The role that women performed in Iron Age Celtic societies was most likely similar to that of other societies in the past as daughters, wives, mothers and priestesses. The idea that Celtic women could also be queens and leaders of war bands, might not come as a surprise to modern historians, but to the Greek and Roman men who witnessed and recorded the exploits of these women it was considered abnormal for them to act publically and autonomously. The primary source documents from historians Gaius Julius Caesar and Publius Cornelius Tacitus will provide the majority of literary evidence for this study, with supporting evidence from the works of Strabo, Plutarch, Polybius, Cassius Dio and Diodorus Siculus also considered.
Tacitus on German Women [The Germans] choose their kings for their noble birth, their commanders for their valor. The power even of the kings is not absolute or arbitrary.
|Tacitus Germania and Women Essay Example | Graduateway||Though most has been lost, what remains is an invaluable record of the era. The first half of the Annals survived in a single copy of a manuscript from Corvey Abbeyand the second half from a single copy of a manuscript from Monte Cassinoand so it is remarkable that they survived at all.|
|Tacitus on Women and War « The Thinking Housewife||The Valkyrie of Norse myth chose heroes from the battlefield, designating who would live or die, and carried their slain bodies to Valhalla.|
The commanders rely on example rather than on the authority of their rank -- on the admiration they win by showing conspicuous energy and courage and by pressing forward in front of their own troops. They actually carry with them into the fight certain figures and emblems taken from their sacred groves.
A specially powerful incitement to valor is that the squadrons and divisions are not made up at random by the mustering of chance-comers, but are each composed of men of one family or clan. Close by them, too, are their nearest and dearest, so that they can hear the shrieks of their women-folk and the wailing of their children.
These are the witnesses whom each man reverences most highly, whose praise he most desires. It is to their mothers and wives that they go to have their wounds treated, and the women are not afraid to count and compare the gashes. They also carry supplies of food to the combatants and encourage them.
It stands on record that armies already wavering and on the point of collapse have been rallied by the women, pleading heroically with their men, thrusting forward their bared bosoms, and making them realize the imminent prospect of enslavement -- a fate which the Germans fear more desperately for their women than for themselves.
Indeed, you can secure a surer hold on these nations if you compel them to include among a consignment of hostages some girls of noble family.
More than this, they believe that there resides in women an element of holiness and a gift of prophecy; and so they do not scorn to ask their advice, or lightly disregard their replies. In the reign of the emperor Vespasian we saw Veleda [a seeress who helped lead a revolt against Rome] long honored by many Germans as a divinity; and even earlier they showed similar reverence for Aurinia [another seeress] and a number of others -- a reverence untainted by servile flattery or any pretense of turning women into goddesses.
Their marriage code is strict, and no feature of their morality deserves higher praise.
They are almost unique among barbarians in being content with one wife apiece -- all of them, that is, except a very few who take more than one wife not to satisfy their desires but because their exalted rank brings them many pressing offers of matrimonial alliance.
The dowry is brought by husband to wife, not by wife to husband. In consideration of such gifts a man gets his wife, and she in her turn brings a present of arms to her husband. This interchange of gifts typifies for them the most sacred bond of union, sanctified by mystic rites under the favor of the presiding deities of wedlock.
The woman must not think that she is excluded from aspirations to manly virtues or exempt from the hazards of warfare. That is the meaning of the team of oxen, the horse ready for its rider, and the gift of arms.
On these terms she must live her life and bear her children. The full text, in a different translation, is available on the Wake Up or Die site.Germania and the Histories of Tacitus Germania is an ethnographic study of Central Europe in which Tacitus compares the decadence of Rome with the virility of the barbarians.
Historiae 'Histories', which Tacitus wrote before Annales, treats the period from Nero's death in A.D. 68 to A.D.
Tacitus on German Women [The Germans] choose their kings for their noble birth, their commanders for their valor. The power even of the kings is not absolute or arbitrary. TACITUS Germania. The various peoples of Germany are separated from the Gauls by the Rhine, from the Raetians and Pannonians by the Danube, and from the Sarmatians and Dacians by mountains -- or, where there are no mountains, by mutual fear.
Tacitus Germania and Women Essay - Part 2. Germania, written by the Roman Cornelius Tacitus in 98 A - Tacitus Germania and Women Essay introduction. D, is a historical work on the warlike Germanic tribes located north of the Danube and the Rhine rivers. Sep 30, · According to Tacitus, the Germans strongly disapproved of extramarital sexual adventures by their womenfolk.
Women who transgressed the rules had their heads shaved, were driven from their homes, and received a public caninariojana.com: Women of History. To conclude Germania Tacitus describes the specific practices of more than 20 individual nations and tribes within the area of Germania.
The first evidence Germania gives of the Germani’s high regard for women is apparent through the women’s influence on the men during war.