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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

XVII. Sed, ubi cum cetero orbe Vespasianus et Britanniam recuperavit,
magni duces, egregii exercitus, minuta hostium spes. Et terrorem statira
intulit Petilius Cerialis, Brigantum civitatem, quae numerosissima
provinciae totius perhibetur, aggressus. Multa proelia, et aliquando non
incruenta magnamque Brigantum partem aut victoria amplexus est aut bello.
Et, cum Cerialis quidem alterius successoris curam famamque obruisset,
sustinuit quoque molem Julius Frontinus, vir magnus quantum licebat,
validamque et pugnacem Silurum gentem armis subegit, super virtutem
hostium, locorum quoque difficultates eluctatus.

XVIII. Hunc Britanniae statum, has bellorum vices media jam aestate
transgressus Agricola invenit, cum et milites, velut omissa expeditione,
ad securitatem, et hostes ad occasionem verterentur. Ordovicum civitas,
haud multo ante adventum ejus, alam, in finibus suis agentem, prope
universam obtriverat eoque initio erecta provincia: et, quibus bellum
volentibus erat, probare exemplum, ac recentis legati animum opperiri,
cum Agricola, quanquam transvecta aestas, sparsi per provinciam numeri,
praesumpta apud militem illius anni quies, tarda et contraria bellum
inchoaturo, et plerisque custodiri suspecta potius videbatur, ire obviam
discrimini statuit: contractisque legionum vexillis et modica auxiliorum
manu, quia in aequum degredi Ordovices non audebant, ipse ante agmen, quo
ceteris par animus simili periculo esset, erexit aciem: caesaque prope
universa gente, non ignarus instandum famae, ac, prout prima cessissent,
terrorem ceteris fore, Monam insulam, cujus possessione revocatum
Paullinum rebellione totius Britanniae supra memoravi, redigere in
potestatem animo intendit. Sed, ut in dubiis consiliis, naves deerant:
ratio et constantia ducis transvexit. Depositis omnibus sarcinis,
lectissimos auxiliarium, quibus nota vada et patrius nandi usus, quo
simul seque et arma et equos regunt, ita repente immisit, ut obstupefacti
hostes, qui classem, qui naves, qui mare expectabant, nihil arduum aut
invictum crediderint sic ad bellum venientibus. Ita petita pace ac dedita
insula, clarus ac magnus haberi Agricola: quippe cui ingredienti
provinciam, quod tempus alii per ostentationem aut officiorum ambitum
transigunt, labor et periculum placuisset. Nec Agricola, prosperitate
rerum in vanitatem usus, expeditionem aut victoriam vocabat victos
continuisse: ne laureatis quidem gesta prosecutus est: sed ipsa
dissimulatione famae famam auxit, aestimantibus, quanta futuri spe tam
magna tacuisset.

XIX. Ceterum animorum provinciae prudens, simulque doctus per aliena
experimenta parum profici armis, si injuriae sequerentur, causas bellorum
statuit excidere. A se suisque orsus, primum domum suam coercuit; quod
plerisque haud minus arduum est, quam provinciam regere. Nihil per
libertos servosque publicae rei: non studiis privatis nec ex
commendatione aut precibus centurionum milites ascire, sed optimum
quemque fidissimum putare: omnia scire, non omnia exsequi: parvis
peccatis veniam, magnis severitatem commodare: nec poena semper, sed
saepius poenitentia contentus esse: officiis et administrationibus potius
non peccaturos praeponere, quam damnare, cum peccassent. Frumenti et
tributorum auctionem aequalitate munerum mollire, circumcisis, quae, in
quaestum reperta, ipso tributo gravius tolerabantur: namque per ludibrium
assidere clausis horreis et emere ultro frumenta, ac vendere pretio
cogebantur: devortia itinerum et longinquitas regionum indicebatur, ut
civitates a proximis hibernis in remota et avia referrent, donec, quod
omnibus in promptu erat, paucis lucrosum fieret.

XX. Haec primo statim anno comprimendo, egregiam famam paci circumdedit;
quae vel incuria vel intolerantia priorum haud minus quam bellum
timebatur. Sed, ubi aestas advenit, contracto exercitu, multus in agmine
laudare modestiam, disjectos coercere: loca castris ipse capere,
aestuaria ac silvas ipse praetentare; et nihil interim apud hostes
quietum pati, quo minus subitis excursibus popularetur: atque, ubi satis
terruerat, parcendo rursus irritamenta pacis ostentare. Quibus rebus
multae civitates, quae in illum diem ex aequo egerant, datis obsidibus,
iram posuere, et praesidiis castellisque circumdatae tanta ratione
curaque, ut nulla ante Britanniae nova pars illacessita transierit.

XXI. Sequens hiems saluberrimis consiliis absumpta: namque, ut homines
dispersi ac rudes, eoque in bella faciles, quieti et otio per voluptates
assuescerent, hortari privatim, adjuvare publice, ut templa, fora, domus
exstruerent, laudando promptos et castigando segnes: ita honoris
aemulatio pro necessitate erat. Jam vero principum filios liberalibus
artibus erudire, et ingenia Britannorum studiis Gallorum anteferre, ut,
qui modo linguam Romanam abnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent. Inde
etiam habitus nostri honor et frequens toga: paulatimque discessum ad
delenimenta vitiorum, porticus et balnea et conviviorum elegantiam: idque
apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.

XXII. Tertius expeditionum annus novas gentes aperuit, vastatis usque ad
Taum (aestuario nomen est) nationibus: qua formidine territi hostes
quanquam conflictatum saevis tempestatibus exercitum lacessere non ausi;
ponendisque insuper castellis spatium fuit. Annotabant periti non alium
ducem opportunitates locorum sapientius legisse: nullum ab Agricola
positum castellum aut vi hostium expugnatum aut pactione ac fuga
desertum. Crebrae eruptiones: nam adversus moras obsidionis annuis copiis
firmabantur: ita intrepida ibi hiems, et sibi quisque praesidio, irritis
hostibus eoque desperantibus, quia soliti plerumque damna aestatis
hibernis eventibus pensare, tum aestate atque hieme juxta pellebantur.
Nec Agricola unquam per alios gesta avidus intercepit: seu centurio seu
praefectus, incorruptum facti testem habebat. Apud quosdam acerbior in
conviciis narrabatur; ut erat comis bonis, adversus malos injucundus:
ceterum ex iracundia nihil supererat; secretum et silentium ejus non
timeres: honestius putabat offendere, quam odisse.

XXIII. Quarta aestas obtinendis, quae percurrerat, insumpta: ac, si
virtus exercituum et Romani nominis gloria pateretur, inventus in ipsa
Britannia terminus. Nam Clota et Bodotria, diversi maris aestibus per
immensum revectae, angusto terrarum spatio dirimuntur: quod tum
praesidiis firmabatur: atque omnis propior sinus tenebatur, summotis
velut in aliam insulam hostibus.

XXIV. Quinto expeditionum anno, nave prima transgressus, ignotas ad id
tempus gentes crebris simul ac prosperis proeliis domuit: eamque partem
Britanniae, quae Hiberniam aspicit, copiis instruxit in spem magis quam
ob formidinem; si quidem Hibernia, medio inter Britanniam atque Hispaniam
sita et Gallico quoque mari opportuna, valentissimam imperii partem
magnis invicem usibus miscuerit. Spatium ejus, si Britanniae comparetur,
angustius, nostri maris insulas superat. Solum coelumque et ingenia
cultusque hominum haud multum a Britannia differunt: in melius aditus
portusque per commercia et negotiatores cogniti. Agricola expulsum
seditione domestica unum ex regulis gentis exceperat ac specie amicitiae
in occasionem retinebat. Saepe ex eo audivi, legione una et modicis
auxiliis debellari obtinerique Hiberniam posse. Idque etiam adversus
Britanniam profuturum, si Romana ubique arma, et velut e conspectu
libertas tolleretur.

XXV. Ceterum aestate, qua sextum officii annum inchoabat, amplexus
civitates trans Bodotriam sitas, quia motus universarum ultra gentium et
infesta hostilis exercitus itinera timebantur, portus classe exploravit:
quae, ab Agricola primum assumpta in partem virium, sequebatur egregia
specie, cum simul terra, simul mari bellum impelleretur, ac saepe iisdem
castris pedes equesque et nauticus miles, mixti copiis et laetitia, sua
quisque facta, suos casus attollerent: ac modo silvarum ac montium
profunda, modo tempestatum ac fluctuum adversa, hinc terra et hostis,
hinc victus Oceanus militari jactantia compararentur. Britannos quoque,
ut ex captivis audiebatur, visa classis obstupefaciebat, tanquam, aperto
maris sui secreto, ultimum victis perfugium clauderetur. Ad manus et arma
conversi Caledoniam incolentes populi, paratu magno, majore fama, uti mos
est de ignotis, oppugnasse ultro, castella adorti, metum, ut provocantes,
addiderant: regrediendumque citra Bodotriam, et excedendum potius, quam
pellerentur, specie prudentium ignavi admonebant: cum interim cognoscit
hostes pluribus agminibus irrupturos. Ac, ne superante numero et peritia
locorum circumiretur, diviso et ipse in tres partes exercitu incessit.

XXVI. Quod ubi cognitum hosti, mutato repente consilio, universi nonam
legionem, ut maxime invalidam, nocte aggressi, inter somnum ac
trepidationem caesis vigilibus, irrupere. Jamque in ipsis castris
pugnabant, cum Agricola, iter hostium ab exploratoribus edoctus et
vestigiis insecutus, velocissimos equitum peditumque assultare tergis
pugnantium jubet, mox ab universis adjici clamorem; et propinqua luce
fulsere signa: ita ancipiti malo territi Britanni: et Romanis redit
animus, ac, securi pro salute, de gloria certabant. Ultro quin etiam
erupere: et fuit atrox in ipsia portarum angustiis proelium, donec pulsi
hostes; utroque exercitu certante, his, ut tulisse opem, illis, ne
eguisse auxilio viderentur. Quod nisi paludes et silvae fugientes
texissent, debellatum illa victoria foret.

XXVII. Cujus conscientia ac fama ferox exercitus nihil virtuti suae
invium: penetrandam Caledoniam, inveniendumque tandem Britanniae terminum
continuo proeliorum cursu, fremebant: atque illi modo cauti ac sapientes,
prompti post eventum ac magniloqui erant. Iniquissima haec bellorum
conditio est: prospera omnes sibi vindicant, adversa uni imputantur. At
Britanni non virtute, sed occasione et arte ducis rati, nihil ex
arrogantia remittere, quo minus juventutem armarent, conjuges ac liberos
in loca tuta transferrent, coetibus ac sacrificiis conspirationem
civitatum sancirent: atque ita irritatis utrimque animis discessum.

XXVIII. Eadem aestate cohors Usipiorum, per Germanias conscripta, in
Britanniam transmissa, magnum ac memorabile facinus ausa est. Occiso
centurione ac militibus, qui ad tradendam disciplinam immixti manipulis
exemplum et rectores habebantur, tres liburnicas, adactis per vim
gubernatoribus, ascendere: et uno remigante, suspectis duobus eoque
interfectis, nondum vulgato rumore ut miraculum praevehebantur: mox hac
atque illa rapti, et cum plerisque Britannorum, sua defensantium, proelio
congressi, ac saepe victores, aliquando pulsi, eo ad extremum inopiae
venere, ut infirmissimos suorum, mox sorte ductos, vescerentur. Atque
circumvecti Britanniam, amissis per inscitiam regendi navibus, pro
praedonibus habiti, primum a Suevis, mox a Frisiis intercepti sunt: ac
fuere, quos per commercia venumdatos et in nostram usque ripam mutatione
ementium adductos, indicium tanti casus illustravit.

XXIX. Initio aestatis Agricola, domestico vulnere ictus, anno ante natum
filum amisit. Quem casum neque, ut plerique fortium virorum, ambitiose,
neque per lamenta rursus ac moerorem muliebriter tulit: et in luctu
bellum inter remedia erat. Igitur praemissa classe, quae pluribus locis
praedata, magnum et incertum terrorem faceret, expedito exercitu, cui ex
Britannis fortissimos et longa pace exploratos addiderat, ad montem
Grampium pervenit, quem jam hostis insederat. Nam Britanni, nihil fracti
pugnae prioris eventu, et ultionem aut servitium exspectantes, tandemque
docti commune periculum concordia propulsandum, legationibus et
foederibus omnium civitatum vires exciverant. Jamque super triginta
millia armatorum aspiciebantur, et adhuc affluebat omnis juventus et
quibus cruda ac viridis senectus, clari bello et sua quisque decora
gestantes: cum inter plures duces virtute et genere praestans, nomine
Calgacus, apud contractam multitudinem proelium poscentem, in hunc modum
locutus fertur:

XXX. "Quotiens causas belli et necessitatem nostram intueor, magnus mihi
animus est hodiernum diem consensumque vestrum initium libertatis totius
Britanniae fore. Nam et universi servitutis expertes, et nullae ultra
terrae, ac ne mare quidem securum, imminente nobis classe Romana: ita
proelium atque arma, quae fortibus honesta, eadem etiam ignavis tutissima
sunt. Priores pugnae, quibus adversus Romanos varia fortuna certatum est,
spem ac subsidium in nostris manibus habebant: quia nobilissimi totius
Britanniae eoque in ipsis penetralibus siti, nec servientium littora
aspicientes, oculos quoque a contactu dominationis inviolatos habebamus.
Nos terrarum ac libertatis extremos, recessus ipse ac sinus famae in
hunc diem defendit: nunc terminus Britanniae patet; atque omne ignotum
pro magnifico est. Sed nulla jam ultra gens, nihil nisi fluctus et saxa,
et infestiores Romani: quorum superbiam frustra per obsequium et
modestiam effugeris. Raptores orbis, postquam cuncta vastantibus defuere
terrae, et mare scrutantur: si locuples hostis est, avari; si pauper,
ambitiosi: quos non Oriens, non Occidens, satiaverit. Soli omnium opes
atque inopiam pari affectu concupiscunt. Auferre, trucidare, rapere,
falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem

XXXI. "Liberos cuique ac propinquos suos natura carissimos esse voluit;
hi per delectus, alibi servituri, auferuntur conjuges sororesque, etsi
hostilem libidinem effugiant, nomine amicorum atque hospitum polluuntur.
Bona fortunasque in tributum egerunt, annos in frumentum: corpora ipsa ac
manus silvis ac paludibus emuniendis inter verbera ac contumelias
conterunt. Nata servituti mancipia semel veneunt, atque ultro a dominis
aluntur: Britannia servitutem suam quotidie emit, quotidie pascit. Ac,
sicut in familia recentissimus quisque servorum et conservis ludibrio
est, sic in hoc orbis terrarum vetere famulatu novi nos et viles in
excidium petimur. Neque enim arva nobis aut metalla aut portus sunt,
quibus exercendis reservemur. Virtus porro ac ferocia subjectorum ingrata
imperantibus: et longinquitas ac secretum ipsum quo tutius, eo
suspectius. Ita, sublata spe veniae, tandem sumite animum, tam quibus
salus, quam quibus gloria carissima est. Trinobantes, femina duce,
exurere coloniam, expugnare castra, ac, nisi felicitas in socordiam
vertisset, exuere jugum potuere: nos integri et indomiti et libertatem
non in poenitentiam laturi, primo statim congressu nonne ostendamus, quos
sibi Caledonia viros seposuerit? An eandem Romanis in bello virtutem,
quam in pace lasciviam adesse creditis?"

XXXII. "Nostris illi dissensionibus ac discordiis clari, vitia hostium in
gloriam exercitus sui vertunt: quem contractum ex diversissimis gentibus,
ut secundae res tenent, ita adversae dissolvent: nisi si Gallos et
Germanos et (pudet dictu) Britannorum plerosque, licet dominationi
alienae sanguinem commodent, diutius tamen hostes quam servos, fide et
affectu teneri putatis: metus et terror est, infirma vincula caritatis
quae ubi removeris, qui timere desierint, odisse incipient. Omnia
victoriae incitamenta pro nobis sunt: nullae Romanos conjuges accendunt;
nulli parentes fugam exprobraturi sunt; aut nulla plerisque patria, aut
alia est. Paucos numero, trepidos ignorantia, coelum ipsum ac mare et
silvas, ignota omnia circumspectantes, clausos quodammodo ac vinctos dii
nobis tradiderunt. Ne terreat vanus aspectus et auri fulgor atque
argenti, quod neque tegit neque vulnerat. In ipsa hostium acie inveniemus
nostras manus: agnoscent Britanni suam causam: recordabuntur Galli
priorem libertatem: deserent illos ceteri Germani, tanquam nuper Usipii
reliquerunt. Nec quidquam ultra formidinis: vacua castella, senum
coloniae, inter male parentes et injuste imperantes aegra municipia et
discordantia: hic dux, hic exercitus: ibi tributa et metalla et ceterae
servientium poenae: quas in aeternum perferre aut statim ulcisci in hoc
campo est. Proinde ituri in aciem et majores vestros et posteros

XXXIII. Excepere orationem alacres, ut barbaris moris, cantu et fremitu
clamoribusque dissonis. Jam que agmina, et armorum fulgores audentissimi
cujusque procursu: simul instruebantur acies: cum Agricola, quanquam
laetum et vix munimentis coercitum militem adhortatus, ita disseruit:
"Octavus annus est, commilitones, ex quo virtute et auspiciis imperii
Romani fide atque opera vestra Britanniam vicistis: tot expeditionibus,
tot proeliis, seu fortitudine adversus hostes seu patientia ac labore
paene adversus ipsam rerum naturam opus fuit, neque me militum neque vos
ducis poenituit. Ergo egressi, ego veterum legatorum, vos priorum
exercituum terminos, finem Britanniae non fama nec rumore, sed castris et
armis tenemus. Inventa Britannia et subacta. Equidem saepe in agmine, cum
vos paludes montesve et flumina fatigarent, fortissimi cujusque voces
audiebam, Quando dabitur hostis, quando acies? Veniunt, e latebris suis
extrusi: et vota virtusque in aperto, omniaque prona victoribus, atque
eadem victis adversa. Nam, ut superasse tantum itineris, silvas evasisse,
transisse aestuaria pulchrum ac decorum in frontem; ita fugientibus
periculosissima, quae hodie prosperrima sunt. Neque enim nobis aut
locorum eadem notitia aut commeatuum eadem abundantia: sed manus et arma
et in his omnia. Quod ad me attinet, jam pridem mihi decretum est, neque
exercitus neque ducis terga tuta esse. Proinde et honesta mors turpi vita
potior; et incolumitas ac decus eodem loco sita sunt: nec inglorium
fuerit, in ipso terrarum ac naturae fine cecidisse."

XXXIV. "Si novae gentes atque ignota acies constitisset, aliorum
exercituum exemplis vos hortarer: nunc vestra decora recensete, vestros
oculos interrogate. Ii sunt, quos proximo anno, unam legionem furto
noctis aggressos, clamore debellastis: ii ceterorum Britannorum
fugacissimi, ideoque tam diu superstites. Quomodo silvas saltusque
penetrantibus fortissimum quodque animal contra ruere, pavida et inertia
ipso agminis sono pelluntur, sic acerrimi Britannorum jam pridem
ceciderunt: reliquus est numerus ignavorum et metuentium, quos quod
tandem invenistis, non restiterunt, sed deprehensi sunt: novissimae res
et extremo metu corpora defixere aciem in his vestigiis, in quibus
pulchram et spectabilem victoriam ederetis. Transigite cum
expeditionibus: imponite quinquaginta annis magnum diem: approbate
reipublicae nunquam exercitui imputari potuisse aut moras belli aut
causas rebellandi."

XXXV. Et alloquente adhuc Agricola, militum ardor eminebat, et finem
orationis ingens alacritas consecuta est, statimque ad arma discursum.
Instinctos ruentesque ita disposuit, ut peditum auxilia, quae octo
millia erant, mediam aciem firmarent, equitum tria millia cornibus
affunderentur: legiones pro vallo stetere, ingens victoriae decus citra
Romanum sanguinem bellanti, et auxilium, si pellerentur. Britannorum
acies, in speciem simul ac terrorem, editioribus locis constiterat
ita, ut primum agmen aequo, ceteri per acclive jugum connexi velut
insurgerent: media campi covinarius et eques strepitu ac discursu
complebat. Tum Agricola superante hostium multitudine veritus, ne simul
in frontem, simul et latera suorum pugnaretur, diductis ordinibus,
quanquam porrectior acies futura erat et arcessendas plerique legiones
admonebant, promptior in spem et firmus adversis, dimisso equo pedes
ante vexilla constitit.

XXXVI. Ac primo congressu eminus certabatur simul constantia, simul arte
Britanni ingentibus gladiis et brevibus cetris missilia nostrorum vitare
vel excutere, atque ipsi magnam vim telorum superfundere: donec Agricola
Batavorum cohortes ac Tungrorum duas cohortatus est, ut rem ad mucrones
ac manus adducerent: quod et ipsis vetustate militiae exercitatum, et
hostibus inhabile parva scuta et enormes gladios gerentibus: nam
Britannorum gladii sine mucrone complexum armorum et in aperto pugnam non
tolerabant. Igitur, ut Batavi miscere ictus, ferire umbonibus, ora
foedare, et stratis qui in aequo obstiterant, erigere in colles aciem
coepere, ceterae cohortes, aemulatione et impetu commistae, proximos
quosque caedere; ac plerique semineces aut integri festinatione victoriae
relinquebantur. Interim equitum turmae fugere, covinarii peditum se
proelio miscuere: et, quanquam recentem terrorem intulerant, densis tamen
hostium agminibus et inaequalibus locis haerebant: minimeque equestris ea
pugnae facies erat, cum aegre diu stantes simul equorum corporibus
impellerentur, ac saepe vagi currus, exterriti sine rectoribus equi, ut
quemque formido tulerat, transversos aut obvios incursabant.

XXXVII. Et Britanni, qui adhuc pugnae expertes summa collium insederant
et paucitatem nostrorum vacui spernebant, degredi paulatim et circumire
terga vincentium coeperant: ni id ipsum veritus Agricola, quatuor equitum
alas, ad subita belli retentas, venientibus opposuisset, quantoque
ferocius accurrerant, tanto acrius pulsos in fugam disjecisset. Ita
consilium Britannorum in ipsos versum: transvectaeque praecepto ducis a
fronte pugnantium alae, aversam hostium aciem invasere. Tum vero
patentibus locis grande et atrox spectaculum: sequi, vulnerare, capere
atque eosdem, oblatis aliis, trucidare. Jam hostium, prout cuique
ingenium erat, catervae armatorum paucioribus terga praestare, quidam
inermes ultro ruere ac se morti offerre; passim arma et corpora et laceri
artus et cruenta humus: et aliquando etiam victis ira virtusque; postquam
silvis appropinquarunt, collecti primos sequentium incautos et locorum
ignaros circumveniebant. Quod ni frequens ubique Agricola validas et
expeditas cohortes indaginis modo, et, sicubi arctiora erant, partem
equitum dimissis equis, simul rariores silvas equitem persultare
jussisset, acceptum aliquod vulnus per nimiam fiduciam foret. Ceterum,
ubi compositos firmis ordinibus sequi rursus videre, in fugam versi, non
agminibus, ut prius, nec alius alium respectantes, rari et vitabundi
invicem, longinqua atque avia petiere. Finis sequendi nox et satietas
fuit: caesa hostium ad decem millia: nostrorum trecenti sexaginta
cecidere: in quis Aulus Atticus praefectus cohortis, juvenili ardore et
ferocia equi hostibus illatus.

XXXVIII. Et nox quidem gaudio praedaque laeta victoribus: Britanni
palantes, mixtoque virorum mulierumque ploratu, trahere vulneratos,
vocare integros, deserere domos ac per iram ultro incendere: eligere
latebras et statim relinquere: miscere invicem consilia aliqua, dein
separare: aliquando frangi aspectu pignorum suorum, saepius concitari:
satisque constabat, saevisse quosdam in conjuges ac liberos, tanquam
misererentur. Proximus dies faciem victoriae latius aperuit: vastum
ubique silentium, secreti colles, fumantia procul tecta, nemo
exploratoribus obvius: quibus in omnem partem dimissis, ubi incerta fugae
vestigia neque usquam conglobari hostes compertum et exacta jam aestate
spargi bellum nequibat, in fines Horestorum exercitum deducit. Ibi
acceptis obsidibus, praefecto classis circumvehi Britanniam praecepit.
Datae ad id vires, et praecesserat terror. Ipse peditem atque equites
lento itinere, quo novarum gentium animi ipsa transitus mora terrerentur,
in hibernis locavit. Et simul classis secunda tempestate ac fama
Trutulensem portum tenuit, unde proximo latere Britanniae lecto omni

XXXIX. Hunc rerum cursum, quanquam nulla verborum jactantia epistolis
Agricolae actum, ut Domitiano moris erat, fronte laetus, pectore anxius
excepit. Inerat conscientia derisui fuisse nuper falsum e Germania
triumphum, emptis per commercia, quorum habitus et crines in captivorum
speciem formarentur: at nunc veram magnamque victoriam, tot millibus
hostium caesis, ingenti fama celebrari. Id sibi maxime formidolosum,
privati hominis nomen supra principis attolli: frustra studia fori et
civilium artium decus in silentium acta, si militarem gloriam alius

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