Why Cornelius Tacitus described people "Venedi" as Germanic people

"The most exhaustive Roman treatment of the Veneti comes in Germania by Tacitus, who, writing in AD 98, locates the Veneti among the peoples on the eastern fringe of Germania. He was uncertain of their ethnic identity, classifying them as Germans based on their way of life but not based on their language (in comparison to, for example, the Peucini (Bastarnae).

Despite this rather "functional" accounting of the Veneti as belonging amongst the Germanic tribes, slavists such as Pavel Josef Šafařík have criticized Tacitus for identifying the Venethi as Germanic, due to the similar appearance of Slavs and Germans."

Any opinions?

Comments

  • 1. They might have been. Wouldn't be the 1st time Romans used a similar name for different peoples.
    2. Tacitus was a bookworm kinda historian, not the adventurer type. His data was second hand. He might've gotten it wrong.
    3. He might've been drunk.
    4. He might've done it to screw with future historians.
    5. They might have been similar enough that the Romans didn't care to differentiate.

    I could go on ...
  • edited December 6
    I've always thought it was a good dose of number 5.
  • What's the difference between (ancient) Slavs and Germans anyway? Besides the language and some religious aspects.
  • @aaaaa

    "They might have been"

    If they "have been", that literraly means that Slavs are of Germanic origin, and they "become Slavs" becouse of language changes.
  • @NikeBG

    How do you know how they looked?

    "What's the difference?"

    I don't know, but if Venedi are definitly Germanics, that mean that ancient Slavic ancestors were Germanic as well.

    Becouse Venedi are the ancestors of the Anthes, and Sclavenians, by all Roman scholars.
  • edited December 7
    I'd go with no. 3 on @aaaaa 's list, but here's my perspective.

    @South Slav
    Tacitus, who, writing in AD 98, locates the Veneti among the peoples on the eastern fringe of Germania. He was uncertain of their ethnic identity, classifying them as Germans based on their way of life but not based on their language
    And then you come up with this:
    I don't know, but if Venedi are definitly Germanics, that mean that ancient Slavic ancestors were Germanic as well.
    I've already told you not everything is black and white. Venedi were identified as Germanics probably because they lived among them and Romans didn't care/want/have time/have an opportunity to hear and study both language groups and make some conclusions. To Romans many tribes could have been seen as the same group of people, because they were similar at the first sight. Even today, foreigners couldn't point out any differences between Romanians and surrounding Slavs, for example. Even after hearing their languages.

    Slavic and Germanic languages are not enough related to each other to be able to tell that one is the ancestral language group of another. Slavic language group is more related to Indo-Iranian than to the Germanic group.

    If you want to argue about genetics, then stop right there! The map of genetics has much more blurry borders compared to the map of languages. For example, I've already mentioned the Jász people, who completely lost their language in just 2 centuries after settling in Hungary. The same happened with many tribes/nations in human history.
    Just look at this crazy map:

    And there's much more of what we don't know about. There's plenty of historical events that haven't been recorded in written history. People migrated from one place to another, some assimilated, some gained cultural and political power. The political map used to change every month. How could you make any conclusions about our history, if even the little evidence we have is deceptive?

    As for now, I'm afraid there are no true answers for your questions.

    Oh, I forgot. Remember, the definition of "Germania":
    Germania (/dʒərˈmeɪniə/) was the Roman term for the geographical region in north-central Europe inhabited mainly by Germanic peoples.

    You see the word "mainly"? That means that Germania wasn't inhabited solely by Germanics. They were just the dominant group living in the area.

  • @Kapitán Denis

    I didn't say that whole Slavs are Germanics, but i said "If Venedi are Germanics", becouse they are the mainly ancestors of Slavs, than Slavs are as well. 

    He said "They might have been".
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