Winder’s Germania shows how far we, and Hollywood, view ancient Germany through the eyes of ancient Rome, a boggy and terrifying ‘light-deprived nightmare’, distilled in the film Gladiator with the Roman confrontation of the ‘fog-bound forest’ seen through a ‘special depressive charcoal filter’.

Spare us light-deprived nightmares and depressive charcoal filters, and may we revisit Tacitus’ Germania with a more critical eye.

Source: Simon Winder, Germania (London: Picador, 2011), p. 22

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