TACITUS (56 - 117 CE)

original text from: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/tacitus/tac.ann4.shtml (translation: Andrea Gaddini)
[72] Eodem anno Frisii, transrhenanus popolus, pacem exuere, nostra magis avaritia quam obsequii impatientes. tributum iis Drusus iusserat modicum pro angustia rerum, ut in usus militaris coria boum penderent, non intenta cuiusquam cura quae firmitudo, quae mensura, donec Olennius e primipilaribus regendis Frisiis impositus terga urorum delegit quorum ad formam acciperentur. id aliis quoque nationibus arduum apud Germanos difficilius tolerabatur, quis ingentium beluarum feraces saltus, modica domi armenta sunt. ac primo boves ipsos, mox agros, postremo corpora coniugum aut liberorum servitio tradebant. [72] In that same year (28 CE) the Frisians, a people who dwelt over the Rhine, broke the peace, the more for our greediness than for intolerance of our rule. Drusus had decreed for them a reasonable tribute, for their lack of goods, that is paying in cattle hides for military purposes, not minding their strength or their size, until the primipilar Olennius, assegned to the rule of the Frisians, choose the aurochs' hide as a model to be assumed. This tribute would have been huge for every people, but it was even more difficult to stand for the Germans, whose forest is rich of wild beasts, while at home they rear low size livestock. So they were forced to give away first of all their oxen, then their fields, and finally they sold as slaves their wives and sons.

original text from: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/tacitus/tac.ger.shtml (translation: Andrea Gaddini)
[5] Terra etsi aliquanto specie differt, in universum tamen aut silvis horrida aut paludibus foeda, umidior qua Gallias, ventosior qua Noricum ac Pannoniam adspicit; satis ferax, frugiferarum arborum inpatiens, pecorum fecunda, sed plerumque improcera. Ne armentis quidem suus honor aut gloria frontis: numero gaudent, eaeque solae et gratissimae opes sunt. [5] This country is much varied as for appearance, but in general it is full of awful forests or even of orrible swamps, it is more humid in the part facing Gaul, more windy in that facing Noricum and Pannonia; it is rather fertile, but it doesn't allow the growth of fruit-trees, it is plentiful of livestock, which anyway has generally a small size. And they are neither pleased by the beauty of their livestock or by the width of the horns, but only by their number, and this is the only wealth they appreciate.
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page last updated: February 2th 2008