"Its source [i.e. the pressure on the Roman empire] was the northern Teutonic lands in the basins of the Oder, of the Spree, and of the Vistula, where the tribes were wholly pagan. This would have mattered less had they not also been predatory by instinct and destructive by nature, characteristics it would seem which twenty centuries have not wholly eradicated."
The other book was very satisfying to begin reading. It's a cultural/intellectual history of the ways in which knowledge about technology was protected in the Medieval and Early Modern time periods. Nicely written, but I'm not very far along. I was rather distractable yesterday.
Today I promised myself I would try to largely finish up the little bit of work I was doing for a professor in my department this month, but the day is off to a slow start and I'm not feeling that eager to run into school. I'll spend the next hour tracking down bibliographic references and looking through the material a person previously working on this project left for me, go pick up the tickets for tomorrow night, and THEN go into school. That'll be better, I think.
Tangent: The BBC has an article on the dying art of the postcard today. I used to be so much better of a letter writer and postcard writer as well. I hardly sent any while travelling this summer. It's something I used to really like about myself.