Germania (book)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Germania (De Origine et situ Germanorum, literally Concerning the Origin and Situation of the Germanics), written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.

This work survived only in one single manuscript that was found in Hersfeld Abbey in Germany, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, and brought to Italy in 1455 where Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, first examined and analyzed it, whereby he sparked interest among German humanists such as Conrad Celtes, Johannes Aventinus, and Ulrich von Hutten. After study and debate the Germania was considered an authentic source on ancient Germany. Ever since its discovery, treatment of the text regarding the culture of the early Germanic peoples in ancient Germany remains strong especially in German history, philology, and ethnology studies, and to a lesser degree in Scandinavian countries as well. In 1956 the Italian historian Arnaldo Momigliano described Germania as "among the most dangerous books ever written".

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