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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 28: The Germans in general
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That the Gauls were in times past more puissant and formidable, is related by the Prince of authors, the deified Julius [Note 7] and hence it is probable that they too have passed into Germany. For what a small obstacle must be a river, to restrain any nation, as each grew more potent, from seizing or changing habitations; when as yet all habitations were common, and not parted or appropriated by the founding nd terror of monarchies? The region therefore between the Hercynian Forest and the rivers Moenus [Note 8] and Rhine, was occupied by the Helvetians; as was that beyond it by the Boians, both nations of Gaul. There still remains a place called Bohemum, which denotes the primitive name and antiquity of the country, although the inhabitants have been changed. But whether the Araviscans are derived from the Osians, a nation of Germans passing into Pannonia, or the Osians from the Araviscans removing from thence into Germany, is a matter undecided; since they both still use the language, the same customs and the same laws. For, as of old they lived alike poor and alike free, equal proved the evils and advantages on each side the river, and common to both people. The Treverians and Nervians aspire passionately to the reputation of being descended from the Germans; since by the glory of this original, they would escape all imputation of resembling the Gauls in person and effeminacy. Such as dwell upon the bank of the Rhine, the Vangiones, the Tribocians, and the Nemetes, are without doubt all Germans. The Ubians are ashamed of their original; though they have a particular honour to boast, that of having merited an establishment as a Roman colony, and still delight to be called Agrippinensians, after the name of their founder: they indeed formerly came from beyond the Rhine, and, for the many proofs of their fidelity, were settled upon the very bank of the river; not to be there confined or guarded themselves, but to guard and defend that boundary against the rest of the Germans.|
(7): Julius Caesar.
|Validiores olim Gallorum res fuisse summus auctorum divus Iulius tradit; eoque credibile est etiam Gallos in Germaniam transgressos: quantulum enim amnis obstabat quo minus, ut quaeque gens evaluerat, occuparet permutaretque sedes promiscuas adhuc et nulla regnorum potentia divisas? Igitur inter Hercyniam silvam Rhenumque et Moenum amnes Helvetii, ulteriora Boii, Gallica utraque gens, tenuere. Manet adhuc Boihaemi nomen significatque loci veterem memoriam quamvis mutatis cultoribus. Sed utrum Aravisci in Pannoniam ab Osis, Germanorum natione, an Osi ab Araviscis in Germaniam commigraverint, cum eodem adhuc sermone institutis moribus utantur, incertum est, quia pari olim inopia ac libertate eadem utriusque ripae bona malaque erant. Treveri et Nervii circa adfectationem Germanicae originis ultro ambitiosi sunt, tamquam per hanc gloriam sanguinis a similitudine et inertia Gallorum separentur. Ipsam Rheni ripam haud dubie Germanorum populi colunt, Vangiones, Triboci, Nemetes. Ne Ubii quidem, quamquam Romana colonia esse meruerint ac libentius Agrippinenses conditoris sui nomine vocentur, origine erubescunt, transgressi olim et experimento fidei super ipsam Rheni ripam conlocati, ut arcerent, non ut custodirentur.|