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Online Introduction to

“Tacitus’ Germany & Agricola”





Handy Literal Translations was a series of 92 books published in the early 1900’s. This book is one of them. It contains the Revised Oxford Translation of two short works by Cornelius Tacitus: the Germania and the Agricola .

Tacitus lived during some of the most inglorious days of Imperial Rome. He was brave to write anything at all, but did so anyhow. Although it was done with a lingering sense of uneasiness (as he tells us in the Agricola), left over from the perils visited on those who tried a little free speech under the previous government. It is a good thing that he summoned up the courage to do so, because his works are some of the best resources we have on Roman history and the early history of Germany and Great Britain.

The first part of this translation is his Treatise on the Situation, Manners and Inhabitants of Germany, which was an in-depth look by a Roman writer on these ‘Barbarians,’ who inspired a great deal of dread and fear in the Empire of the First Century A.D.

Tacitus also wrote the biography of his father-in-law after his premature death, possibly by poison, when he was in his 50's. This work, the Agricola, forms the second part of this little book. It was a labor of love, as well as a tribute to a great man, whose life and work has been undeservedly neglected, both then and now.

Living up to its title, this book really is Handy !  It is short, extremely readable, and has extensive and helpful notes throughout.

The best part of the online version, is that the font size can be adjusted by you, to a size easier to read than the itty-bitty print of the original. In this regard, it is certainly user-friendly, so possibly even Handier !!!

As an aside, the copy I have was the property, once, of Mary Radcliffe Lambert, inscribed in the year 1936 with her signature. Her handwriting, though pretty, is not very legible, and so the last name is only a guess.

As usual on this website, the footnotes, when clicked, will transport you magically to the appropriate note on the bottom of the page. Once there, click again on the footnote number, and — in the blink of your eye — you will be right back to the text where you were.

The Title Pages, following this one, contain the links to send you to whichever of the two you would like to read first. Or just click [Next] at the top of the bottom of the pages and you will proceed through the text in order.







For online additions, corrections, notes & design:
Copyright  © 2007
by Elfinspell


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