The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 1

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The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The north-western corner of the vast plain which extends from the German ocean to the Ural mountains is occupied by the countries called the Netherlands. This small triangle, enclosed between France, Germany, and the sea, is divided by the modern kingdoms of Belgium and Holland into two nearly equal portions. Our earliest information concerning this territory is derived from the Romans. The wars waged by that nation with the northern barbarians have rescued the damp island of Batavia, with its neighboring morasses, from the obscurity in which they might have remained for ages, before anything concerning land or people would have been made known by the native inhabitants. Julius Cæsar has saved from oblivion the heroic savages who fought against his legions in defence of their dismal homes with ferocious but unfortunate patriotism; and the great poet of England, learning from the conqueror's Commentaries the name of the boldest tribe, has kept the Nervii, after almost twenty centuries, still fresh and familiar in our ears.

Tacitus, too, has described with singular minuteness the struggle between the people of these regions and the power of Rome, overwhelming; although tottering to its fall; and has moreover, devoted several chapters of his work upon Germany to a description of the most remarkable Tentonic tribes of the Netherlands.

Geographically and ethnographically, the Low Countries belong both to Gaul and to Germany. It is even doubtful to . . .

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