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Germania by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 35: Chaucians
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Hitherto, I have been describing Germany towards the west. To the northward, it winds away with an immense compass. And first of all occurs the nation of the Chaucians: who though they begin immediately at the confines of the Frisians, and occupy part of the shore, extend so far as to border upon all the several people whom I have already recounted; till at last, by a Circuit, they reach quite to the boundaries of the Cattans. A region so vast, the Chaucians do not only possess but fill; a people of all the Germans the most noble, such as would rather maintain their grandeur by justice than violence. They live in repose, retired from broils abroad, void of avidity to possess more, free from a spirit of domineering over others. They provoke no wars, they ravage no countries, they pursue no plunder. Of their bravery and power, the chief evidence arises from hence, that, without wronging or oppressing others, they are come to be superior to all. Yet they are all ready to arm, and if an exigency require, armies are presently raised, powerful and abounding as they are in men and horses; and even when they are quiet and their weapons laid aside, their credit and name continue equally high. Hactenus in occidentem Germaniam novimus; in septentrionem ingenti flexu redit. Ac primo statim Chaucorum gens, quamquam incipiat a Frisiis ac partem litoris occupet, omnium quas exposui gentium lateribus obtenditur, donec in Chattos usque sinuetur. Tam inmensum terrarum spatium non tenent tantum Chauci, sed et implent, populus inter Germanos nobilissimus, quique magnitudinem suam malit iustitia tueri. Sine cupididate, sine impotentia, quieti secretique nulla provocant bella, nullis raptibus aut latrociniis populantur. Id praecipuum virtutis ac virium argumentum est, quod, ut superiores agant, non per iniurias adsequuntur; prompta tamen omnibus arma ac, si res poscat, exercitus, plurimum virorum equorumque; et quiescentibus eadem fama.