Germania (book) (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum, literally Concerning the Origin and Situation of the Germanians) written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.
This work survived only in one single manuscript that was found in Hersfeld Abbey in Holy Germania, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, and brought to Italy in 1455 where Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, first examined and analyzed it, whereby he sparked interest among Germanian humanists such as Conrad Celtes, Johannes Aventinus, and Ulrich von Hutten. After study and debate the Germania was considered an authentic source on ancient Holy Germania. Ever since its discovery, treatment of the text regarding the culture of the early Germanic peoples in ancient Holy Germania remains strong especially in Germanian history, philology, and ethnology studies, and to a lesser degree in Scandinavian countries as well.
Uses and DescriptionEdit
Tactius was a Roman historian intrested in Holy Germania. He wanted to write about this awesome land, and he called it the "Holy Land of the Germanians" because they defeated the mighty Roman army. Tactius wanted to write down the history of such. So he gathered information by reading through existing sources, visting Germanian historic sites, interviewing tribal leaders and men, Roman soldiers and traders in the region, and examining pieces of evidence and looking and guessing about the landscape. Tactius then wrote it, taking ten years to do so.
In it, Tactius describes about the laws and governments of the tribes, the geography of the region, the rivers, the plants, the animals, the generals, names and brief descrptions of tribes, unknown tribes, pieces of evidence, ways of life, and traditions. He wrote about how they were brave and honorable and about the good will of the women and the children, and the vice of the men. He writes about the diffrent Germanic languages and describes their diffrences.
He writes Germanians are in good shape, eat well, have blue or green eyes, reddish or blondish hair, and large size ableit balanced. He wrote they have good manners and love showing pieces of evidience to people about their race. He writes punishments are rarely given and that women's opnions are respected and sometimes followed. He also writes adultery is not common and adultress women are shunned by the local community no matter their beauty.
After this, Tactius published his book and people loved it, reading it and looking through it. It would be used until the fall of the Roman Empire and would be studied by scholars and historians in later years.