Just beyond the horizon of the Roman Empire

Just beyond the horizon of the Roman Empire and past the Rhine River, was an ancient place called Germania in which a society of Germanic people inhabited. Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian needed to analyze their character and focused on the danger they presented to the frontier of the Roman Empire. Even though it was an indication to Rome that they had various qualities in common with barbarian cultures, Tacitus was amazed at the vital role society and family played in this Germanic community, To begin with, the Germanic people were an unadulterated nation. Tacitus views this when he says, “For myself, I accept the view of those who think that the peoples of Germania have never been tainted by intermarriage with other nations, and stand out as a race distinctive, pure, and unique of its kind” and shows that they were not easily influenced by outsiders.

Now, when it came to their culture it was very similar to Greek mythology especially since “Hercules too is said to have visited them, and they sing his praises before those of other heroes on the way into battle.” In addition, when it came to precious metals such as gold and silver they believed the gods had denied them this; however, the tribes near the border with the Roman empire “value gold and silver for their use in trade, and recognize and prefer certain types of our money” since the Romans acknowledged the silver and gold as trading material it was easier to barter. Meanwhile, no business was tended to unless they were armed, and the younger man was equipped with a sword and shield which according to Tacitus “is equivalent of our toga – the first public distinction of youth” which was considered an esteemed and noble attribute.

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