recent works as Becker's Gallus. The editor has also been able to avail himself of Sharon Turner's History of the Anglo Saxons, which sheds not a little light on the manners of the Germans.

5. Many of the ablest commentaries on the Germania and Agricola have appeared within a comparatively recent period, some of them remarkable examples of critical acumen and exegetical tact, and others, models of school and college editions. It has been the endeavor of the editor to bring down the literature pertaining to Tacitus to the present time, and to embody in small compass the most valuable results of the labors of such recent German editors as Grimm, Guenther, Gruber, Kiessling, Dronke, Roth, Ruperti, and Walther.

The text is, in the main, that of Walther, though the other editors just named have been consulted; and in such minor differences as exist between them, I have not hesitated to adopt the reading which seemed best to accord with the usage and genius of Tacitus, especially when sanctioned by a decided preponderance of critical suffrage. Other readings have been referred to in the Notes, so far as they are of any considerable importance, or supported by respectable authority. Partly for convenience, but chiefly as a matter of taste, I have ventured to follow the German editions in dispensing entirely with diacritical marks, and in some peculiarities of less importance, which if not viewed with favor, it is hoped, will not be judged with severity. The punctuation is the result of a diligent comparison of the best editions, together with a careful study of the connexion of language and of thought.

The German editions above mentioned, together with several French, English, and American works, have not only been constantly before me, but have been used with great freedom, and credit awarded to them accordingly. Some may think their names should have appeared less frequently; others that they should have received credit to a still greater extent. Suffice it to say, I have never intended to quote the language, or borrow the thoughts of an author, without giving his name; and in matters of fact or opinion, I have cited authorities not only when I have been indebted to them for the suggestion, but whenever, in a case of coincidence of views, I thought the authorities would be of any interest to the student.

I have not considered it needful, with German scrupulosity, to distinguish between my own references and those of others. It may safely be taken for granted, that the major, perhaps the better, part of them have been derived from foreign sources. But no references have been admitted on trust. They have been carefully verified, and it is hoped that numerous as they are, they will be found pertinent and useful, whether illustrative of things, or of mere verbal usage. Some, who use the book, will doubtless find occasion to follow them out either in whole or in part; and those who do not, will gain a general impression as to the sources from which collateral information may be obtained, that will be of no small value.

The frequent references to the Notes of Professor Kingsley, will show the estimation in which I hold them. Perhaps I have used them too freely. My only apology is, that so far as they go, they are just what is wanted; and if I had avoided using them to a considerable extent, I must have substituted something less perfect of my own. Had they been more copious, and extended more to verbal and grammatical illustrations, these Notes never would have appeared.

The editor is convinced, from his experience as a teacher, that the student of Tacitus will not master the difficulties, or appreciate the merits, of so peculiar an author, unless his peculiarities are distinctly pointed out and explained. Indeed, the student, in reading any classic author, needs, not to be carried along on the broad shoulders of an indiscriminate translator, but to be guided at every step in learning his lessons, by a judicious annotator, who will remove his difficulties, and aid his progress; who will point out to him what is worthy of attention, and guard him against the errors to which he is constantly exposed; for first impressions are lively and permanent, and the errors of the study, even though corrected in the recitation, not unfrequently leave an impression on the mind which is never effaced.

Besides the aid derived from books, to which the merit of this edition, if it have any merit, will be chiefly owing, the editor takes this opportunity to acknowledge his many obligations to those professors and other literary gentlemen, who have extended to him assistance and encouragement. To Prof. H. B. Hackett, of Newton Theological Seminary, especially, he is indebted for favors, which, numerous and invaluable in themselves, as the results of a singularly zealous and successful devotion to classical learning, are doubly grateful as the tokens of a personal friendship, which began when we were members of the same class in college. The work was commenced at his suggestion, and has been carried forward with his constant advice and co-operation. His ample private library, and, through his influence, the library of the Seminary, have been placed at my disposal; and the notes passed under his eye and were improved in not a few particulars, at his suggestion, though he is in no way responsible for their remaining imperfections. I have also received counsel and encouragement in all my labors from my esteemed colleague, Prof. N. W. Fiske, whose instructions in the same department which has since been committed to my charge, first taught me to love the Greek and Latin classics. I have only to regret that his ill health and absence from the country have prevented me from deriving still greater advantages from his learning and taste. An unforeseen event has, in like manner, deprived me of the expected cooperation of Prof. Lyman Coleman, now of Nassau Hall College in N. J., in concert with whom this work was planned, and was to have been executed, and on whose ripe scholarship, and familiarity with the German language and literature, I chiefly relied for its successful accomplishment.

I should not do justice to my feelings, were I to omit the expression of my obligations to the printer and publishers for the unwearied patience with which they have labored to perfect the work, under all the disadvantages attending the superintendance of the press, at such a distance. If there should still be found in it inaccuracies and blemishes, it will not be because they have spared any pains to make it a correct and beautiful book.

It is with unfeigned diffidence that I submit to the public this first attempt at literary labor. I am fully sensible of its many imperfections, at the same time I am conscious of an ability to make it better at some future day, should it meet the favorable regard of the classical teachers of our land, to whom it is dedicated as an humble contribution to that cause in which they are now laboring, with such unprecedented zeal. Should it contribute in any measure to a better understanding, or a higher appreciation by our youthful countrymen of a classic author, from whom, beyond almost any other, I have drawn instruction and delight, I shall not have labored in vain.

Amherst College, June 1, 1847.


The text of this edition has been carefully revised and compared with those of Doederlein, Halle, 1847, Orelli, Zurich, 1848, and Ritter, Bonn and Cambridge, 1848. The notes also have been re-examined and, to a considerable extent, re-written; partly to correspond with the progress of my own mind, partly in accordance with suggestions derived from the above named editions, and from friendly criticisms either by letter or in the public journals. Among the journals, I am particularly indebted to the Bibliotheca Sacra and the New-Englander; and for communications by letter, I am under especial obligations to Professors Crosby and Sanborn of Dartmouth College, Robbins of Middlebury, and Lincoln of Brown University.

In revising the geography of the Germania, I have consulted, without however entering much into detail, Ukert's invaluable treatise on the Geography of the Greeks and Romans, whose volume on Germany contains a translation and running commentary on almost the entire work of Tacitus. Particular attention has been paid to the ethnology of the tribes and nations, in reference to whose origin and early history Tacitus is among the best authorities. In this department the works of Prichard and Latham have been my chief reliance. Grimm and Zeuss, though often referred to, I regret to say I have been able to consult only at second hand.

In sending out this revised edition of these most delightful treatises of an author, in the study of whose works I never tire, I cannot but express the hope, that it has been not a little improved by these alterations and additions, while it will be found to have lost none of the essential features by which the first edition was commended to so good a measure of public favor.

W. S. Tyler.

Amherst, May, 1852


It is the office of genius and learning, as of light, to illustrate other things, and not itself. The writers, who, of all others perhaps, have told us most of the world, just as it has been and is, have told us least of themselves. Their character we may infer, with more or less exactness, from their works, but their history is unwritten and must for ever remain so. Homer, though, perhaps, the only one who has been argued out of existence, is by no means the only one whose age and birthplace have been disputed. The native place of Tacitus is mere matter of conjecture. His parentage is not certainly known. The time of his birth and the year of his death are ascertained only by approximation, and very few incidents are recorded in the history of his life; still we know the period in which he lived, the influences under which his character was developed and matured, and the circumstances under which he wrote his immortal works. In short, we know his times, though we can scarcely gather up enough to denominate his life; and the times in which an author lived, are often an important, not to say, essential means of elucidating his writings.

CAIUS CORNELIUS TACITUS was born in the early part of the reign of Nero, and near the middle of the first century in the Christian Era. The probability is, that he was the son of Cornelius Tacitus, a man of equestrian rank, and procurator of Belgic Gaul under Nero; that he was born at Interamna in Umbria, and that he received a part of his education at Massilia (the modern Marseilles), which was then the Athens of the West, a Grecian colony, and a seat of truly Grecian culture and refinement. It is not improbable that he enjoyed also the instructions of Quintilian, who for twenty years taught at Rome that pure and manly eloquence, of which his Institutes furnish at once such perfect rules, and so fine an example. If we admit the Dialogue de Claris Oratoribus to be the work of Tacitus, his beau-ideal of the education proper for an orator was no less comprehensive, no less elevated, no less liberal, than that of Cicero himself; and if his theory of education was, like Cicero's, only a transcript of his own education, he must have been disciplined early in all the arts and sciences—in all the departments of knowledge which were then cultivated at Rome; a conclusion in which we are confirmed also by the accurate and minute acquaintance which he shows, in his other works, with all the affairs, whether civil or military, public or private, literary or religious, both of Greece and Rome.

The boyhood and youth of Tacitus did, indeed, fall on evil times. Monsters in vice and crime had filled the throne, till their morals and manners had infected those of all the people. The state was distracted, and apparently on the eve of dissolution. The public taste, like the general conscience, was perverted. The fountains of education were poisoned. Degenerate Grecian masters were inspiring their Roman pupils with a relish for a false science, a frivolous literature, a vitiated eloquence, an Epicurean creed, and a voluptuous life.

But with sufficient discernment to see the follies and vices of his age, and with sufficient virtue to detest them, Tacitus must have found his love of wisdom and goodness, of liberty and law, strengthened by the very disorders and faults of the times. If the patriot ever loves a well-regulated freedom, it will be in and after the reign of a tyrant, preceded or followed by what is still worse, anarchy. If the pure and the good ever reverence purity and goodness, it will be amid the general prevalence of vice and crime. If the sage ever pants after wisdom, it is when the fountains of knowledge have become corrupted. The reigns of Nero and his immediate successors were probably the very school, of all others, to which we are most indebted for the comprehensive wisdom, the elevated sentiments, and the glowing eloquence of the biographer of Agricola, and the historian of the Roman Empire. His youth saw, and felt, and deplored the disastrous effects of Nero's inhuman despotism, and of the anarchy attending the civil wars of Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. His manhood saw, and felt, and exulted in the contrast furnished by the reigns of Vespasian and Titus, though the sun of the latter too soon went down, in that long night of gloom, and blood, and terror, the tyranny of Domitian. And when, in the reigns of Nerva and Trajan, he enjoyed the rare felicity of thinking what he pleased, and speaking what he thought, he was just fitted in the maturity of his faculties, and the extent of his observation and reflections, "to enroll slowly, year after year, that dreadful reality of crimes and sufferings, which even dramatic horror, in all its license of wild imagination, can scarcely reach, the long unvarying catalogue of tyrants and executioners, and victims that return thanks to the gods and die, and accusers rich with their blood, and more mighty as more widely hated, amid the multitudes of prostrate slaves, still looking whether there may not yet have escaped some lingering virtue which it may be a merit to destroy, and having scarcely leisure to feel even the agonies of remorse in the continued sense of the precariousness of their own gloomy existence." [Brown's Philosophy of the Mind.]

Tacitus was educated for the bar, and continued to plead causes, occasionally at least, and with not a little success, even after he had entered upon the great business of his life, as a writer of history. We find references to his first, and perhaps his last appearance, as an advocate, in the Letters of Pliny, which are highly complimentary. The first was, when Pliny was nineteen, and Tacitus a little older (how much we are not informed), when Tacitus distinguished himself, so as to awaken the emulation and the envy, though not in a bad sense, of Pliny. The last was some twenty years later, when Tacitus and Pliny, the tried friends of a whole life, the brightest ornaments of literature and of the forum, were associated by the choice of the Senate, and pleaded together at the bar of the Senate, and in the presence of the Emperor Trajan, for the execution of justice upon Marius Priscus, who was accused of maladministration in the proconsulship of Africa. Pliny says, that Tacitus spoke with singular gravity and eloquence, and the Senate passed a unanimous vote of approbation and thanks to both the orators, for the ability and success with which they had managed the prosecution (Plin. Epis. ii. 11)

We have also the comments of Pliny on a panegyrical oration, which Tacitus pronounced, when consul, upon his predecessor in the consular office, Verginius Rufus, perhaps the most remarkable man of his age, distinguished alike as a hero, a statesman, and a scholar, and yet so modest or so wise that he repeatedly refused the offer of the imperial purple. "Fortune," says Pliny, "always faithful to Verginius, reserved for her last favor, such an orator to pronounce a eulogium on such virtues. It was enough to crown the glory of a well spent life" (Plin. Epis. ii. 1).

The speeches in the historical works of Tacitus, though rather concise and abstract for popular orations, are full of force and fire. Some of them are truly Demosthenic in their impassioned and fiery logic. The speech of Galgacus before the Briton army, when driven into the extremity of Caledonia by the Romans under Agricola, can hardly be surpassed for patriotic sentiments, vigorous reasoning, and burning invective. The address of Germanicus to his mutinous soldiers (in the Annals) is not less remarkable for tender pathos. The sage and yet soldierlike address of the aged Galba to his adopted son Piso, the calm and manly speech of Piso to the body guard, the artful harangue of the demagogue Otho to his troops, the no less crafty address of Mucianus to Vespasian, the headlong rapidity of Antonius' argument for immediate action, the plausible plea of Marcellus Eprius against the honest attack of Helvidius Priscus, and the burning rebukes of the intrepid Vocula to his cowardly and treacherous followers—all these, in the Histories, show no ordinary degree of rhetorical skill and versatility. Indeed, the entire body of his works is animated with the spirit of the orator, as it is tinged also with the coloring of the poet. For this reason, they are doubtless deficient in the noble simplicity of the earlier classical histories; but for the same reason they may be a richer treasure for the professional men at least of modern times.

Of his marriage with the daughter of Agricola, and its influence on his character and prospects, as also of his passing in regular gradation through the series of public honors at Rome, beginning with the quaestorship under Vespasian, and ending with the consulship under Nerva, Tacitus informs us himself (A. 9, His. i. 1), barely alluding to them, however, in the general, and leaving all the details to mere conjecture. We learn to our surprise, that he not only escaped the jealousy of the tyrant Domitian, but was even promoted by him to the office of Quindecimvir and Praetor (Ann. ii. 11). Beyond these vague notices, we know little or nothing of his course of life, except that Pliny says (Epist. iv. 13), he was much esteemed by the learned and the great at Rome, who went in crowds to his levees. Of the time of his death, we can only conjecture, that he died before the Emperor Trajan, but after his friend Pliny—the former, because, had he outlived the Emperor, he would probably have executed his purpose of writing the history of his reign (His. i. 1); the latter, because, if he had not survived his friend, Pliny, who lamented the death of so many others, would not have failed to pay the last tribute to the memory of Tacitus.

It is generally admitted, though without direct testimony, that Tacitus died not without issue. That excellent prince, M. Claudius Tacitus, deduced his pedigree from the historian, and ordered his image to be set up, and a complete collection of his works to be placed in the public archives, with a special direction that twelve copies should be made every year at the public expense. It is greatly to be regretted that such praiseworthy precautions should have failed to preserve for us that treasure entire!

The age of Tacitus is usually styled the silver age of Roman Literature; and it merits no higher title, when compared with the golden age of Augustus. It was the good fortune of Augustus to gain the supremacy at Rome, when society had reached its maximum of refinement, and was just ready to enter upon its stage of corruption and decline. Hence his name is identified with that proud era in literature, in producing which he bore at best only an accidental and secondary part. In the literature of the Augustan age, we admire the substance of learning and philosophy without the show, the cultivation of taste without the parade of criticism, the fascination of poetry without its corruption, and the use of eloquence without its abuse. Grecian refinement was no longer despised; Grecian effeminacy had not yet prevailed. The camp was not now the home of the Romans; neither were the theatres and the schools. They had ceased to be a nation of soldiers, and had not yet become a nation of slaves. At no other period could Rome have had her Cicero, her Livy, and her Virgil.

The silver age produced no men who "attained unto these first three." But there are not wanting other bright names to associate with Tacitus, though most of them lived a little earlier than he. There was Seneca, the Philosopher, whose style, with its perpetual antitheses, is the very worst of the age, but his sentiments, perhaps more or less under the influence of Christianity, approach nearer to the Christian code of morals than those of any other Latin author. There were Martial and Juvenal, whose satires made vice tremble in its high places, and helped to confer on the Romans the honor of originating one species of literary composition, unknown to the Greeks. There were Suetonius and Plutarch; the one natural, simple, and pure in his style, far beyond his age, but without much depth or vigor of thought; the other involved and affected in his manner, but in his matter of surpassing richness and incalculable worth. There was the elder Pliny, a prodigy of learning and industry, whose researches in Natural History cost him his life, in that fatal eruption of Vesuvius which buried Herculaneum and Pompeii. There was also the judicious Quintilian, at once neat and nervous in his language, delicate and correct in his criticisms, a man of genius and a scholar, a teacher and an exemplar of eloquence. Finally, there were the younger Pliny and Tacitus, rival candidates for literary and professional distinction, yet cherishing for each other the most devoted and inviolable attachment, each viewing the other as the ornament of their country, each urging the other to write the history of their age, and each relying chiefly on the genius of the other for his own immortality (Plin. Epis. vii. 33). Their names were together identified by their contemporaries with the literature of the age of Trajan: "I never was touched with a more sensible pleasure," says Pliny, in one of his beautiful Letters [Eleven of these are addressed to Tacitus, and two or three are written expressly for the purpose of furnishing materials for his history.] (which rival Cicero's in epistolary ease and elegance), "than by an account which I lately received from Cornelius Tacitus. He informed me, that at the last Circensian Games, he sat next a stranger, who, after much discourse on various topics of learning, asked him whether he was an Italian or a Provincial. Tacitus replied, 'Your acquaintance with literature must have informed you who I am.' 'Aye,' said the man, 'is it then Tacitus or Pliny I am talking with?' I cannot express how highly I am pleased to find, that our names are not so much the proper appellations of individuals, as a designation of learning itself" (Plin. Epis. ix. 23). Critics are not agreed to which of these two literary friends belongs the delicate encomium of Quintilian, when, after enumerating the principal writers of the day, he adds, "There is another ornament of the age, who will deserve the admiration of posterity. I do not mention him at present; his name will be known hereafter." Pliny, Tacitus, and Quintilian, are also rival candidates for the honor of having written the Dialogue de Claris Oratoribus, one of the most valuable productions in ancient criticism.

As a writer, Tacitus was not free from the faults of his age. The native simplicity of Greek and Latin composition had passed away. An affected point and an artificial brilliancy were substituted in their place. The rhetoric and philosophy of the schools had infected all the departments of literature. Simple narrative no longer suited the pampered taste of the readers or the writers of history. It must be highly seasoned with sentimentalism and moralizing, with romance and poetry. Tacitus, certainly, did not escape the infection. In the language of Macaulay, "He carries his love of effect far beyond the limits of moderation. He tells a fine story finely, but he cannot tell a plain story plainly. He stimulates, till stimulants lose their power." [See a fine article on history, Ed. Her., 1828. Also in Macaulay's Miscellanies.] We have taken occasion in the notes to point out not a few examples of rhetorical pomp, and poetical coloring, and even needless multiplication of words, where plainness and precision would have been much better, and which may well surprise us in a writer of so much conciseness. Lord Monboddo, in a very able, though somewhat extravagant critique on Tacitus, has selected numerous instances of what he calls the ornamented dry style, many of which are so concise, so rough, and so broken, that he says, they do not deserve the name of composition, but seem rather like the raw materials of history, than like history itself (Orig. and Prog. of Lang., vol iii. chap. 12).

Still, few readers can fail to pronounce Tacitus, as Macaulay affirms, and even Lord Monboddo admits him to be, the greatest of Latin historians, superior to Thucydides himself in the moral painting of his best narrative scenes, and in the delineation of character without a rival among historians, with scarcely a superior among dramatists and novelists. The common style of his narrative is, indeed, wanting in simplicity, and sometimes in perspicuity. He does not deal enough in the specific and the picturesque, the where, the when and the how. But when his subject comes up to the grandeur of his conceptions, and the strength of his language, his descriptions are graphic and powerful. No battle scenes are more grand and terrific than those of Tacitus. Military men and scholars have also remarked their singular correctness and definiteness. The military evolutions, the fierce encounter, the doubtful struggle, the alternations of victory and defeat, the disastrous rout and hot pursuit, the carnage and blood, are set forth with the warrior's accuracy and the poet's fire; while, at the same time, the conflicting passions and emotions of the combatants are discerned, as it were, by the eye of a seer—their hidden springs of action, and the lowest depths of their hearts laid bare, as if by the wand of a magician. In the painting of large groups, in the moral portraiture of vast bodies of men under high excitement and in strenuous exertion, we think that Tacitus far surpasses all other historians. Whether it be a field of battle or a captured city, a frightened senate or a flattering court, a mutiny or a mob, that he describes, we not only see in a clear and strong light the outward actions, but we look into the hearts of all the mixed multitude, and gaze with wonder on the changing emotions and conflicting passions by which they are agitated.

His delineations of individual character are also marked by the same profound insight into the human soul. Like the old Latin Poet, he might have said,

"Homo sum; nihil humani a me alienum puto."

There is scarcely a landscape picture in his whole gallery. It is full of portraits of men, in groups and as individuals, every grade of condition, every variety of character, performing all kinds of actions, exhibiting every human passion, the colors laid on with a bold hand, the principal features presented in a strong light, the minuter strokes omitted, the soft and delicate finish despised. We feel, that we have gained not a little insight into the character of those men, who are barely introduced in the extant books of Tacitus, but whose history is given in the books that are lost. Men of inferior rank even, who appear on the stage only for a short time, develope strongly marked characters, which are drawn with dramatic distinctness and power, while yet the thread of history is never broken, the dignity of history never sacrificed. And those Emperors, whose history is preserved entire,—with them we feel acquainted, we know the controlling principles, as well as the leading events of their lives, and we feel sure that we could predict how they would act, under almost any imaginable circumstances.

In a faithful portraiture of the private and public life of the degenerate Romans, there was much to call for the hand of a master in satire. And we find in the glowing sketches of our author, all the vigor and point of a Juvenal, without his vulgarity and obscenity; all the burning indignation which the Latin is so peculiarly capable of expressing, with all the vigor and stateliness by which the same language is equally characterized. Tacitus has been sometimes represented as a very Diogenes, for carping and sarcasm—a very Aristophanes, to blacken character with ridicule and reproach. But he is as far removed from the cynic or the buffoon, as from the panegyrist or the flatterer. He is not the indiscriminate admirer that Plutarch was. Nor is he such a universal hater as Sallust. It is the fault of the times that he is obliged to deal so much in censure. If there ever were perfect monsters on earth, such were several of the Roman Emperors. Yet Tacitus describes few, if any, of them without some of the traits of humanity. He gives us in his history neither demons nor gods, but veritable men and women. In this respect, as also in his descriptions of battles, Tacitus is decidedly superior to Livy. The characters of Livy are distinguishable only as classes—the good all very good, the bad very bad, the indifferent very indifferent. You discover no important difference between a Fabius and a Marcellus, further than it lies on the face of their actions. In Tacitus, the characters are all individuals. Each stands out distinctly from the surrounding multitude, and not only performs his own proper actions, but is governed by his own peculiar motives. Livy places before us the statues of heroes and gods; Tacitus conducts us through the crowd of living men.

In an attempt to sketch the most striking features of Tacitus, as a writer, no critic can omit to mention his sage and pithy maxims. Apothegms abound on every page—sagacious, truthful, and profound in sentiment, in style concise, antithetic and sententious. Doubtless he is excessively fond of pointed antithesis. Perhaps he is too much given to moralizing and reflection. It was, as we have said, the fault of his age. But no one, who is familiar with Seneca, will severely censure Tacitus. He will only wonder that he should have risen so far above the faults of his contemporaries. Indeed, Tacitus interweaves his reflections with so much propriety, and clothes his apothegms with so much dignity—he is so manifestly competent to instruct the world by maxims, whether in civil, social, or individual life, that we are far from wishing he had indulged in it less. His reflections do not interrupt the thread of his narrative. They grow naturally out of his incidents. They break forth spontaneously from the lips of his men. His history is indeed philosophy teaching by examples; and his pithy sayings are truly lessons of wisdom, embodied in the form most likely to strike the attention, and impress the memory. We should love to see a collection of apothegms from the pen of Tacitus. It would make an admirable book of laconics. No book would give you more ideas in fewer words. Nowhere could you gain so much knowledge, and lose so little time. The reader of Tacitus, who will study him with pen in hand, to mark, or refer to the most striking passages, will soon find himself master of a text book in moral and political science, we might say a text book in human nature, singularly concise and sententious, and what is not always true even of concise and sententious writers, as singularly wise and profound. In such a book, many of the speeches would find a place entire; for many of them are little else than a series of condensed, well-timed, and most instructive apothegms. [E.g. the speech of Galba to Piso. His. i. 15, 16.]

But the scholar, who is on the lookout, will find lurking in every section, and almost every sentence, some important truth in morals, in politics, in the individual or social nature of man. Neither the editor nor the teacher can be expected to develope these sentiments, nor even, in many instances, to point them out. That labor must be performed by the scholar; and his will be the reward.

No hasty perusal, no single reading of Tacitus, will give a just conception of the surpassing richness of his works. They must be studied profoundly to be duly appreciated. They are a mine of wisdom, of vast extent and unknown depth, whose treasures lie chiefly beneath the surface, imbedded in the solid rock which must be entered with mining implements, explored with strong lights, and its wealth brought up by severe toil and sweat.




Cap. 1. Germaniae situs: 2. incolae indigenae: auctores gentis: nominis origo: Hercules. 3. Baritus: ara Ulixis. 4. Germani, gens sincera: habitus corporum. 5. Terrae natura: non aurum, non argentum, nec aestimatum. 6. Germanorum arma, equitatus, peditatus, ordo militiae: 7. reges, duces, sacerdotes: 8. feminarum virtus et veneratio: Veleda: Aurinia. 9. dii, sacra, simulacra nulla. 10. Auspicia, sortes: ex equis, e captivo praesagia. 11. Consultationes publicae et conventus. 12. Accusationes, poenae, jus redditum. 13. Scuto frameaque ornati juvenes, principum comites: eorum virtus et fama. 14. Gentis bellica studia. 15. In pace, venatio, otium: Collata principibus munera. 16. Urbes nullae: vici, domus, specus suffugium hiemi et receptaculum frugibus. 17. Vestitus hominum, feminarum. 18. Matrimonia severa: dos a marito oblata. 19. Pudicitia. Adulterii poena: Monogamia: Liberorum numerus non finitus. 20. Liberorum educatio: Successionis leges. 21. Patris, propinqui, amicitiae, inimicitiaeque susceptae: homicidii pretium: Hospitalitas. 22. Lotio, victus, ebriorum rixae: consultatio in conviviis. 23. Potus, cibus. 24. Spectacula: aleae furor. 25. Servi, libertini. 26. Fenus ignotum: Agricultura: Anni tempora. 27. Funera, sepulcra, luctus.

28. Singularum gentium instituta: Galli, olim valida gens, in Germaniam transgressi, Helvetii, Boii: Aravisci, Osi, incertum genus: Germanicae originis populi Treveri, Nervii, Vangiones, Triboci, Nemetes, Ubii. 29. Batavi, Cattorum proles: Mattiaci: Decumates agri. 30, 31. Cattorum regio, habitus, disciplina militaris; vota, virtutis incentiva. 32. Usipii, Tencteri, equitatu praestantes. 33. Bructerorum sedes, a Chamavis et Angrivariis occupatae. 34. Dulgibini: Chasvari: Frisii. 35. Chauci, pacis studio, justitia, et virtute nobiles. 36. Cherusci et Fosi, a Cattis victi. 37. Cimbrorum parva civitas, gloria ingens: Romanorum clades; Germani triumphati magis quam victi. 38. Suevorum numerus, mores. 39. Semnonum religio, victimae humanae 40. Longobardi: Reudigni: Aviones: Angli: Varini: Eudoses: Suardones: Nuithones: Herthae cultus communis. 41. Hermunduri. 42. Narisci: Marcomanni: Quadi. 43. Marsigni: Gothini: Osi: Burii: Lygiorum civitates, Arii, Helvecones, Manimi, Elysii, Naharvali; horum numen Alcis: Gotones: Rugii: Lemovii. 44. Suiones, classibus valentes. 45. Mare pigrum: Aestyi, Matris Deum cultores, succinum legunt: Sitonibus femina imperat. 46. Peucini, Venedi, Fenni, Germani, an Sarmatae? Eorum feritas, paupertas: Hominum monstra, Hellusii, Oxiones.

I. Germania omnis a Gallis Rhaetisque et Pannoniis Rheno et Danubio fluminibus, a Sarmatis Dacisque mutuo metu aut montibus separatur: cetera Oceanus ambit, latos sinus et insularum immensa spatia complectens, nuper cognitis quibusdam gentibus ac regibus, quos bellum aperuit. Rhenus, Rhaeticarum Alpium inaccesso ac praecipiti vertice ortus, modico flexu in occidentem versus, septentrionali Oceano miscetur. Danubius, molli et clementer edito montis Abnobae jugo effusus, plures populos adit, donec in Ponticum mare sex meatibus erumpat: septimum os paludibus hauritur.

II. Ipsos Germanos indigenas crediderim, minimeque aliarum gentium adventibus et hospitiis mixtos; quia nec terra olim, sed classibus advehebantur, qui mutare sedes quaerebant, et immensus ultra, utque sic dixerim, adversus Oceanus raris ab orbe nostro navibus aditur. Quis porro, praeter periculum horridi et ignoti maris, Asia aut Africa aut Italia relicta, Germaniam peteret, informem terris, asperam coelo, tristem cultu aspectuque, nisi si patria sit? Celebrant carminibus antiquis (quod unum apud illos memoriae et annalium genus est) Tuisconem deum terra editum, et filium Mannum, originem gentis conditoresque. Manno tres filios assignant, e quorum nominibus proximi Oceano Ingaevones, medii Hermiones, ceteri Istaevones vocentur. Quidam autem, ut in licentia vetustatis, plures deo ortos pluresque gentis appellationes, Marsos, Gambrivios, Suevos, Vandalios, affirmant; eaque vera et antiqua nomina. Ceterum Germaniae vocabulum recens et nuper additum; quoniam, qui primi Rhenum transgressi Gallos expulerint, ac nunc Tungri, tunc Germani vocati sint: ita nationis nomen, non gentis evaluisse paulatim, ut omnes primum a victore ob metum, mox a seipsis invento nomine Germani vocarentur.

III. Fuisse apud eos et Herculem memorant, primumque omnium virorum fortium ituri in proelia canunt. Sunt illis haec quoque carmina, quorum relatu, quem baritum vocant, accendunt animos, futuraeque pugnae fortunam ipso cantu augurantur: terrent enim trepidantve, prout sonuit acies. Nec tam voces illae, quam virtutis concentus videntur. Affectatur praecipue asperitas soni et fractum murmur, objectis ad os scutis, quo plenior et gravior vox repercussu intumescat. Ceterum et Ulixem quidam opinantur longo illo et fabuloso errore in hunc Occanum delatum, adisse Germaniae terras, Asciburgiumque, quod in ripa Rheni situm hodieque incolitur, ab illo constitutum nominatumque. Aram quin etiam Ulixi consecratam, adjecto Laertae patris nomine, eodem loco olim repertam, monumentaque et tumulos quosdam Graecis litteris inscriptos in confinio Germaniae Rhaetiaeque adhuc exstare: quae neque confirmare argumentis, neque refellere in animo est: ex ingenio suo quisque demat, vel addat fidem.

IV. Ipse eorum opinionibus accedo, qui Germaniae populos nullis aliis aliarum nationum connubiis infectos propriam et sinceram et tantum sui similem gentem exstitisse arbitrantur: unde habitus quoque corporum, quanquam in tanto hominum numero, idem omnibus; truces et cacrulei oculi, rutilae comae, magna corpora et tantum ad impetum valida; laboris atque operum non eadem patientia: minimeque sitim aestumque tolerare, frigora atque inediam coelo solove assueverunt.

V. Terra, etsi aliquanto specie differt, in universum tamen aut silvis horrida aut paludibus foeda: humidior, qua Gallias; ventosior, qua Noricum ac Pannoniam aspicit: satis ferax; frugiferarum arborum impatiens: pecorum fecunda, sed plerumque improcera; ne armentis quidem suus honor, aut gloria frontis: numero gaudent; eaeque solae et gratissimae opes sunt. Argentum et aurum propitii an irati dii aegaverint, dubito. Nec tamen affirmaverim, nullam Germaniae venam argentum aurumve gignere: quis enim scrutatus est? possessione et usu haud perinde afficiuntur. Est videre apud illos argentea vasa, legatis et principibus eorum muneri data, non in alia vilitate, quam quae humo finguntur quanquam proximi, ob usum commerciorum, aurum et argentum in pretio habent, formasque quasdam nostrae pecuniae agnoscunt atque eligunt: interiores simplicius et antiquius permutatione mercium utuntur. Pecuniam probant veterem et diu notam, serratos bigatosque. Argentum quoque, magis quam aurum sequuntur, nulla affectione animi, sed quia numerus argenteorum facilior usui est promiscua ac vilia mercantibus.

VI. Ne ferrum quidem superest, sicut ex genere telorum colligitur. Rari gladiis aut majoribus lanceis utuntur: hastas, vel ipsorum vocabulo frameas gerunt, angusto et brevi ferro sed ita acri et ad usum habili, ut eodem telo, prout ratio poscit, vel cominus vel eminus pugnent: et eques quidem scuto frameaque contentus est: pedites et missilia spargunt, plura singuli, atque in immensum vibrant, nudi aut sagulo leves. Nulla cultus jactatio; scuta tantum lectissimis coloribus distinguunt: paucis loricae: vix uni alterive cassis aut galea. Equi non forma, non velocitate conspicui: sed nec variare gyros in morem nostrum docentur. In rectum, aut uno flexu dextros agunt ita conjuncto orbe, ut nemo posterior sit. In universum aestimanti, plus penes peditem roboris: eoque mixti proeliantur, apta et congruente ad equestrem pugnam velocitate peditum, quos ex omni juventute delectos ante aciem locant. Definitur et numerus: centeni ex singulis pagis sunt: idque ipsum inter suos vocantur; et quod primo numerus fuit, jam nomen et honor est. Acies per cuneos componitur. Cedere loco, dummodo rursus instes, consilii quam formidinis arbitrantur. Corpora suorum etiam in dubiis proeliis referunt. Scutum reliquisse, praecipuum flagitium; nec aut sacris adesse, aut concilium inire, ignominioso fas; multique superstites bellorum infamiam laqueo finierunt.

VII. Reges ex nobilitate, duces ex virtute sumunt. Nec regibus infinita aut libera potestas: et duces exemplo potius, quam imperio, si prompti, si conspicui, si ante aciem agant, admiratione praesunt. Ceterum neque animadvertere neque vincire, ne verberare quidem, nisi sacerdotibus permissum; non quasi in poenam, nec ducis jussu, sed velut deo imperante, quem adesse bellantibus credunt: effigiesque et signa quaedam, detracta lucis, in proelium ferunt. Quodque praecipuum fortitudinis incitamentum est, non casus nec fortuita conglobatio turmam aut cuneum facit, sed familiae et propinquitates, et in proximo pignora, unde feminarum ululatus audiri, unde vagitus infantium: hi cuique sanctissimi testes, hi maximi laudatores. Ad matres, ad conjuges vulnera ferunt; nec illae numerare, aut exigere plagas pavent; cibosque et hortamina pugnantibus gestant.

VIII. Memoriae proditur, quasdam acies, inclinatas jam et labantes, a feminis restitutas, constantia precum et objectu pectorum et monstrata cominus captivitate, quam longe impatientius feminarum suarum nomine timent: adeo ut efficacius obligentur animi civitatum, quibus inter obsides puellae quoque nobiles imperantur. Inesse quin etiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant: nec aut consilia earum aspernantur, aut responsa negligunt. Vidimus sub divo Vespasiano Veledam diu apud plerosque numinis loco habitam. Sed et olim Auriniam et complures alias venerati sunt non adulatione, nec tanquam facerent deas.

IX. Deorum maxime Mercurium colunt, cui certis diebus humanis quoque hostiis litare fas habent. Herculem ac Martem concessis animalibus placant: pars Suevorum et Isidi sacrificat. Unde causa et origo peregrino sacro parum comperi, nisi quod signum ipsum, in modum liburnae figuratum, docet advectam religionem. Ceterum nec cohibere parietibus deos, neque in ullam humani oris speciem assimulare, ex magnitudine coelestium arbitrantur: lucos ac nemora consecrant, deorumque nominibus appellant secretum illud, quod sola reverentia vident.

X. Auspicia sortesque, ut qui maxime, observant. Sortium consuetudo simplex: virgam, frugiferae arbori decisam, in surculos amputant, eosque, notis quibusdam discretos, super candidam vestem temere ac fortuito spargunt: mox, si publice consuletur, sacerdos civitatis, sin privatim, ipse paterfamiliae, precatus deos coelumque suspiciens, ter singulos tollit, sublatos secundum impressam ante notam interpretatur. Si prohibuerunt, nulla de eadem re in eundem diem consultatio; sin permissum, auspiciorum adhuc fides exigitur. Et illud quidem etiam hic notum, avium voces volatusque interrogare: proprium gentis, equorum quoque praesagia ac monitus experiri; publice aluntur iisdem nemoribus ac lucis candidi et nullo mortali opere contacti: quos pressos sacro curru sacerdos ac rex vel princeps civitatis comitantur, hinnitusque ac fremitus observant. Nec ulli auspicio major fides non solum apud plebem, sed apud proceres, apud sacerdotes; se enim ministros deorum, illos conscios putant. Est et alia observatio auspiciorum, qua gravium bellorum eventus explorant; ejus gentis, cum qua bellum est, captivum, quoquo modo interceptum, cum electo popularium suorum, patriis quemque armis, committunt: victoria hujus vel illius pro praejudicio accipitur.

XI. De minoribus rebus principes consultant; de majoribus omnes: ita tamen, ut ea quoque, quorum penes plebem arbitrium est, apud principes pertractentur. Coeunt, nisi quid fortuitum et subitum inciderit, certis diebus, cum aut inchoatur luna aut impletur: nam agendis rebus hoc auspicatissimum initium credunt. Nec dierum numerum, ut nos, sed noctium computant. Sic constituunt, sic condicunt: nox ducere diem videtur. Illud ex libertate vitium, quod non simul, nec ut jussi conveniunt, sed et alter et tertius dies cunctatione coeuntium absumitur. Ut turbae placuit, considunt armati. Silentium per sacerdotes, quibus tum et coercendi jus est, imperatur. Mox rex vel princeps, prout aetas cuique, prout nobilitas, prout decus bellorum, prout facundia est, audiuntur, auctoritate suadendi magis, quam jubendi potestate. Si displicuit sententia, fremitu aspernantur; sin placuit, frameas concutiunt. Honoratissimum assensus genus est, armis laudare.

XII. Licet apud concilium accusare quoque et discrimen capitis intendere. Distinctio poenarum ex delicto: proditores et transfugas arboribus suspendunt; ignavos et imbelles et corpore infames coeno ac palude, injecta insuper crate, mergunt. Diversitas supplicii illuc respicit, tanquam scelera ostendi oporteat, dum puniuntur, flagitia abscondi. Sed et levioribus delictis, pro modo poenarum, equorum pecorumque numero convicti mulctantur: pars mulctae regi vel civitati, pars ipsi, qui vindicatur, vel propinquis ejus exsolvitur. Eliguntur in iisdem conciliis et principes, qui jura per pagos vicosque reddunt. Centeni singulis ex plebe comites, consilium simul et auctoritas, adsunt.

XIII. Nihil autem neque publicae neque privatae rei, nisi armati agunt. Sed arma sumere non ante cuiquam moris, quam civitas suffecturum probaverit. Tum in ipso concilio, vel principum aliquis vel pater vel propinquus scuto frameaque juvenem ornant: haec apud illos toga, hic primus juventae honos: ante hoc domus pars videntur, mox reipublicae. Insignis nobilitas, aut magna patrum merita, principis dignationem etiam adolescentulis assignant: ceteris robustioribus ac jampridem probatis aggregantur; nec rubor, inter comites aspici. Gradus quin etiam et ipse comitatus habet judicio ejus, quem sectantur: magnaque et comitum aemulatio, quibus primus apud principem suum locus, et principum, cui plurimi et acerrimi comites. Haec dignitas, hae vires, magno semper electorum juvenum globo circumdari, in pace decus, in bello praesidium. Nec solum in sua gente cuique, sed apud finitimas quoque civitates id nomen, ea gloria est, si numero ac virtute comitatus emineat: expetuntur enim legationibus et muneribus ornantur et ipsa plerumque fama bella profligant.

XIV. Cum ventum in aciem, turpe principi virtute vinci, turpe comitatui, virtutem principis non adaequare. Jam vero infame in omnem vitam ac probrosum, superstitem principi suo ex acie recessisse. Illum defendere, tueri, sua quoque fortia facta gloriae ejus assignare, praecipuum sacramentum est. Principes pro victoria pugnant; comites pro principe. Si civitas, in qua orti sunt, longa pace et otio torpeat plerique nobilium adolescentium petunt ultro eas nationes, quae tum bellum aliquod gerunt; quia et ingrata genti quies, et facilius inter ancipitia clarescunt, magnumque comitatum non nisi vi belloque tuentur: exigunt enim principis sui liberalitate illum bellatorem equum, illam cruentam victricemque frameam. Nam epulae et, quanquam incompti, largi tamen apparatus pro stipendio cedunt: materia munificentiae per bella et raptus. Nec arare terram, aut expectare annum, tam facile persuaseris, quam vocare hostes et vulnera mereri. Pigrum quinimmo et iners videtur, sudore acquirere, quod possis sanguine parare.

XV. Quotiens bella non ineunt, non multum venatibus, plus per otium transigunt, dediti somno ciboque, fortissimus quisque ac bellicosissimus nihil agens, delegata domus et penatium et agrorum cura feminis senibusque et infirmissimo cuique ex familia: ipsi hebent; mira diversitate naturae, cum iidem homines sic ament inertiam et oderint quietem. Mos est civitatibus ultro ac viritim conferre principibus vel armentorum vel frugum, quod pro honore acceptum, etiam necessitatibus subvenit. Gaudent praecipue finitimarum gentium donis, quae non modo a singulis, sed publice mittuntur: electi equi, magna arma, phalerae, torquesque. Jam et pecuniam accipere docuimus.

XVI. Nullas Germanorum populis urbes habitari, satis notum est: ne pati quidem inter se junctas sedes. Colunt discreti ac diversi, ut fons, ut campus, ut nemus placuit. Vicos locant, non in nostrum morem, connexis et cohaerentibus aedificiis: suam quisque domum spatio circumdat, sive adversus casus ignis remedium, sive inscitia aedificandi. Ne caementorum quidem apud illos aut tegularum usus: materia ad omnia utuntur informi et citra speciem aut delectationem. Quaedam loca diligentius illinunt terra ita pura ac splendente, ut picturam ac lineamenta colorum imitetur. Solent et subterraneos specus aperire, eosque multo insuper fimo onerant, suffugium hiemi et receptaculum frugibus: quia rigorem frigorum ejusmodi locis molliunt: et, si quando hostis advenit, aperta populatur, abdita autem et defossa aut ignorantur, aut eo ipso fallunt, quod quaerenda sunt.

XVII. Tegumen omnibus sagum, fibula, aut, si desit, spina consertum: cetera intecti totos dies juxta focum atque ignem agunt. Locupletissimi veste distinguuntur, non fluitante, sicut Sarmatae ac Parthi, sed stricta et singulos artus exprimente. Gerunt et ferarum pelles, proximi ripae negligenter, ulteriores exquisitius, ut quibus nullus per commercia cultus. Eligunt feras, et detracta velamina spargunt maculis pellibusque belluarum, quas exterior Oceanus atque ignotum mare gignit. Nec alius feminis quam viris habitus, nisi quod feminae saepius lineis amictibus velantur, eosque purpura variant, partemque vestitus superioris in manicas non extendunt, nudae brachia ac lacertos: sed et proxima pars pectoris patet.

XVIII. Quanquam severa illic matrimonia; nec ullam morum partem magis laudaveris: nam prope soli barbarorum singulis uxoribus contenti sunt, exceptis admodum paucis, qui non libidine, sed ob nobilitatem, plurimis nuptiis ambiuntur, Dotem non uxor marito, sed uxori maritus offert. Intersunt parentes et propinqui, ac munera probant: munera non ad delicias muliebres quaesita, nec quibus nova nupta comatur: sed boves et frenatum equum et scutum cum framea gladioque. In haec munera uxor accipitur: atque invicem ipsa armorum aliquid viro affert: hoc maximum vinculum, haec arcana sacra, hos conjugales deos arbitrantur. Ne se mulier extra virtutum cogitationes extraque bellorum casus putet, ipsis incipientis matrimonii auspiciis admonetur, venire se laborum periculorumque sociam, idem in pace, idem in proelio passuram ausuramque: hoc juncti boves, hoc paratus equus, hoc data arma denuntiant; sic vivendum, sic pereundum: accipere se, quae liberis inviolata ac digna reddat, quae nurus accipiant rursus, quae ad nepotes referantur.

XIX. Ergo septa pudicitia agunt, nullis spectaculorum illecebris, nullis conviviorum irritationibus corruptae. Litterarum secreta viri pariter ac feminae ignorant. Paucissima in tam numerosa gente adulteria; quorum poena praesens et maritis permissa. Accisis crinibus, nudatam, coram propinquis, expellit domo maritus, ac per omnem vicum verbere agit: publicatae enim pudicitiae nulla venia: non forma, non aetate, non opibus maritum invenerit. Neme enim illic vitia ridet: nec corrumpere et corrumpi saeculum vocatur. Melius quidem adhuc eae civitates, in quibus tantum virgines nubunt, et cum spe votoque uxoris semel transigitur. Sic unum accipiunt maritum, quo modo unum corpus unamque vitam, ne ulla cogitatio ultra, ne longior cupiditas, ne tanquam maritum, sed tanquam matrimonium ament. Numerum liberorum finire, aut quenquam ex agnatis necare, flagitium habetur: plusque ibi boni mores valent, quam alibi bonae leges.

XX. In omni domo nudi ac sordidi, in hos artus, in haec corpora, quae miramur, excrescunt. Sua quemque mater uberibus alit, nec ancillis ac nutricibus delegantur. Dominum ac servum nullis educationis deliciis dignoscas: inter eadem pecora, in eadem humo degunt; donec aetas separet ingenuos, virtus agnoscat. Sera juvenum Venus; eoque inexhausta pubertas: nec virgines festinantur; eadem juventa, similis proceritas: pares validaeque miscentur; ac robora parentum liberi referunt. Sororum filiis idem apud avunculum, qui ad patrem honor. Quidam sanctiorem arctioremque hunc nexum sanguinis arbitrantur, et in accipiendis obsidibus magis exigunt; tanquam et in animum firmius, et domum latius teneant. Heredes tamen successoresque sui cuique liberi: et nullum testamentum. Si liberi non sunt, proximus gradus in possessione fratres, patrui, avunculi. Quanto plus propinquorum, quo major affinium numerus, tanto gratiosior senectus, nec ulla orbitatis pretia.

XXI. Suscipere tam inimicitias, seu patris, seu propinqui, quam amicitias, necesse est: nec implacabiles durant. Luitur enim etiam homicidium certo armentorum ac pecorum numero, recipitque satisfactionem universa domus: utiliter in publicum; quia periculosiores sunt inimicitiae juxta libertatem. Convictibus et hospitiis non alia gens effusius indulget. Quemcunque mortalium arcere tecto, nefas habetur: pro fortuna quisque apparatis epulis excipit. Cum defecere, qui modo hospes fuerat, monstrator hospitii et comes: proximam domum non invitati adeunt: nec interest; pari humanitate accipiuntur. Notum ignotumque, quantum ad jus hospitis, nemo discernit. Abeunti, si quid poposcerit, concedere moris: et poscendi invicem eadem facilitas. Gaudent muneribus: sed nec data imputant, nec acceptis obligantur. Victus inter hospites comis.

XXII. Statim e somno, quem plerumque in diem extrahunt, lavantur, saepius calida, ut apud quos plurimum hiems occupat. Lauti cibum capiunt: separatae singulis sedes et sua cuique mensa: tum ad negotia, nec minus saepe ad convivia, procedunt armati. Diem noctemque continuare potando, nulli probrum. Crebrae, ut inter vinolentos, rixae, raro conviciis, saepius caede et vulneribus transiguntur. Sed et de reconciliandis invicem inimicis et jungendis affinitatibus et asciscendis principibus, de pace denique ac bello plerumque in conviviis consultant: tanquam nullo magis tempore aut ad simplices cogitationes pateat animus, aut ad magnas incalescat. Gens non astuta nec callida aperit adhuc secreta pectoris licentia joci. Ergo detecta et nuda omnium mens postera die retractatur, et salva utriusque temporis ratio est: deliberant, dum fingere nesciunt; constituunt, dum errare non possunt.

XXIII. Potui humor ex hordeo aut frumento, in quandam similitudinem vini corruptus. Proximi ripae et vinum mercantur. Cibi simplices; agrestia poma, recens fera, aut lac concretum. Sine apparatu, sine blandimentis, expellunt famem. Adversus sitim non eadem temperantia. Si indulseris ebrietati suggerendo quantum concupiscunt, haud minus facile vitiis, quam armis vincentur.

XXIV. Genus spectaculorum unum atque in omni coetu idem. Nudi juvenes, quibus id ludicrum est, inter gladios se atque infestas frameas saltu jaciunt. Exercitatio artem paravit, ars decorem: non in quaestum tamen aut mercedem; quamvis audacis lasciviae pretium est voluptas spectantium. Aleam, quod mirere, sobrii inter seria exercent tanta lucrandi perdendive temeritate, ut, cum omnia defecerunt, extremo ac novissimo jactu de libertate ac de corpore contendant. Victus voluntariam servitutem adit: quamvis juvenior, quamvis robustior, alligari se ac venire patitur: ea est in re prava pervicacia: ipsi fidem vocant. Servos conditionis hujus per commercia tradunt, ut se quoque pudore victoriae exsolvant.

XXV. Ceteris servis, non in nostrum morem descriptis per familiam ministeriis, utuntur. Suam quisque sedem, suos penates regit. Frumenti modum dominus, aut pecoris aut vestis, ut colono, injungit: et servus hactenus paret; cetera domus officia uxor ac liberi exsequuntur. Verberare servum ac vinculis et opere coercere, rarum. Occidere solent, non disciplina et severitate, sed impetu et ira, ut inimicum, nisi quod impune. Liberti non multum supra servos sunt, raro aliquod momentum in domo, nunquam in civitate; exceptis duntaxat iis gentibus, quae regnantur: ibi enim et super ingenuos et super nobiles ascendunt: apud ceteros impares libertini libertatis argumentum sunt.

XXVI. Fenus agitare et in usuras extendere, igno tum: ideoque magis servatur, quam si vetitum esset. Agri pro numero cultorum ab universis in vices occupantur, quos mox inter se secundum dignationem partiuntur: facilitatem partiendi camporum spatia praestant. Arva per annos mutant: et superest ager; nec enim cum ubertate et amplitudine soli labore contendunt, ut pomaria conserant et prata separent et hortos rigent: sola terrae seges imperatur. Unde annum quoque ipsum non in totidem digerunt species hiems et ver et aestas intellectum ac vocabula habent autumni perinde nomen ac bona ignorantur.

XXVII. Funerum nulla ambitio; id solum observatur, ut corpora clarorum virorum certis lignis crementur. Struem rogi nec vestibus nec odoribus cumulant: sua cuique arma, quorundam igni et equus adjicitur. Sepulcrum caespes erigit; monumentorum arduum et operosum honorem, ut gravem defunctis, aspernantur. Lamenta ac lacrimas cito, dolorem et tristitiam tarde ponunt. Feminis lugere honestum est; viris meminisse. Haec in commune de omnium Germanorum origine ac moribus accepimus: nunc singularum gentium instituta ritusque, quatenus differant, quae nationes e Germania in Gallias commigraverint, expediam.

XXVIII. Validiores olim Gallorum res fuisse, summus auctorum divus Julius tradit: eoque credibile est etiam Gallos in Germaniam transgressos. Quantulum enim amnis obstabat, quo minus, ut quaeque gens evaluerat, occuparet permutaretque sedes, promiscuas adhuc et nulla regnorum potentia divisas? Igitur inter Hercyniam sylvam Rhenumque et Moenum amnes Helvetii, ulteriora Boii, Gallica utraque gens, tenuere. Manet adhuc Boihemi nomen, signatque loci veterem memoriam, quamvis mutatis cultoribus. Sed utrum Aravisci in Pannoniam ab Osis, Germanorum natione, an Osi ab Araviscis in Germaniam commigraverint, cum eodem adhuc sermone, institutis, moribus utantur, incertum est: quia, pari olim inopia ac libertate, eadem utriusque ripae bona malaque erant. Treveri et Nervii circa affectationem Germanicae originis ultro ambitiosi sunt, tanquam per hanc gloriam sanguinis a similitudine et inertia Gallorum separentur. Ipsam Rheni ripam haud dubie Germanorum populi colunt, Vangiones, Triboci, Nemetes. Ne Ubii quidem, quanquam Romana colonia esse meruerint ac libentius Agrippinenses conditoris sui nomine vocentur, origine erubescunt, transgressi olim et experimento fidei super ipsam Rheni ripam collocati, ut arcerent, non ut custodirentur.

XXIX. Omnium harum gentium virtute praecipui Batavi, non multum ex ripa, sed insulam Rheni amnis colunt, Chattorum quondam populus et seditione domestica in eas sedes transgressus, in quibus pars Romani imperii fierent. Manet honos et antiquae societatis insigne: nam nec tributis contemnuntur, nec publicanis atterit: exempti oneribus et collationibus et tantum in usum proeliorum sepositi, velut tela atque arma, bellis reservantur. Est in eodem obsequio et Mattiacorum gens; protulit enim magnitudo populi Romani ultra Rhenum, ultraque veteres terminos, imperii reverentiam. Ita sede finibusque in sua ripa, mente animoque nobiscum agunt, cetera similes Batavis, nisi quod ipso adhuc terrae suae solo et coelo acrius animantur. Non numeraverim inter Germaniae populos, quanquam trans Rhenum Danubiumque consederint, eos, qui Decumates agros exercent. Levissimus quisque Gallorum et inopia audax, dubiae possessionis solum occupavere. Mox limite acto promotisque praesidiis, sinus imperii et pars provinciae habentur.

XXX. Ultra hos Chatti initium sedis ab Hercynio saltu inchoant, non ita effusis ac palustribus locis ut ceterae civitates, in quas Germania patescit; durant siquidem colles, paulatim rarescunt, et Chattos suos saltus Hercynius prosequitur simul atque deponit. Duriora genti corpora, stricti artus, minax vultus et major animi vigor. Multum, ut inter Germanos, rationis ac solertiae: praeponere electos, audire praepositos, nosse ordines, intelligere occasiones, differre impetus, disponere diem, vallare noctem, fortunam inter dubia, virtutem inter certa numerare: quodque rarissimum nec nisi ratione disciplinae concessum, plus reponere in duce, quam exercitu. Omne robur in pedite, quem, super arma, ferramentis quoque et copiis onerant. Alios ad proelium ire videas, Chattos ad bellum. Rari excursus et fortuita pugna; equestrium sane virium id proprium, cito parare victoriam, cito cedere: velocitas juxta formidinem, cunctatio propior constantiae est.

XXXI. Et aliis Germanorum populis usurpatum rara et privata cujusque audentia apud Chattos in consensum vertit, ut primum adoleverint, crinem barbamque submittere, nec, nisi hoste caeso, exuere votivum obligatumque virtuti oris habitum. Super sanguinem et spolia revelant frontem, seque tum demum pretia nascendi retulisse, dignosque patria ac parentibus ferunt. Ignavis et imbellibus manet squalor. Fortissimus quisque ferreum insuper annulum (ignominiosum id genti) velut vinculum gestat, donec se caede hostis absolvat. Plurimis Chattorum hic placet habitus. Jamque canent insignes, et hostibus simul suisque monstrati. Omnium penes hos initia pugnarum: haec prima semper acies, visu nova; nam ne in pace quidem vultu mitiore mansuescunt. Nulli domus aut ager aut aliqua cura: prout ad quemque venere, aluntur: prodigi alieni, contemptores sui donec exsanguis senectus tam durae virtuti impares faciat.

XXXII. Proximi Chattis certum jam alveo Rhenum, quique terminus esse sufficiat, Usipii ac Tencteri colunt. Tencteri, super solitum bellorum decus, equestris disciplinae arte praecellunt: nec major apud Chattos peditum laus, quam Tencteris equitum. Sic instituere majores, posteri imitantur; hi lusus infantium, haec juvenum aemulatio, perseverant senes inter familiam et penates et jura successionum equi traduntur; excipit filius, non, ut cetera, maximus natu, sed prout ferox bello et melior.

XXXIII. Juxta Tencteros Bructeri olim occurrebant: nunc Chamavos et Angrivarios immigrasse narratur, pulsis Bructeris ac penitus excisis vicinarum consensu nationum, seu superbiae odio, seu praedae dulcedine, seu favore quodam erga nos deorum: nam ne spectaculo quidem proelii invidere: super sexaginta millia, non armis telisque Romanis, sed, quod magnificentius est, oblectationi oculisque ceciderunt. Maneat, quaeso, duretque gentibus, si non amor nostri, at certe odium sui: quando, urgentibus imperii fatis, nihil jam praestare fortuna majus potest, quam hostium discordiam.

XXXIV. Angrivarios et Chamavos a tergo Dulgibini et Chasuarii cludunt aliaeque gentes, haud perinde memoratae. A fronte Frisii excipiunt. Majoribus minoribusque Frisiis vocabulum est ex modo virium: utraeque nationes usque ad Oceanum Rheno praetexuntur, ambiuntque immensos insuper lacus et Romanis classibus navigatos. Ipsum quin etiam Oceanum illa tentavimus: et superesse adhuc Herculis columnas fama vulgavit; sive adiit Hercules, seu, quicquid ubique magnificum est, in claritatem ejus referre consensimus. Nec defuit audentia Druso Germanico: sed obstitit Oceanus in se simul atque in Herculem inquiri. Mox nemo tentavit; sanctiusque ac reverentius visum, de actis deorum credere, quam scire.

XXXV. Hactenus in Occidentem Germaniam novimus. In Septentrionem ingenti flexu redit. Ac primo statim Chaucorum gens, quanquam incipiat a Frisiis ac partem littoris occupet, omnium, quas exposui, gentium lateribus obtenditur, donec in Chattos usque sinuetur. Tam immensum terrarum spatium non tenent tantum Chauci, sed et implent: populus inter Germanos nobilissimus, quique magnitudinem suam malit justitia tueri: sine cupiditate, sine impotentia, quieti secretique, nulla provocant bella, nullis raptibus aut latrociniis populantur. Id praecipuum virtutis ac virium argumentum est, quod, ut superiores agant, non per injurias assequuntur. Prompta tamen omnibus arma, ac, si res poscat, exercitus, plurimum virorum equorumque: et quiescentibus eadem fama.

XXXVI. In latere Chaucorum Chattorumque Cherusci nimiam ac marcentem diu pacem illacessiti nutrierunt; idque jucundius, quam tutius, fuit: quia inter impotentes et validos falso quiescas; ubi manu agitur, modestia ac probitas nomina superioris sunt. Ita, qui olim boni aequique Cherusci, nunc inertes ac stulti vocantur: Chattis victoribus fortuna in sapientiam cessit. Tracti ruina Cheruscorum et Fosi, contermina gens, adversarum rerum ex aequo socii, cum in secundis minores fuissent.

XXXVII. Eundem Germaniae sinum proximi Oceano Cimbri tenent, parva nunc civitas, sed gloria ingens; veterisque famae lata vestigia manent, utraque ripa castra ac spatia, quorum ambitu nunc quoque metiaris molem manusque gentis et tam magni exitus fidem. Sexcentesimum et quadragesimum annum urbs nostra agebat, cum primum Cimbrorum audita sunt arma, Caecilio Metello et Papirio Carbone consulibus. Ex quo si ad alterum Imperatoris Trajani consulatum computemus, ducenti ferme et decem anni colliguntur; tamdiu Germania vincitur. Medio tam longi aevi spatio, multa invicem damna: non Samnis, non Poeni, non Hispaniae Galliaeve, ne Parthi quidem saepius admonuere: quippe regno Arsacis acrior est Germanorum libertas. Quid enim aliud nobis, quam caedem Crassi, amisso et ipse Pacoro, infra Ventidium dejectus Oriens objecerit? At Germani, Carbone et Cassio et Scauro Aurelio et Servilio Caepione, M. quoque Manlio fusis vel captis, quinque simul consulares exercitus Populo Romano, Varum, tresque cum eo legiones, etiam Caesari abstulerunt: nec impune C. Marius in Italia, divus Julius in Gallia, Drusus ac Nero et Germanicus in suis eos sedibus perculerunt. Mox ingentes C. Caesaris minae in ludibrium versae. Inde otium, donec occasione discordiae nostrae et civilium armorum, expugnatis legionum hibernis, etiam Gallias affectavere: ac rursus pulsi, inde proximis temporibus triumphati magis quam victi sunt.

XXXVIII. Nunc de Suevis dicendum est, quorum non una, ut Chattorum Tencterorumve, gens: majorem enim Germaniae partem obtinent, propriis adhuc nationibus nominibusque discreti, quanquam in commune Suevi vocentur. Insigne gentis obliquare crinem nodoque substringere: sic Suevi a ceteris Germanis, sic Suevorum ingenui a servis separantur in aliis gentibus, seu cognatione aliqua Suevorum, seu quod saepe accidit, imitatione, rarum et intra juventae spatium; apud Suevos, usque ad canitiem, horrentem capillum retro sequuntur, ac saepe in ipso solo vertice religant. Principes et ornatiorem habent: ea cura formae, sed innoxiae: neque enim ut ament amenturve; in altitudinem quandam et terrorem, adituri bella, compti, ut hostium oculis, ornantur.

XXXIX. Vetustissimos se nobilissimosque Suevorum Semnones memorant. Fides antiquitatis religione firmatur. Stato tempore in silvam auguriis patrum et prisca formidine sacram, omnes ejusdem sanguinis populi legationibus coeunt, caesoque publice homine celebrant barbari ritus horrenda primordia. Est et alia luco reverentia. Nemo nisi vinculo ligatus ingreditur, ut minor et potestatem numinis prae se ferens, Si forte prolapsus est, attolli et insurgere haud licitum: per humum evolvuntur: eoque omnis superstitio respicit, tanquam inde initia gentis, ibi regnator omnium deus, cetera subjecta atque parentia. Adjicit auctoritatem fortuna Semnonum: centum pagis habitantur; magnoque corpore efficitur, ut se Suevorum caput credant.

XL. Contra Langobardos paucitas nobilitat: plurimis ac valentissimis nationibus cincti, non per obsequium, sed proeliis et periclitando tuti sunt. Reudigni deinde et Aviones et Anglii et Varini et Eudoses et Suardones et Nuithones fluminibus aut silvis muniuntur: nec quidquam notabile in singulis, nisi quod in commune Nerthum, id est Terram matrem colunt, eamque intervenire rebus hominum, invehi populis arbitrantur. Est in insula Oceani castum nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum attingere uni sacerdoti concessum. Is adesse penetrali deam intelligit, vectamque bubus feminis multa cum veneratione prosequitur. Laeti tunc dies, festa loca, quaecumque adventu hospitioque dignatur. Non bella ineunt, non arma sumunt; clausum omne ferrum: pax et quies tunc tantum nota, tunc tantum amata, donec idem sacerdos satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat. Mox vehiculum et vestes, et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu abluitur. Servi ministrant, quos statim idem lacus haurit; arcanus hinc terror sanctaque ignorantia, quid sit illud, quod tantum perituri vident.

XLI. Et haec quidem pars Suevorum in secretiora Germaniae porrigitur. Propior, ut quo modo paulo ante Rhenum, sic nunc Danubium sequar, Hermundurorum civitas, fida Romanis, eoque solis Germanorum non in ripa commercium, sed penitus, atque in splendidissima Rhaetiae provinciae colonia. Passim et sine custode transeunt: et, cum ceteris gentibus arma modo castraque nostra ostendamus, his domos villasque patefecimus non concupiscentibus. In Hermunduris Albis oritur, flumen inclitum et notum olim; nunc tantum auditur.

XLII. Juxta Hermunduros Narisci, ac deinde Marcomanni et Quadi agunt. Praecipua Marcomannorum gloria viresque, atque ipsa etiam sedes, pulsis olim Boiis, virtute parta. Nec Narisci Quadive degenerant. Eaque Germaniae velut frons est, quatenus Danubio peragitur. Marcomannis Quadisque usque ad nostram memoriam reges manserunt ex gente ipsorum, nobile Marobodui et Tudri genus: jam et externos patiuntur. Sed vis et potentia regibus ex auctoritate Romana: raro armis nostris, saepius pecunia juvantur, nec minus valent.

XLIII. Retro Marsigni, Gothini, Osi, Burii, terga Marcomannorum Quadorumque claudunt: e quibus Marsigni et Burii sermone cultuque Suevos referunt Gothinos Gallica, Osos Pannonica lingua coarguit non esse Germanos, et quod tributa patiuntur. Partem tributorum Sarmatae, partem Quadi, ut alienigenis, imponunt. Gothini, quo magis pudeat, et ferrum effodiunt. Omnesque hi populi pauca campestrium, ceterum saltus et vertices montium jugumque insederunt. Dirimit enim scinditque Sueviam continuum montium jugum, ultra quod plurimae gentes agunt: ex quibus latissime patet Lygiorum nomen in plures civitates diffusum. Valentissimas nominasse sufficiet, Arios, Helveconas, Manimos, Elysios, Naharvalos. Apud Naharvalos antiquae religionis lucus ostenditur. Praesidet sacerdos muliebri ornatu: sed deos, interpretatione Romana, Castorem Pollucemque memorant: ea vis numini; nomen Alcis. Nulla simulacra, nullum peregrinae superstitionis vestigium: ut fratres tamen, ut juvenes, venerantur. Ceterum Arii super vires, quibus enumeratos paulo ante populos antecedunt, truces, insitae feritati arte ac tempore lenocinantur. Nigra scuta, tincta corpora: atras ad proelia noctes legunt: ipsaque formidine atque umbra feralis exercitus terrorem inferant, nullo hostium sustinente novum ac velut infernum aspectum: nam primi in omnibus proeliis oculi vincuntur. Trans Lygios Gothones regnantur, paulo jam adductius, quam ceterae Germanorum gentes, nondum tamen supra libertatem. Protinus deinde ab Oceano Rugii et Lemovii omniumque harum gentium insigne, rotunda scuta, breves gladii, et erga reges obsequium.

XLIV. Suionum hinc civitates, ipso in Oceano, praeter viros armaque classibus valent: forma navium eo differt, quod utrimque prora paratam semper appulsui frontem agit: nec velis ministrantur, nec remos in ordinem lateribus adjungunt. Solutum, ut in quibusdam fluminum, et mutabile, ut res poscit, hinc vel illinc remigium. Est apud illos et opibus honos; eoque unus imperitat, nullis jam exceptionibus, non precario jure parendi. Nec arma, ut apud ceteros Germanos, in promiscuo, sed clausa sub custode et quidem servo: quia subitos hostium incursus prohibet Oceanus, otiosa porro armatorum manus facile lasciviunt: enimvero neque nobilem neque ingenuum ne libertinum quidem, armis praeponere regia utilitas est.

XLV. Trans Suionas aliud mare, pigrum ac prope immotum, quo cingi cludique terrarum orbem hinc fides, quod extremus cadentis jam solis fulgor in ortus edurat adeo clarus, ut sidera hebetet; sonum insuper audiri, formasque deorum et radios capitis aspici persuasio adjicit. Illuc usque, et fama vera, tantum natura. Ergo jam dextro Suevici maris littore Aestyorum gentes alluuntur: quibus ritus habitusque Suevorum; lingua Britannicae propior. Matrem deum venerantur: insigne superstitionis, formas aprorum gestant; id pro armis omnique tutela: securum deae cultorem etiam inter hostes praestat. Rarus ferri, frequens fustium usus. Frumenta ceterosque fructus patientius, quam pro solita Germanorum inertia, laborant. Sed et mare scrutantur, ac soli omnium succinum, quod ipsi glesum vocant inter vada atque in ipso littore legunt. Nec, quae natura quaeve ratio gignat, ut barbaris, quaesitum compertumve. Diu quin etiam inter cetera ejectamenta maris jacebat, donec luxuria nostra dedit nomen: ipsis in nullo usu: rude legitur, informe perfertur, pretiumque mirantes accipiunt. Succum tamen arborum esse intelligas, quia terrena quaedam atque etiam volucria animalia plerumque interlucent, quae implicata humore, mox, durescente materia, cluduntur. Fecundiora igitur nemora lucosque, sicut Orientis secretis, ubi thura balsamaque sudantur, ita Occidentis insulis terrisque inesse, crediderim; quae vicini solis radiis expressa atque liquentia in proximum mare labuntur, ac vi tempestatum in adversa littora exundant. Si naturam succini admoto igne tentes, in modum taedae accenditur, alitque flammam pinguem et olentem: mox ut in picem resinamve lentescit. Suionibus Sitonum gentes continuantur. Cetera similes, uno differunt, quod femina dominatur: in tantum non modo a libertate, sed etiam a servitute degenerant.

XLVI. Hic Sueviae finis. Peucinorum Vene dorumque et Fennorum nationes Germanis an Sarmatis ascribam, dubito: quanquam Peucini, quos quidam Bastarnas vocant, sermone, cultu, sede ac domiciliis, ut Germani, agunt. Sordes omnium ac torpor procerum: connubiis mixtis, nonnihil in Sarmatarum habitum foedantur. Venedi multum ex moribus traxerunt. Nam quidquid inter Peucinos Fennosque silvarum ac montium erigitur, latrociniis pererrant. Hi tamen inter Germanos potius referuntur, quia et domos figunt et scuta gestant et pedum usu ac pernicitate gaudent; quae omnia diversa Sarmatis sunt, in plaustro equoque viventibus. Fennis mira feritas, foeda paupertas: non arma, non equi, non penates: victui herba, vestitui pelles, cubile humus: sola in sagittis spes, quas, inopia ferri, ossibus asperant. Idemque venatus viros pariter ac feminas alit. Passim enim comitantur, partemque praedae petunt. Nec aliud infantibus ferarum imbriumque suffugium, quam ut in aliquo ramorum nexu contegantur: huc redeunt juvenes, hoc senum receptaculum. Sed beatius arbitrantur, quam ingemere agris, illaborare domibus, suas alienasque fortunas spe metuque versare. Securi adversus homines, securi adversus deos, rem difficillimam assecuti sunt, ut illis ne vote quidem opus esset. Cetera jam fabulosa: Hellusios et Oxionas ora hominum vultusque, corpora atque artus ferarum, gerere: quod ego, ut incompertum, in medium relinquam.



Cap. 1. Scribendi clarorum virorum vitam mos antiquus, 2. sub malis principibus periculosus, 3. sub Trajano in honorem Agricolae repetitus a Tacito, qui non eloquentiam, at pietatem pollicetur. 4. Agricolae stirps, educatio, studia. 5. Positis in Britannia primis castrorum rudimentis, 6. uxorem ducit: fit quaestor, tribunus, praetor: recognoscendis templorum donis praefectus. 7. Othoniano bello matrem partemque patrimonii amittit. 8. In Vespasiani partes transgressus, legioni vicesimae in Britannia praepositus, alienae famae cura promovet suam. 9. Redux inter patricios ascitus Aquitaniam regit. Consul factus Tacito filiam despondet. Britanniae praeficitur.

10. Britanniae descriptio. Thule cognita: mare pigrum. 11. Britannorum origo, habitus, sacra, sermo, mores, 12. militia, regimen, rarus conventus: coelum, solum, metalla, margarita. 13. Victae gentis ingenium. Caesarum in Britanniam expeditiones. 14. Consularium legatorum res gestae. 15. Britanniae rebellio, 16. Boadicea duce coepta, a Suet. Paullino compressa. Huic succedunt ignavi. 17. Rem restituunt Petilius Cerialis et Julius Frontinus; hic Silures, ille Brigantes vincit; 18. Agricola Ordovices et Monam. Totam provinciam pacat, et 19, 20. moderatione, prudentia, abstinentia, aequitate in obsequio retinet, 21. animosque artibus et voluptatibus mollit.

22, 23. Nova expeditio novas gentes aperit, quae praesidio firmantur. Agricolae candor in communicanda gloria. 24. Consilium de occupanda Hibernia. 25-27. Civitates trans Bodotriam sitae explorantur. Caledonii, Romanos aggressi, consilio ductuque Agricolae pulsi, sacrificiis conspirationem civitatum sanciunt. 28. Usipiorum cohors miro casu Britanniam circumvecta. Agricolae filius obit. 29. Bellum Britanni reparant Calgaco duce, cujus 30-32. oratio ad suos. 33, 34. Romanos quoque hortatur Agricola. 35-37. Atrox et cruentum proelium. 38. Penes Romanos victoria. Agricola Britanniam circumvehi praecipit.

39. Domitianus, fronte laetus, pectore anxius, nuntium victoriae excipit. 40. Honores tamen Agricolae decerni jubet, condito odio, donec provincia decedat Agricola. Is redux modeste agit. 41. Periculum ab accusatoribus et laudatoribus. 42. Excusat se, ne provinciam sortiatur proconsul. 43. Obit non sine veneni suspicione, a Domitiano dati. 44. Ejus aetas, habitus, honores, opes. 45. Mortis opportunitas ante Domitiani atrocitates. 46. Questus auctoris et ex virtute solatia. Fama Agricolae ad posteros transmissa.

I. Clarorum virorum facta moresque posteris tradere, antiquitus usitatum, ne nostris quidem temporibus quanquam incuriosa suorum aetas omisit, quotiens magna aliqua ac nobilis virtus vicit ac supergressa est vitium parvis magnisque civitatibus commune, ignorantiam recti et invidiam. Sed apud priores, ut agere digna memoratu pronum magisque in aperto erat, ita celeberrimus quisque ingenio ad prodendam virtutis memoriam, sine gratia aut ambitione, bonae tantum conscientiae pretio ducebatur. Ac plerique suam ipsi vitam narrare fiduciam potius morum, quam arrogantiam arbitrati sunt: nec id Rutilio et Scauro citra fidem aut obtrectationi fuit: adeo virtutes iisdem temporibus optime aestimantur, quibus facillime gignuntur. At nunc narraturo mihi vitam defuncti hominis, venia opus fuit: quam non petissem incursaturus tam saeva et infesta virtutibus tempora.

II. Legimus, cum Aruleno Rustico Paetus Thrasea, Herennio Senecioni Priscus Helvidius laudati essent, capitale fuisse: neque in ipsos modo auctores, sed in libros quoque eorum saevitum, delegato triumviris ministerio, ut monumenta clarissimorum ingeniorum in comitio ac foro urerentur. Scilicet illo igne vocem populi Romani et libertatem senatus et conscientiam generis humani aboleri arbitrabantur, expulsis insuper sapientiae professoribus atque omni bona arte in exilium acta, ne quid usquam honestum occurreret. Dedimus profecto grande patientiae documentum: et sicut vetus aetas vidit, quid ultimum in libertate esset, ita nos, quid in servitute, adempto per inquisitiones et loquendi audiendique commercio. Memoriam quoque ipsam cum voce perdidissemus, si tam in nostra potestate esset oblivisci, quam tacere.

III. Nunc demum redit animus: et quanquam primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque quotidie felicitatem imperii Nerva Trajanus, nec spem modo ac votum securitas publica, sed ipsius voti fiduciam ac robur assumpserit; natura tamen infirmitatis humanae tardiora sunt remedia, quam mala; et, ut corpora nostra lente augescunt, cito exstinguuntur, sic ingenia studiaque oppresseris facilius, quam revocaveris. Subit quippe etiam ipsius inertiae dulcedo: et invisa primo desidia postremo amatur. Quid, si per quindecim annos, grande mortalis aevi spatium, multi fortuitis casibus, promptissimus quisque saevitia principis interciderunt? Pauci, et, ut ita dixerim, non modo aliorum, sed etiam nostri superstites sumus, exemptis e media vita tot annis, quibus juvenes ad senectutem, senes prope ad ipsos exactae aetatis terminos per silentium venimus. Non tamen pigebit vel incondita ac rudi voce memoriam prioris servitutis ac testimonium praesentium bonorum composuisse. Hic interim liber honori Agricolae soceri mei destinatus, professione pietatis aut laudatus erit aut excusatus.

IV. Cnaeus Julius Agricola, veteri et illustri Forojuliensium colonia ortus, utrumque avum procuratorem Caesarum habuit: quae equestris nobilitas est. Pater Julius Graecinus, senatorii ordinis, studio eloquentiae sapientiaeque notus, iisque ipsis virtutibus iram Caii Caesaris meritus: namque M. Silanum accusare jussus et, quia abnuerat, interfectus est. Mater Julia Procilla fuit, rarae castitatis: in hujus sinu indulgentiaque educatus, per omnem honestarum artium cultum pueritiam adolescentiamque transegit. Arcebat eum ab illecebris peccantium, praeter ipsius bonam integramque naturam, quod statim parvulus sedem ac magistram studiorum Massiliam habuit, locum Graeca comitate et provinciali parsimonia mistum ac bene compositum. Memoria teneo solitum ipsum narrare, se in prima juventa studium philosophiae acrius, ultra quam concessum Romano ac senatori, hausisse, ni prudentia matris incensum ac flagrantem animum coercuisset. Scilicet sublime et erectum ingenium pulchritudinem ac speciem excelsae magnaeque gloriae vehementius, quam caute, appetebat: mox mitigavit ratio et aetas: retinuitque, quod est difficillimum, ex sapientia modum.

V. Prima castrorum rudimenta in Britannia Suetonio Paullino, diligenti ac moderato duci, approbavit, electus, quem contubernio aestimaret. Nec Agricola licenter more juvenum, qui militiam in lasciviam vertunt, neque segniter ad voluptates et commeatus titulum tribunatus et inscitiam retulit: sed noscere provinciam, nosci exercitui, discere a peritis, sequi optimos, nihil appetere jactatione, nihil ob formidinem recusare, simulque et anxius et intentus agere. Non sane alias exercitatior magisque in ambiguo Britannia fuit: trucidati veterani, incensae coloniae, intercepti exercitus; tum de salute, mox de victoria, certavere. Quae cuncta, etsi consiliis ductuque alterius agebantur ac summa rerum et recuperatae provinciae gloria in ducem cessit, artem et usum et stimulos addidere juveni; intravitque animum militaris gloriae cupido ingrata temporibus, quibus sinistra erga eminentes interpretatio, nec minus periculum ex magna fama, quam ex mala.

VI. Hinc ad capessendos magistratus in urbem digressus, Domitiam Decidianam, splendidis natalibus ortam, sibi junxit; idque matrimonium ad majora nitenti decus ac robur fuit; vixeruntque mira concordia, per mutuam caritatem et invicem se anteponendo: nisi quod in bona uxore tanto major laus, quanto in mala plus culpae est. Sors quaesturae provinciam Asiam, proconsulem Salvium Titianum dedit: quorum neutro corruptus est; quanquam et provincia dives ac parata peccantibus, et proconsul in omnem aviditatem pronus, quantalibet facilitate redempturus esset mutuam dissimulationem mali. Auctus est ibi filia, in subsidium simul et solatium: nam filium ante sublatum brevi amisit. Mox inter quaesturam ac tribunatum plebis atque etiam ipsum tribunatus annum quiete et otio transiit, gnarus sub Nerone temporum, quibus inertia pro sapientia fuit. Idem praeturae tenor et silentium; nec enim jurisdictio obvenerat: ludos et inania honoris medio rationis atque abundantiae duxit, uti longe a luxuria, ita famae propior. Tum electus a Galba ad dona templorum recognoscenda, diligentissima conquisitione fecit, ne cujus alterius sacrilegium respublica, quam Neronis sensisset.

VII. Sequens annus gravi vulnere animum domumque ejus afflixit: nam classis Othoniana, licenter vaga, dum Intemelios (Liguriae pars est) hostiliter populatur, matrem Agricolae in praediis suis interfecit: praediaque ipsa et magnam patrimonii partem diripuit, quae causa caedis fuerat. Igitur ad solemnia pietatis profectus Agricola, nuntio affectati a Vespasiano imperii deprehensus ac statim in partes transgressus est. Initia principatus ac statim urbis Mucianus regebat, juvene admodum Domitiano et ex paterna fortuna tantum licentiam usurpante. Is missum ad delectus agendos Agricolam integreque ac strenue versatum, vicesimae legioni, tarde ad sacramentum transgressae; praeposuit, ubi decessor seditiose agere narrabatur: quippe legatis quoque consularibus nimia ac formidolosa erat. Nec legatus praetorius ad cohibendum potens, incertum, suo an militum ingenio: ita successor simul et ultor electus, rarissima moderatione maluit videri invenisse bonos, quam fecisse.

VIII. Praeerat tunc Britanniae Vettius Bolanus placidius, quam feroci provincia dignum est: temperavit Agricola vim suam ardoremque compescuit, ne incresceret; peritus obsequi eruditusque utilia honestis miscere. Brevi deinde Britannia consularem Petilium Cerialem accepit. Habuerunt virtutes spatium exemplorum. Sed primo Cerialis labores modo et discrimina, mox et gloriam communicabat: saepe parti exercitus in experimentum, aliquando majoribus copiis ex eventu praefecit: nec Agricola unquam in suam famam gestis exsultavit; ad auctorem et ducem, ut minister, fortunam referebat: ita virtute in obsequendo, verecundia in praedicando, extra invidiam, nec extra gloriam erat.

IX. Revertentem ab legatione legionis divus Vespasianus inter patricios ascivit, ac deinde provinciae Aquitaniae praeposuit, splendidae in primis dignitatis, administratione ac spe consulatus, cui destinarat. Credunt plerique militaribus ingeniis subtilitatem deesse, quia castrensis jurisdictio secura et obtusior ac plura manu agens calliditatem fori non exerceat. Agricola naturali prudentia, quamvis inter togatos, facile justeque agebat. Jam vero tempora curarum remissionumque divisa: ubi conventus ac judicia poscerent, gravis, intentus, severus, et saepius misericors; ubi officio satisfactum, nulla ultra potestatis persona: tristitiam et arrogantiam et avaritiam exuerat: nec illi, quod est rarissimum, aut facilitas auctoritatem aut severitas amorem deminuit. Integritatem atque abstinentiam in tanto viro referre, injuria virtutum fuerit. Ne famam quidem, cui etiam saepe boni indulgent, ostentanda virtute, aut per artem quaesivit: procul ab aemulatione adversus collegas, procul a contentione adversus procuratores, et vincere inglorium, et atteri sordidum arbitrabatur. Minus triennium in ea legatione detentus ac statim ad spem consulatus revocatus est, comitante opinione Britanniam ei provinciam dari nullis in hoc suis sermonibus sed quia par videbatur. Haud semper errat fama, aliquando et elegit. Consul egregiae tum spei filiam juveni mihi despondit ac post Consulatum collocavit, et statim Britanniae praepositus est, adjecto pontificatus sacerdotio.

X. Britanniae situm populosque, multis scriptoribus memoratos non in comparationem curae ingeniive referam; sed quia tum primum perdomita est. Ita quae priores nondum comperta eloquentia percoluere, rerum fide tradentur. Britannia, insularum quas Romana notitia complectitur, maxima, spatio ac coelo in orientem Germaniae, in occidentem Hispaniae obtenditur: Gallis in meridiem etiam inspicitur: septemtrionalia ejus, nullis contra terris, vasto atque aperto mari pulsantur. Formam totius Britanniae Livius veterum, Fabius Rusticus recentium eloquentissimi auctores, oblongae scutulae vel bipenni assimulavere: et est ea facies citra Caledoniam, unde et in universum fama est transgressa: sed immensunt et enorme spatium procurrentium extremo jam littore terrarum, velut in cuneum tenuatur. Hanc oram novissimi maris tunc primum Romana classis circumvecta insulam esse Britanniam affirmavit, ac simul incognitas ad id tempus insulas, quas Orcadas vocant, invenit domuitque. Dispecta est et Thule, nam hactenus jussum, et hiems appetebat; sed mare pigrum et grave remigantibus; perhibent ne ventis quidem perinde attolli: credo, quod rariores terrae montesque, causa ac materia tempestatum, et profunda moles continui maris tardius impellitur. Naturam Oceani atque aestus neque quaerere hujus operis est, ac multi retulere; unum addiderim: nusquam latius dominari mare, multum fluminum huc atque illuc ferre, nec littore tenus accrescere aut resorberi, sed influere penitus atque ambire, et jugis etiam atque montibus inseri velut in suo.

XI. Ceterum Britanniam qui mortales initio coluerint, indigenae an advecti, ut inter barbaros, parum compertum. Habitus corporum varii: atque ex eo argumenta; namque rutilae Caledoniam habitantium comae, magni artus, Germanicam originem asseverant. Silurum colorati vultus et torti plerumque crines et posita contra Hispania Iberos veteres trajecisse easque sedes occupasse fidem faciunt. Proximi Gallis et similes sunt; seu durante originis vi, seu, procurrentibus in diversa terris, positio coeli corporibus habitum dedit: in universum tamen aestimanti, Gallos vicinam insulam occupasse credibile est. Eorum sacra deprehendas superstitionum persuasione: sermo haud multum diversus; in deposcendis periculis eadem audacia et, ubi advenere, in detrectandis eadem formido. Plus tamen ferociae Britanni praeferunt, ut quos nondum longa pax emollierit: nam Gallos quoque in bellis floruisse accepimus: mox segnitia cum otio intravit, amissa virtute pariter ac libertate; quod Britannorum olim victis evenit: ceteri manent, quales Galli fuerunt.

XII. In pedite robur: quaedam nationes et curru proeliantur: honestior auriga, clientes propugnant. Olim regibus parebant, nunc per principes factionibus et studiis trahuntur: nec aliud adversus validissimas gentes pro nobis utilius, quam quod in commune non consulunt. Rarus duabus tribusve civitatibus ad propulsandum commune periculum conventus: ita, dum singuli pugnant, universi vincuntur. Coelum crebris imbribus ac nebulis foedum: asperitas frigorum abest. Dierum spatia ultra nostri orbis mensuram, et nox clara et extrema Britanniae parte brevis, ut finem atque initium lucis exiguo discrimine internoscas. Quod si nubes non officiant, aspici per noctem solis fulgorem, nec occidere et exsurgere, sed transire affirmant. Scilicet extrema et plana terrarum, humili umbra, non erigunt tenebras, infraque coelum et sidera nox cadit. Solum, praeter oleam vitemque et cetera calidioribus terris oriri sueta, patiens frugum, fecundum. Tarde mitescunt, cito proveniunt: eadem utriusque rei causa, multus humor terrarum coelique. Fert Britannia aurum et argentum et alia metalla, pretium victoriae: gignit et Oceanus margarita, sed subfusca ac liventia. Quidam artem abesse legentibus arbitrantur: nam in Rubro mari viva ac spirantia saxis avelli, in Britannia, prout expulsa sint, colligi: ego facilius crediderim naturam margaritis deesse, quam nobis avaritiam.

XIII. Ipsi Britanni delectum ac tributa et injuncta imperii munera impigre obeunt, si injuriae absint: has aegre tolerant, jam domiti ut pareant, nondum ut serviant. Igitur primus omnium Romanorum divus Julius cum exercitu Britanniam ingressus, quanquam prospera pugna terruerit incolas ac littore potitus sit, potest videri ostendisse posteris, non tradidisse. Mox bella civilia et in rempublicam versa principum arma, ac longa oblivio Britanniae etiam in pace. Consilium id divus Augustus vocabat, Tiberius praeceptum. Agitasse C. Caesarem de intranda Britannia satis, constat, ni velox ingenio, mobilis poenitentiae, et ingentes adversus Germaniam conatus frustra fuissent. Divus Claudius auctor operis, transvectis legionibus auxiliisque et assumpto in partem rerum Vespasiano: quod initium venturae mox fortunae fuit: domitae gentes, capti reges, et monstratus fatis Vespasianus.

XIV. Consularium primus Aulus Plautius praepositus, ac subinde Ostorius Scapula, uterque bello egregius: redactaque paulatim in formam provinciae proxima pars Britanniae: addita insuper veteranorum colonia: quaedam civitates Cogiduno regi donatae (is id nostram usque memoriam fidissimus mansit) ut vetere ac jam pridem recepta populi Romani consuetudine, haberet instrumenta servitutis et reges. Mox Didius Gallus parta a prioribus continuit, paucis admodum castellis in ulteriora promotis, per quae fama aucti officii quaereretur. Didium Veranius excepit, isque intra annum exstinctus est. Suetonius hinc Paullinus biennio prosperas res habuit, subactis nationibus firmatisque praesidiis: quorum fiducia Monara insulam, ut vires rebellibus ministrantem, aggressus, terga occasioni patefecit.

XV. Namque absentia legati remoto metu, Britanni agitare inter se mala servitutis, conferre injurias et interpretando accendere: nihil profici patientia, nisi ut graviora, tanquam ex facili toleratibus, imperentur: singulos sibi olim reges fuisse, nunc binos imponi: e quibus legatus in sanguinem, procurator in bona saeviret. Aeque discordiam praepositorum, aeque concordiam, subjectis exitiosam: alterius manus centuriones, alterius servos vim et contumelias miscere. Nihil jam cupiditati, nihil libidini exceptum: in proelio fortiorem esse, qui spoliet; nunc ab ignavis plerumque et imbellibus eripi domos, abstrahi liberos, injungi delectus, tanquam mori tantum pro patria nescientibus: quantulum enim transisse militum, si sese Britanni numerent? sic Germanias excussisse jugum: et flumine, non Oceano, defendi: sibi patriam, conjuges, parentes, illis avaritiam et luxuriam causas belli esse. Recessuros, ut divus Julius recessisset, modo virtutes majorum suorum aemularentur. Neve proelii unius aut alterius eventu pavescerent: plus impetus, majorem constantiam, penes miseros esse. Jam Britannorum etiam deos misereri, qui Romanum ducem absentem, qui relegatum in alia insula exercitum detinerent: jam ipsos, quod difficillimum fuerit, deliberare: porro in ejusmodi consiliis periculosius esse deprehendi, quam audere.

XVI. His atque talibus invicem instincti, Boudicea, generis regii femina, duce (neque enim sexum in imperiis discernunt) sumpsere universi bellum: ac sparsos per castella milites consectati, expugnatis praesidiis, ipsam coloniam invasere, ut sedem servitutis: nec ullum in barbaris saevitiae genus omisit ira et victoria. Quod nisi Paullinus, cognito provinciae motu, propere subvenisset, amissa Britannia foret: quam unius proelii fortuna veteri patientiae restituit, tenentibus arma plerisque, quos conscientia defectionis et propius ex legato timor agitabat, ne, quanquam egregius cetera, arroganter in deditos et, ut suae quoque injuriae ultor, durius consuleret. Missus igitur Petronius Turpilianus, tanquam exorabilior: et delictis hostium novus, eoque poenitentiae mitior, compositis prioribus, nihil ultra ausus, Trebellio Maximo provinciam tradidit. Trebellius segnior, et nullis castrorum experimentis, comitate quadam curandi provinciam tenuit. Didicere jam barbari quoque ignoscere vitiis blandientibus: et interventus civilium armorum praebuit justam segnitiae excusationem: sed discordia laboratum, cum assuetus expeditionibus miles otio lasciviret. Trebellius fuga ac latebris vitata exercitus ira, indecorus atque humilis, precario mox praefuit: ac velut pacti, exercitus licentiam, dux salutem; et seditio sine sanguina stetit. Nec Vettius Bolanus, manentibus adhuc civilibus bellis, agitavit Britanniam disciplina: eadem inertia erga hostes, similis petulantia castrorum: nisi quod innocens Bolanus et nullis delictis invisus, caritatem paraverat loco auctoritatis.

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