Province of Greater Germany

Greater Germania was never really a province of Rome since repeated attempts to push east of the Rhine ultimately ended in failure. The region was so vast and its eastern frontier so ill defined that it merged quite imperceptibly with the vast expanse of Asia. Ptolemy, however, is prepared to set a limit to its outline, defining the eastern limit to be the course of the river (Vistula?), from its source to the Baltic Sea. The southern limit he defines as the course of river Danube, from its source to the Curtan turn north of Budapest. The remainder of this southern frontier is indicated as being the mountain range between this turn and the source of the Vistula. The western and northern limits to Germania are the course of the river Rhine and the Germanic Ocean. The cardinal points given by Ptolemy are,

Long. Lat. Long. Lat.
Mouth of the Rhine28°00'54°00'23°55'51°58'
Source of the Rhine/Danube30°00'46°20'28°30'48°00'
Source of the (Vistula?)42°30'48°30'38°57'49°25'
Mouth of the (Vistula?)45°00'56°00'41°45'57°40'

Ptolemy's co–ordinates for the Vistula are, however, much too far to the east and more easily match those of the Dvina.

There is, unfortunately, no means of exactly identifying the ninety–four habitable locations that Ptolemy lists, sufficiently so to make a comparison with his given co–ordinates and those of the present day. It is interesting to note that Ptolemy lists them in sequential parallel bands from west to east, along the latitudes from 54° to 48˘, as though he himself were not well informed. He makes no attempt to link them with tribal groups which he deals with in an almost wholesale manner in paragraphs §8–§26. Such traces that the spasmodic Roman occupation might have left are not identified at all. Ptolemy's position with Greater Germania cannot really be resolved beyond acknowledging that the parameters he sets for its outline, given some doubts on the identity of his 'Vistula'. are within reasonable limits given the circumstances.