`Long may the barbarians continue, I pray, if not to love us, at least to hate one another.'Cornelius Tacitus, Rome's greatest historian and the last great writer of classical Latin prose, produced his first two books in AD 98. He was inspired to take up his pen when the assassination of Domitian ended `fifteen years of enforced silence'. The first products were brief: the biography ofhis late father-in-law Julius Agricola and an account of Rome's most dangerous enemies, the Germans. Since Agricola's claim to fame was that as governor for seven years he had completed the conquest of Britain, begun four decades earlier, much of the first work is devoted to Britain and its people.The second is the only surviving specimen from the ancient world of an ethnographic study. Each in its way has had immense influence on our perception of Rome and the northern `barbarians'. This edition reflects recent research in Roman-British and Roman-German history and includes newlydiscovered evidence on Tacitus' early career.… (more)
It is now twenty-two years since the translation of Tacitus's Agricola and Germania (under the title On Britain and Germany) by Harold Mattingly first appeared.
Preface (Penguin Classics, 1976 reprint)
The Agricola of Tacitus, the biography of the most famous of Roman Britain, is part of our national story, and as such has a direct claim on our interest.
Introduction (Penguin Classics, 1976 reprint)
Famous men of old often had their lives and characters set on record; and even our generation, with all its indifference to the world around it, has not quite abandoned the practice.
Agricola (Penguin Classics, 1976 reprint)
The various peoples of Germany are separated from the Gauls by the Rhine, from the Raetians and Pannonians by the Danube, and from the Sarmatians and Dacians by mountains - or, where there are no mountains, by mutual fear.
Germania (Penguin Classics, 1976 reprint)
On such unverifiable stories I shall express no opinion.