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The Germans.

The Germans first appear in history in the campaigns of the Cimbri and Teutones (B. C. 113-101), the latter of whom were undoubtedly of Germanic origin. The Romans obtainedtheir first considerable knowledge of the country from Caesar. The ancient limits assigned to it were less on the west and south, but indefinitely greater on the east and north, than the modern. In those directions it was terra incognita to the Romans, and always remained so. They never did more than subdue the border tribes along the Rhine and Danube. Caesar had relatively little to do with the Germans, but made such investigations as he could, the results of which are succinctly given in his narrative (Bk. iv. 1-3; Bk. vi. 21-28). The next account, in greater detail, was given by Tacitus in his "Germania," who corroborates Caesar in all important particulars.

The Germans were much less civilized than most of the Gauls. They were just at the end of the nomadic stage, and were settling down and beginning community life. Their last onward nomadic movement was that under Ariovistus, which it was Caesar's fortune to arrest (Bk. i. 31-54). They were a more manly and vigorous race than the Gauls, warlike, independent, and virtuous. The country is described as a dismal land, covered for the most part with forests and swamps, procuring little food. and subject to almost constant winter.

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113 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.31
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 6.21
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 4.1
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