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The rendering of this famous passage, given in the text, is almost certainly correct. It has been defended with a great array of learning by Norden. The alternative version, `that all were first called Germans by the victor to inspire terror', is, grammatically, easier, for `a victore' and `a se ipsis' will then be used in exactly the same sense, not, as in our rendering, with a shift of meaning. But the sense is poor—the Tungri (Germani), to frighten the Gauls, said that all the people across the Rhine were Germans too. `Ob metum' can mean `to inspire fear', but the other meaning, `because of fear felt', is more usual.

Note by H Mattingly to Germania by Tacitus

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