Tacitus Germania and Women

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HIST 306
Tacitus Review Essay Germania, written by the Roman Cornelius Tacitus in 98 A.D, is a historical work on the warlike Germanic tribes located north of the Danube and the Rhine rivers. Anthropology is the study of societies, cultures, and origins of human races. In Germania, Tacitus describes the inhabitants, customs, and society of these Germanic tribes giving valuable anthropological insight. Tacitus specifically describes the role women held in these early Germanic societies. Germania is anthropologically insightful of Germanic women by showing the high regard the Germanic tribes held toward women; evidenced through the women's influence on wars, their role in society, and the Germanic marriage customs. Cornelius Tacitus was born in 56 A.D in the area of southern Gaul. By the year 75 he lived in Rome training as an orator. A year later he married the daughter of the consul Julius Agricola. In later years he wrote a biography of Julius Agricola. He eventually took up a career in politics rising from senator all the way up to the consulship in 97. After the consulship he continued with his political career as proconsul of Asia but began to write historical works as well. Some of Tacitus' major works include Agricola written in 97-8, Germania written in 98, The Histories, recording Roman history from 69 to 96, and The Annals, recording the history from 14 to 68. Tacitus is known as one of the greatest historians and prose stylists who wrote in Latin. His works The Histories and The Annals are among the masterpieces of Latin literature. Little evidence exists of Tacitus later life or the date of his death.1 Germania is split into 46 chapters or sections. Each one focuses on a different aspect of Germanic life and society. The book begins with a description of the geography of Germania with its boundaries of rivers, mountains, and the ocean. Tacitus then continues to describe the people themselves as a race "little affected by immigration" (37)

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