Agricola was the Roman general who completed the dominion of the Romans in Brittany. He served several emperors: Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian. Such conquest was not an easy task by any means. Tacitus is quite explicit in crediting the bravery of the peoples of Brittany who preferred death rather than to submit to a foreign conqueror. Rather than a historical chronicle, Germania is an ethnographic study of Central Europe in which Tacitus compares the decay of the Roman Empire with the energy of the barbarian tribes. Tacitus —perhaps out of hostility to Domitian— makes clear in his study that Germania not only remained unconquered, but also that it was a national security threat to the Roman Empire. So, Tacitus’ hidden motive for writing this short report seems to be a call to action to complete a job still undone: the final conquest of Germania.
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