[The appropriate section numbers, and links to the online citations have kindly been provided by Bill Thayer, the modern icon for Classical Rome, and pioneer of the Online Texts Movement. — Elf.Ed.]
From The Germany and the Agricola by Tacitus; The Oxford Translation, Revised, with Notes; The Handy Book Company: Reading, Pennsylvania; undated; pp. 40-50.
A TREATISE ON
The Dulgibini, Chasauri, and Frisii — The Chauci — The Charusci and Fosi — The Cimbri — The Suevi — Human Sacrifice Practiced by the Suevi — The Langobardi, and Neighboring Tribes Worshiping Hertha (Mother Earth) — The Hermunduri — The Narisci, Marcomanni and Quadi
34. Contiguous to the Angrivarii and Chamavi backward lie the Dulgibini, Chasauri,1 and other nations less known.2 In front, the Frisii3 succeed; who are distinguished by the appellations of Greater and Lesser, from their proportional power. The settlements of both stretch along the border of the Rhine to the ocean; and include, besides, vast lakes,4 which have been navigated by Roman fleets. 2 We have even explored the ocean itself on that side; and fame reports that columns of Hercules5 are still remaining on that coast; whether it be that Hercules was ever there in reality, or that 41 whatever great and magnificent is any where met with is, by common consent, ascribed to his renowned name. 3 The attempt of Drusus Germanicus6 to make discoveries in these parts was sufficiently daring; but the ocean opposed any further inquiry into itself and Hercules. After a while no one renewed the attempt; and it was thought more pious and reverential to believe the actions of the gods, than to investigate them.
35. Hitherto we have traced the western side of Germany. It turns from thence with a vast sweep to the north: and first occurs the country of the Chauci,7 which, though it begins 42 immediately from Frisia, and occupies part of the seashore, yet stretches so far as to border on all the nations beforementioned, till it winds round so as to meet the territories of the Catti. 2 This immense tract is not only possessed, but filled by the Chauci; a people the noblest of the Germans, who choose to maintain their greatness by justice rather than violence. 3 Without ambition, without ungoverned desires, quiet and retired, they provoke no wars, they are guilty of no rapine or plunder; 4 and it is a principal proof of their power and bravery, that the superiority they possess has not been acquired by unjust means. Yet all have arms in readiness;8 and, if necessary, an army is soon raised: for they abound in men and horses, and maintain their military reputation even in inaction.
36. Bordering, on the Chauci and Catti are the Cherusci;9 who, for want of an enemy, long cherished a too lasting and enfeebling peace: a state more flattering than secure; since the repose enjoyed amidst ambitious and powerful neighbors is treacherous; and when an appeal is made to the sword, moderation and probity are names appropriated by the victors. 2 Thus, the Cherusci, who formerly bore the titles of just and upright, are now charged with cowardice and folly; and the good fortune of the Catti, who subdued them, has grown into wisdom. 3 The ruin of the Cherusci involved that of the Fosi,10 43 a neighboring tribe, equal partakers of their adversity, although they had enjoyed an inferior share of their prosperity.
37. In the same quarter of Germany, adjacent to the ocean, dwell the Cimbri;11 a small12 state at present, but great in renown.13 Of their past grandeur extensive vestiges still remain, in encampments and lines on either shore,14 from the compass of which the strength and number of the nation may still be computed, and credit derived to the account of so prodigious an army. 2 It was in the 640th year of Rome that the arms of the Cimbri were first heard of, under the consulate of Cæcilius Metellus and Papirius Carbo; from which era to the second consulate of the emperor Trajan15 is a period of nearly 210 years. So long has Germany withstood the arms of Rome. 3 During this long interval many mutual wounds have been inflicted. Not the Samnite, the 44 Carthaginian, Spain, Gaul, or Parthia, have given more frequent alarms; for the liberty of the Germans is more vigorous than the monarchy of the Arsacidæ. 4 What has the East, which has itself lost Pacorus, and suffered an overthrow from Ventidius,16 to boast against us, but the slaughter of Crassus? 5 But the Germans, by the defeat or capture of Carbo,17 Cassius,18 Scaurus Aurelius,19 Servilius Cæpio, and Cneius Manlius,20 deprived the Roman people of five consular 45 armies;21 and afterward took from Augustus himself Varus with three legions.22 Nor did Caius Marius23 in Italy, the deified Julius24 in Gaul, or Drusus,24a Nero,24b or Germanicus24c in 46 their own country, defeat them without loss. The subsequent mighty threats of Caligula terminated in ridicule. 6 Then succeeded tranquillity; till, seizing the occasion of our discords and civil wars, they forced the winter-quarters of the legions,25 and even aimed at the possession of Gaul; and, again expelled thence, they have in latter times been rather triumphed over26 than vanquished.
38. We have now to speak of the Suevi;29 who do not compose a single state, like the Catti or Tencteri, but occupy the greatest part of Germany, and are still distributed into different names and nations, although all bearing the common appellation of Suevi. 2 It is a characteristic of this people to turn their hair sideways, and tie it beneath the poll in a knot. By this mark the Suevi are distinguished from the rest of the Germans; and the freemen of the Suevi from the slaves.28 3 Among other nations, this mode, either on account of some relationship with the Suevi, or from the usual propensity to imitation, is sometimes adopted; but rarely, and only during the period of youth. The Suevi, even till they are hoary, continue to have their hair growing stiffly backward, and often it is fastened on the very crown of the head. The chiefs 47 dress it with still greater care: 4 and in this respect they study ornament, though of an undebasing kind. For their design is not to make love, or inspire it: they decorate themselves in this manner as they proceed to war, in order to seem taller and more terrible; and dress for the eyes of their enemies.
39. The Semnones29 assert themselves to be the most ancient and noble of the Suevi; and their pretensions are confirmed by religion. 2 At a stated time, all the people of the same lineage assemble by their delegates in a wood, consecrated by the auguries of their forefathers and ancient terror, and there by the public slaughter of a human victim celebrate the horrid origin of their barbarous rites. 3 Another kind of reverence is paid to the grove. No person enters it without being bound with a chain, as an acknowledgment of his inferior nature, and the power of the deity residing there. If he accidentally fall, it is not lawful for him to be lifted or to rise up; they roll themselves out along the ground. 4 The whole of their superstition has this import: that from this spot the nation derives its origin; that here is the residence of the Deity, the Governor of all, and that every thing else is subject and subordinate to him. These opinions receive additional authority from the power of the Semnones, who inhabit a hundred cantons, and, from the great body they compose, consider themselves as the head of the Suevi.
40. The Langobardi,30 on the other hand, are ennobled by the smallness of their numbers; since, though surrounded by many powerful nations, they derive security, not from obsequiousness, 48 but from their martial enterprise. The neighboring Reudigni,31 and the Aviones,32 Angli,33 Varini, Eudoses, Suardones, and Nuithones,34 are defended by rivers or forests. 2 Nothing remarkable occurs in any of these; except that they unite in the worship of Hertha35 or Mother Earth; and suppose her to interfere in the affairs of men, and to visit the different nations. In an island36 of the ocean stands a sacred and unviolated grove, in which is a consecrated chariot, covered with a vail, which the priest alone is permitted to touch. 3 He becomes conscious of the entrance of the goddess into this secret recess; and with profound veneration attends the vehicle, which is drawn by yoked cows. At this season37 all 49 is joy; and every place which the goddess deigns to visit is a scene of festivity. 4 No wars are undertaken; arms are untouched; and every hostile weapon is shut up. Peace abroad and at home are then only known; then only loved; till at length the same priest reconducts the goddess, satiated with mortal intercourse, to her temple.38 5 The chariot, with its curtain, and, if we may believe it, the goddess herself, then undergo ablution in a secret lake. This office is performed by slaves, whom the same lake instantly swallows up. Hence proceeds a mysterious horror; and a holy ignorance of what that can be, which is beheld only by those who are about to perish. This part of the Suevian nation extends to the most remote recesses of Germany.
41. If we now follow the course of the Danube, as we before did that of the Rhine, we first meet with the Hermunduri;39 a people faithful to the Romans,40 and on that account the only Germans who are admitted to commerce, not on the bank alone, but within our territories, and in the flourishing colony41 established in the province of Rhætia. 2 They pass and repass at pleasure, without being attended by a guard; and while we exhibit to other nations our arms and camps alone, to these we lay open our houses and country seats, which they behold without coveting. In the country of the Hermunduri rises the Elbe;42 a river formerly celebrated and known among us, now only heard of by name.50
42. Contiguous to the Hermunduri are the Narisci;43 and next to them, the Marcomanni44 and Quadi.45 Of these, the Marcomanni are the most powerful and renowned; and have even acquired the country which they inhabit, by their valor in expelling the Boii.46 Nor are the Narisci and Quadi inferior in bravery;47 and this is, as it were, the van of Germany, as far as it is bordered by the Danube. 2 Within our memory the Marcomanni and Quadi were governed by kings of their own nation, of the noble line of Maroboduus48 and Tudrus. They now submit even to foreigners; but all the power of their kings depends upon the authority of the Romans.49 We seldom assist them with our arms, but frequently with our money; nor are they the less potent on that account.
1 These people first resided near the head of the Lippe; and then removed to the settlements of the Chamavi and Angrivarii, who had expelled the Bructeri. They appear to have been the same with those whom Velleius Paterculus, ii. 105, calls the Attuarii, and by that name they entered into the Francic league. Strabo calls them Chattuarii.
2 Namely, the Ansibarii and Tubantes. The Ansibarii or Amsibarit are thought by Alting to have derived their name from their neighborhood to the river Ems (Amisia); and the Tubantes, from their frequent change of habitation, to have been called The Benten, or the wandering troops, and to have dwelt where now is Drente in Over-Issel. Among these nations, Furstenburg (Monum. Paderborn.) enumerates the Ambrones, borderers upon the river Ambrus, now Emmeren.
3 The Frieslanders. The lesser Frisii were settled on this side, the greater, on the other, of the Flevum (Zuyder-zee).
4 In the time of the Romans this country was covered by vast meres, or lakes; which were made still larger by frequent inundations of the sea. Of these, one so late as 1530 overwhelmed seventy-two villages; and another, still more terrible, in 1569, laid under water great part of the sea-coast of Holland, and almost all Friesland, in which alone, 20,000 persons were drowned.
5 Wherever the land seemed to terminate, and it appeared impossible to proceed further, maritime nations have feigned pillars of Hercules. Those celebrated by the Frisians must have been at the extremity of Friesland, and not in Sweden and the Cimmerian promontory, as Rudbeck supposes.
6 Drusus, the brother of Tiberius, and father of Germanicus, imposed a tribute on the Frisians, as mentioned in the Annals, iv. 72, and performed other eminent services in Germany; whence he was himself styled Germanicus.
7 The Chauci extended along the sea-coast from the Ems to the Elbe (Albis); whence they bordered on all the forementioned nations, between which and the Cherusci they came round to the Catti. The Chauci were distinguished into Greater and Lesser. The Greater, according to Ptolemy, inhabited the country between the Weser and the Elbe; the Lesser, that between the Weser and the Ems; but Tacitus (Annals, xi. 19) seems to reverse this order. Alting supposes the Chauci had their name from Kauken, signifying persons eminent for valor and fidelity, which agrees with the character Tacitus gives them. Others derive it from Kauk, an owl, with a reference of the enmity of that animal to cats (Catti). Others, from Kaiten, daws, of which there are great numbers on their coast. Pliny has admirably described the country and manners of the maritime Chauci, in his account of people who live without any trees or fruit bearing vegetables: — “In the North are the nations of Chauci, who are divided into Greater and Lesser. Here, the ocean, having a prodigious flux and reflux twice in the space of every day and night, rolls over an immense tract, leaving it a matter of perpetual doubt whether it is part of the land or sea. In this spot, the wretched natives, occupying either the tops of hills, or artificial mounds of turf, raised out of reach of the highest tides, build their small cottages; which appear like sailing vessels when the water covers the circumjacent ground, and like wrecks when it has retired. Here from their huts they pursue the fish, continually flying from them with the waves. They do not, like their neighbors, possess cattle, and feed on milk; nor have they a warfare to maintain against wild beasts; for every fruit of the earth is far removed from them. With flags and sea-weed they twist cordage for their fishing-nets. For fuel they use a kind of mud, taken up by hand, and dried, rather in the wind than the sun; with this earth they heat their food, and warm their bodies, stiffened by the rigorous north. Their only drink is rain-water collected in ditches at the threshold of their doors. Yet this miserable people, if conquered to-day by the Roman arms, would call themselves slaves. Thus it is that fortune spares many to their own punishment.” — Hist. Nat. xvi. 1.
8 On this account, fortified posts were established by the Romans to restrain the Chauci; who by Lucan are called Cayci in the following passage:
Phars. I. 463.
“You too, toward Rome advance, ye warlike band,
That wont the shaggy Cauci to withstand.” — ROWE.
9 The Cherusci, at that time, dwelt between the Weser and the Elbe, where now are Luneburg, Brunswick, and part of the Marche of Brandenburg on this side the Elbe. In the reign of Augustus they occupied a more extensive tract; reaching even this side the Weser, as appears from the accounts of the expedition of Drusus given by Dio and Velleius Paterculus: unless, as Dithmar observes, what is said of the Cherusci on this side the Weser relates to the Dulgibini, their dependents. For, according to Strabo, Varus was cut off by the Cherusci, and the people subject to them. The brave actions of Arminius, the celebrated chief of the Cherusci, are related by Tacitus in the 1st and 2d books of his Annals.
10 Cluver, and several others, suppose the Fosi to have been the same with the ancient Saxons; but, since they bordered on the Cherusci, the origin of Leibnitz is nearer the truth, that they inhabited the banks of the river Fusa, which enters the Aller (Allera) at Cellæ; and were a sort of appendage to the Cherusci, as Hildesheim now is to Brunswick. The name of Saxons is later than Tacitus, and was not known till the reign of Antoninus Pius, at which period they poured forth from the Cimbric Chersonesus, and afterward, in conjunction with the Angles, seized upon Britain.
11 The name of this people still exists; and the country they inhabited is called the Cimbric Chersonesus, or Peninsula; comprehending Jutland, Sleswig, and Holstein. The renown and various fortune of the Cimbri is briefly, but accurately, related by Mallet in the “Introduction” to the “History of Denmark.”
12 Though at this time they we greatly reduced by migrations, inundations and wars, they afterward revived; and from this store-house of nations came forth the Franks, Saxons, Normans, and various other tribes, which brought all Europe under Germanic sway.
13 Their fame spread through Germany, Gaul, Spain, Britain, Italy, and as far as the Sea of Azoph (Palus Mæotis, whither, according to Posidonius, they penetrated, and called the Cimmerian or Cimbrian Bosphorus after their own name.
14 This is usually, and probably rightly, explained as relating to both shores of the Cimbric Chersonesus. Cluver and Dithmar, however, suppose that these encampments are to be sought for either in Italy, upon the river Athesis (Adige), or in Narbonnensian Gaul near Aquæ Sextiæ (Aix in Provence), where Florus (iii. 3) mentions that the Teutoni defeated by Marius took post in a valley with a river running through it. Of the prodigious numbers of the Cimbri who made this terrible irruption we have an account in Plutarch, who relates that their fighting men were 300,000, with a much greater number of women and children. (Plut. Marius, p. 411.)
15 Nerva was consul the fourth time, and Trajan the second, in the 851st year of Rome; in which Tacitus composed this treatise.
16 After the defeat of P. Decidius Saxa, lieutenant of Syria, by the Parthians, and the seizure of Syria by Pacorus, son of king Orodes, P. Ventidius Bassus was sent there, and vanquished the Parthians, killed Pacorus, and entirely restored the Roman affairs.
17 The epitome of Livy informs us, that “in the year of Rome 640, the Cimbri, a wandering tribe, made a predatory incursion into Illyricum, where they routed the consul Papirius Carbo with his army.” According to Strabo, it was at Noreia, a town of the Taurisci, near Aquileia, that Carbo was defeated. In the succeeding years, the Cimbri and Teutonia ravaged Gaul, and brought great calamities on that country; but at length, deterred by the unshaken bravery of the Gauls, they turned another way; as appears from Cæsar, Bell. Gall. vii. 17. They then came into Italy, and sent embassadors to the Senate, demanding lands to settle on. This was refused; and the consul M. Junius Silanus fought an unsuccessful battle with them, in the year of Rome 645. (Epitome of Livy, lxv.)
18 “L. Cassius the consul, in the year of Rome 647, was cut off with his army in the confines of the Allobroges, by the Tigurine Gauls, a canton of the Helvetians (now the cantons of Zurich, Appenzell, Schaffhausen, etc.), who had migrated from their settlements. The soldiers who survived the slaughter gave hostages for the payment of half they were worth, to be dismissed with safety.” (Ibid.) Cæsar further relates that the Roman army was passed under the yoke by the Tigurini: — “This single canton, migrating from home, within the memory of our fathers, slew the consul L. Cassius, and passed his army under the yoke.” — Bell. Gall. i. 12.
19 M. Aurelius Scaurus, the consul’s lieutenant (or rather consul, as he appears to have served that office in the year of Rome 646), was defeated and taken by the Cimbri; and when, being asked his advice, he dissuaded them from passing the Alps into Italy, assuring them the Romans were invincible, he was slain by a furious youth, named Boiorix. (Epit. Livy, lxvii.).
20 Florus, in like manner, considers these two affairs separately: — “Neither could Silanus sustain the first onset of the barbarians; nor Manlius, the second; nor Cæpio, the third.” (iii. 3.) Livy joins them together: — “By the same enemy (the Cimbri) Cn. Manlius the consul, and Q. Servilius Cæpio the proconsul, were defeated in an engagement, and both dispossessed of their camps.” (Epit. lxvii.) Paulus Orosius relates the affair more particularly: — “Manlius the consul, and Q. Cæpio, proconsul, being sent against the Cimbri, Teutones, Tigurini, and Ambronæ, Gaulish and German nations, who had conspired to extinguish the Roman empire, divided their respective provinces by the river Rhone. Here, the most violent dissensions prevailing between them, they were both overcome, to the great disgrace and danger of the Roman name. According to Antias, 80,000 Romans and allies were slaughtered. Cæpio, by whose rashness this misfortune was occasioned, was condemned, and his property confiscated by order of the Roman people.” (Lib. v. 16.) This happened in the year of Rome 649; and the anniversary was reckoned among the unlucky days.
21 The Republic, in opposition to Rome when governed by emperors.
22 This tragical catastrophe so deeply affected Augustus, that, as Suetonius informs us, “he was said to have let his beard and hair grow for several months; during which he at times struck his head against the doors, crying out, ‘Varus, restore my legions!’ and ever after kept the anniversary as a day of mourning.” (Aug. s. 23.) The finest history piece, perhaps, ever drawn by a writer, is Tacitus’s description of the army of Germanicus visiting the field of battle, six years after, and performing funeral obsequies to the scattered remains of their slaughtered countrymen. (Annals, i. 61.)
23 “After so many misfortunes, the Roman people thought no general so capable of repelling such formidable enemies, as Marius.“ Nor was the public opinion falsified. In his fourth consulate, in the year of Rome 652, “Marius engaged the Teutoni beyond the Alps near Aquæ Sextiæ (Aix in Provence), killing, on the day of battle and the following day, above 150,000 of the enemy, and entirely cutting off the Teutonic nation.” (Velleius Paterculus, ii. 12.) Livy says there were 200,000 slain, and 90,000 taken prisoners. The succeeding year he defeated the Cimbri, who had penetrated into Italy, and crossed the Adige, in the Raudian plain, where now is Rubio, killing and taking prisoners upward of 100,000 men. That he did not, however, obtain an unbought victory over this warlike people, may be conjectured from the resistance he met with even from their women. We are told by Florus (iii. 3) that “he was obliged to sustain an engagement with their wives, as well as themselves; who, intrenching themselves on all sides with wagons and cars, fought from them, as from towers, with lances and poles. Their death was no less glorious than their resistance. For, when they could not obtain from Marius what they requested by an embassy, their liberty, and admission into the vestal priesthood (which, indeed, could not lawfully be granted); after strangling their infants, they either fell by mutual wounds, or hung themselves on trees or the poles of their carriages in ropes made of their own hair. King Boiorix was slain, not unrevenged, fighting bravely in the field.” On account of these great victories, Marius, in the year of Rome, 652, triumphed over the Teutoni, Ambroni, and Cimbri.
24 In the 596th year of Rome, Julius Cæsar defeated Ariovistus, a German king, near Dampierre in the Franche-Comte, and pursued his routed troops with great slaughter thirty miles toward the Rhine, filling all that space with spoils and dead bodies. (Bell. Gall. i. 33 and 52.) He had before chastised the Tigurini, who, as already mentioned, had defeated and killed L. Cassius. 24a Drusus: This was the son of Livia, and brother of the emperor Tiberius. He was in Germany B.C. 12, 11. His loss was principally from shipwreck on the coast of the Chauci. See Lynam’s Roman Emperors, i. 37, 45. 24b Nero; i. e. Tiberius, afterward emperor. His names were Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero. See Lynam’s Roman Emperors, i. 51, 53, 62, 78. 24c Germanicus: He was the son of Drusus, and so nephew of Tiberius. His victories in Germany took place was the son of Livia, and brother of the emperor Tiberius. He was in Germany A.D. 14-16. He too, like his father, was shipwrecked, and nearly at the same spot. See Lynam’s Roman Emperors, i. 103-118.
25 In the war of 1, related by Tacitus, Hist. iv. and v.
26 By Domitian, as is more particularly mentioned in the Life of Agricola.
27 The Suevi possessed that extensive tract of country lying between the Elbe, the Vistula, the Baltic Sea, and the Danube. They formerly had spread still further, reaching even to the Rhine. Hence Strabo, Cæsar, Florus, and others, have referred to the Suevi what related to the Catti.
28 Among the Suevi, and also the rest of the Germans, the slaves seem to have been shaven; or at least cropped so short that they could not twist or tie up their hair in a knot.
29 The Semnones inhabited both banks of the Viadrus (Oder); the country which is now part of Pomerania, of the March of Brandenburg, and of Lusatia.
30 In the reign of Augustus, the Langobardi dwelt on this side the Elbe, between Luneburg and Magdeburg. When conquered and driven beyond the Elbe by Tiberius, they occupied that part of the country where are now Prignitz, Ruppin, and part of the Middle Marche. They afterward founded the Lombard kingdom in Italy; which, in the year of Christ 774, was destroyed by Charlemagne, who took their king Desiderius, and subdued all Italy. The laws of the Langobardi are still extant, and may be met with in Lindenbrog. The Burgundians are not mentioned by Tacitus, probably because they were then an inconsiderable people. Afterward, joining with the Langobardi, they settled on the Decuman lands and the Roman boundary. They from thence made an irruption into Gaul, and seized that country which is still named from them Burgundy. Their laws are likewise extant.
31 From Tacitus’s description, the Reudigni must have dwelt in part of the present duchy of Mecklenburg, and of Lauenberg. They had formerly been settled on this side the Elbe, on the sands of Luneburg.
32 Perhaps the same people with those called by Mamertinus, in his Panegyric on Maximian, the Chaibones. From their vicinity to the aforementioned nations, they must have inhabited part of the duchy of Mecklenburg. They had formerly dwelt on this side the Elbe, on the banks of the river Ilmenavia in Luneburg; which is now called Ava; whence, probably, the name of the people.
33 Inhabitants of what is now part of Holstein and Sleswig; in which tract is still a district called Angeln, between Flensborg and Sleswig. In the fifth century, the Angles, in conjunction with the Saxons, migrated into Britain, and perpetuated their name by giving appellation to England.
34 From the enumeration of Tacitus, and the situation of the other tribes, it appears that the Eudoses must have occupied the modern Wismar and Rostock; the Suardones, Straslund, Swedish Pomerania, and part of the Hither Pomerania, and of the Uckerane Marche. Eccard, however, supposes these nations were much more widely extended; and that the Eudoses dwelt upon the Oder; the Suardones, upon the Warte; the Nuithones, upon the Netze.
35 The ancient name of the goddess Herth still subsists in the German Erde, and in the English Earth.
36 Many suppose this island to have been the island of Rugen in the Baltic Sea. It is more probable, however, that it was an island near the mouth of the Elbe, now called the isle of Helgeland, or Heiligeland (Holy Island). Besides the proof arising from the name, the situation agrees better with that of the nations before enumerated.
37 Olaus Rudbeck contends that this festival was celebrated in winter, and still continues in Scandinavia under the appellation of Julifred, the peace of Juul. (Yule is the term used for Christmas season in the old English and Scottish dialects.) But this feast was solemnized not in honor of the Earth, but of the Sun, called by them Thor or Taranim. The festival of Herth was held later, in the month of February; as may be seen in Mallet’s “Introduction to the History of Denmark.”
38 Templo here means merely “the consecrated place,” i. e., the grove beforementioned, for according to c. 9 the Germans built no temples.
39 It is supposed that this people, on account of their valor, were called Heermanner; corrupted by the Romans into Hermunduri. They were first settled between the Elbe, the Sala, and Bohemia; where now are Anhalt, Voightland, Saxony, part of Misnia, and of Franconia. Afterward, when the Marcomanni took possession of Bohemia, from which the Boii had been expelled by Marboduus, the Hermunduri added their settlements to their own, and planted in them the Suevian name, whence is derived the modern appellation of that country, Suabia.
40 They were so at that time; but afterward joined with the Marcomanni and other Germans against the Romans in the time of Marcus Aurelius, who overcame them.
41 Augusta Vindelicorum, now Augsburg; a famous Roman colony in the province of Rhætia, of which Vindelica was then a part.
42 Tacitus is greatly mistaken if he confounds the source of the Egra, which is in the country of the Hermunduri, with that of the Elbe, which rises in Bohemia. The Elbe had been formerly, as Tacitus observes, well known to the Romans by the victories of Drusus, Tiberius, and Domitius; but afterward, when the increasing power of the Germans kept the Roman arms at a distance, it was only indistinctly heard of. Hence its source was probably inaccurately laid down in the Roman geographical tables. Perhaps, however, the Hermunduri, when they had served in the army of Maroboduus, received lands in that part of Bohemia in which the Elbe rises; in which case there would be no mistake in Tacitus’s account.
43 Inhabitants of that part of Bavaria which lies between Bohemia and the Danube.
44 Inhabitants of Bohemia.
45 Inhabitants of Moravia, and the part of Austria between it and the Danube. Of this people, Ammianus Marcellinus, in his account of the reign of Valentinian and Valens, thus speaks: — “A sudden commotion arose among the Quadi; a nation at present of little consequence, but which was formerly extremely warlike and potent, as their exploits sufficiently evince.” — xxix. 15.
46 Their expulsion of the Boii, who had given name to Bohemia, has been already mentioned. Before this period, the Marcomanni dwelt near the sources of the Danube, where now is the duchy of Wirtemburg; and, as Dithmar supposes, on account of their inhabiting the borders of Germany, were called Marcmanner, from Marc (the same with the old English March), a border, or boundary.
47 These people justified their military reputation by the dangerous war which, in conjunction with the Marcomanni, they excited against the Romans, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
48 Of this prince, and his alliance with the Romans against Arminius, mention is made by Tacitus, Annals, ii.
49 Thus Vannius was made king of the Quadi by Tiberius. (See Annals, ii. 63.) At a later period, Antoninus Pius (as appears from a medal preserved in Spanheim) gave them Furtius for their king. And when they had expelled him, and set Ariogæsus on the throne, Marcus Aurelius, to whom he was obnoxious, refused to confirm the election.