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Zvaci
Wednesday, July 10th, 2002, 02:16 PM
BATTLE OF TEUTORBURGERWALD - DECISIVE DEFEAT FOR ROME

As soon as he was in a position to act, Hermann immediately set about organizing a rebellion amongst the Germans against Roman rule. Using his position as a German prince to influence a large number of German tribes, Hermann secretly began preparing his own great German army - no doubt using much of what he had learned during his training in the Roman army.
In 9 AD, Varus' Roman army was encamped west of the Weser river in the modern day German state of North Rhine Westphalia. Hermann arranged to have a diversionary battle erupt to the east, and Varus immediately set off in that direction.
In the forest, Hermann's forces ambushed the Romans. For three days the battle raged, with Hermann employing unusual guerrilla tactics, attacking and then suddenly withdrawing into the forest before the Romans could create their set battle formations, and then attacking again a while later from a completely different direction.

Only a handful of Romans escaped from the forest to tell the tale. Most were killed in combat and those who were captured suffered the fate of many Germans and Celts who had earlier fallen into Roman hands - they were killed on the spot. News of the victory spread throughout occupied Germany, sparking off a rebellion which saw the Romans having to retreat all the way back to the western side of the Rhine river once again.

15,000 Roman troops were killed in the battle and their remains were only buried long after by a new Roman army sent on a punitive mission - their accounts tell of piles of bleached bones and skulls nailed to trees as macabre warnings to other Romans.
Although the wars with the Germans dragged on for eight more years, by 17 AD, the Romans formerly accepted the Rhine as the border between Germany and Rome. Germany was never invaded again.
Hermann had also succeeded in at last uniting the German tribes against Rome. This unity was however short lived and once the Romans had been driven from their land, the German tribes lost little time in launching into one another again.
Thus Germany once again became a land of fierce and warlike tribes, all battling with each other for territory as they had done before the advent of the Roman incursions.

Oswald Mosley
Wednesday, July 17th, 2002, 08:03 PM
The ancient Germans were not primitive, but they were nomadic, hence their unwillingness to settle into an urban, 'advanced' civilisation. This was one of the biggest contrasts between the Romans and the Germanic tribes, who refused to change their way of life to suit the Roman Empire. Having said that, in the centuries after the victory of Arminius, many Germans did settle within Roman borders and entered the hierarchy of Roman society, which by then was rapidly becoming mongrelised. The Germans dominated the last years of Rome, being one of the few dynamic forces in the decaying empire.

Ebusitanus
Sunday, July 28th, 2002, 09:53 PM
Here some good stuff I found on the web.


Arminius (18 BC?-19 AD), Chief of the Cherusci (a Teutonic tribe) spent six years in the Roman army (1-6 AD), learning the Roman arts of war and policy. Arminius gained Roman citizenship, and returned home to Germany in 7 AD. There he discovered his people being oppressed by the Roman Governor P. Quinctilius Varus and started a rebellion against Rome.
According the Roman historian Dio, Arminius and his father Segemerus lulled Varus into a false sense of security by agreeing to his demands, making him think that the Cherusci tribes across the Rhine would be compliant to Roman conquest. This lured Varus away from the Rhine, deeper into Cherusci territory; furthermore he dispersed his troops by sending them to help defend villages from neighbouring tribal attack, as requested by the leaders of the villages (who were secretly aiding Arminius!). Such was the deception, that when Segestes (a compatriot and father-in-law of Arminius who was opposed to the revolt all along) tried to warn Varus of the plans, he did not believe him and accused Segestes of spreading slanders about Arminius because of the on-going feud between them (Arminus had eloped with Segestes' daughter Thusnelda). A small uprising deep in Cherusci territory made Varus lead his troops straight into the trap! In his false sense of security, Varus not only took his troops through deep forest, but also the camp followers, wagons and even woman and children. The troops were thinly scattered in a long line amongst the wagons and non-combatants. Dio records that the Cherusci leaders escorted Varus for part of the way, then excused themselves, no doubt to meet up with their own army as prearranged. Thus, as the rain fell down, the path through the forest became more slippery, the already slow wagons got bogged down in the mud, spreading out further the fighting troops, and Varus fell directly into Arminius' trap.

The decisive battle was fought over three days in Teutoburg Forest, a mountain range in the north-west of Germany (now approximately 70 miles [115km] across from Osnabrück to Padoborn). The precise location of Varus' final stand is believed to be at Kalkriese (near Osnabrück), where in the mid 1980s a British soldier discovered large numbers of bronze coins and lead slingshot "bullets". Further archaeological excavations have revealed fragments of armour, numerous coins which all pre-date 9 AD and are stamped "VAR" (for "VARUS") as the issuer, and even the face mask from a legionary helmet. Over 3000 items were discovered, along with (even more gruesomely) human remains, which supports the theory that Kalkriese is the spot of the massacre.

http://www.classical-webdesigns.co.uk/falco/facts/varuscoin.gif

By the end of the battle three Roman legions were massacred by Arminius' tribes. Estimates of the actual numbers of men involved vary from 20,000 to 25,000, which are devastating numbers even if you take the conservative estimate! This defeat led to Rome losing all its possessions east of the Rhine, making the river the most north-easterly border of the Empire (however, Rome also decided that it simply wasn't worth the risk to troops and there wasn't much there anyway that they couldn't get by other means!). Towards the end of the battle, upon seeing that his army was going to be completely destroyed, and fearing capture or slaughter, Varus committed suicide by falling upon his sword.

According to Tacitus, another Roman historian, in 15 AD Germanicus (15 BC-19 AD), the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, defeated Arminius in battle (but did not kill him), but was recalled back to Rome, before he could capitalise on his victory. However, Tacitus says later that Arminius dies without being conclusively beaten in battle, which is supported by the fact that later on the Romans manipulated German politics via third parties instead of direct military action, which would not have been necessary had the Romans completely defeated the German alliance ("Cheruscian Federation"). So Germanicus' victory over the Cherusci may not have been as complete or victorious as Tacitus would like us to believe, however, some honour was gained by Germanicus capturing back two of the three Eagles of the legions, for which according to Suetonius, the Roman biographer, Emperor Augustus cried out for frequently:

"Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!"
[Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, (II: Augustus, 23)]

Few Roman armies crossed over the Rhine after this, except in response to German raids, not for conquest. In the time of Claudius, one army discovered that the burial mound built by Germanicus had been destroyed by the Germans, so they reburied the scattered remains and rebuilt the mound. As for Arminius, internal feuds among the tribes, following the expulsion of the Romans, led to members of Arminius' family killing him themselves.


A different account from one Roman of the time


In the passage below, the Roman historian Gaius Velleus Paterculus recounts the Cherusci ambush of Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest. While Paterculus gives us some insight into the Germanic character, he reveals perhaps even more about Roman attitudes and values. He appreciates many qualities in the Germans, such as their intelligence and shrewdness, and criticizes the Roman leaders when they lack perception or behave in a cowardly fashion. ( Virtus, "manliness," meant everything to the Roman male.) Paterculus does not entertain the possibility that the Germans might have had a legitimate reason for rebelling, and views their attack against Roman authority as "perfidy."

Caesar had but just concluded the war in Pannonia and Dalmatia, when, within five days after the final determination of it, mournful news arrived from Germany; that Varus was killed, three legions cut to pieces, as many troops of cavalry, and six cohorts....

The occasion, and the character of the leader, demand some attention. Quintilius Varus was born of a noble rather than illustrious family, was of a mild disposition, of sedate manners, and being somewhat indolent as well, in body as in mind, was more accustomed to ease in a camp than to action in the field. How far he was from despising money, Syria, of which he had been governor, afforded proof; for, going a poor man into that rich province, he became a rich man, and left it a poor province. Being appointed commander of the army in Germany, he imagined that the inhabitants had nothing human but the voice and limbs, and that men who could not be tamed by the sword, might be civilized by law. With this notion, having marched into the heart of Germany, as if among people who delighted in the sweets of peace, he spent the summer in deciding controversies, and ordering the pleadings before a tribunal.

But those people, though a person unacquainted with them would hardly believe it, are, while extremely savage, exquisitely artful, a race, indeed, formed by nature for deceit; and, accordingly, by introducing fictitious disputes one after another, by sometimes prosecuting each other for pretended injuries, and then returning thanks for the decision of these suits by Roman equity, for the civilization of their barbarous state by this new system, and for the determination by law of disputes which used to be determined by arms, they at length lulled Quintilius into such a perfect feeling of security, that he fancied himself a city praetor dispensing justice in the forum, instead of the commander of an army in the middle of Germany.

It was at this time that a youth of illustrious birth, the son of Segimer, prince of that nation, named Arminius, brave in action, quick in apprehension, and of activity of mind far beyond the state of barbarism, showing in his eyes and countenance the ardor of his feelings (a youth who had constantly accompanied our army in the former war, and had obtained the privileges of a Roman citizen, and the rank of a knight), took advantage of the general's indolence to perpetrate an act of atrocity, not unwisely judging that no man is more easily cut off than he who feels no fear, and that security is very frequently the commencement of calamity. He communicated his thoughts at first to a few, and afterward to more, stating to them, and assuring them, that the Romans might be cut off by surprise; he then proceeded to add action to resolution, and fixed a time for carrying a plot into action. Notice of this intention was given to Varus by Segestes, a man of that nation, worthy of credit, and of high rank; but fate was not to be opposed by warnings, and had already darkened the mental vision of the Roman general.... Varus refused to credit the information, asserting that he felt a trust in the good will of the people, proportioned to his kindness toward them. However, after this first premonition, there was no time left for a second.

The circumstances of this most dreadful calamity, than which none more grievous ever befell the Romans in a foreign country, since the destruction of Crassus in Parthia, I will endeavor to relate in my larger history, as has been done before. At present we can only lament the whole. An army unrivaled in bravery, the flower of the Roman troops in discipline, vigor, and experience in war, was brought, through the supineness of its leader, the perfidy of the enemy, and the cruelty of Fortune, into a situation utterly desperate (in which not even an opportunity was allowed the men of extricating themselves by fighting, as they wished, some being even severely punished by the general, for using Roman arms with Roman spirit), and, hemmed in by woods, lakes, and bodies of the enemy in ambush, was entirely cut off by those foes whom they had ever before slaughtered like cattle, and of whose life and death the mercy or severity of the Romans has always been the arbitrator.

The leader showed some spirit in dying, though none in fighting; for, imitating the example of his father and grandfather, he ran himself through with his sword. Of two prefects of the camp, Lucius Eggius gave as honorable an example of valor as Ceionius gave of baseness; for, after the sword had destroyed the greater part of the army, Ceionius advised a surrender, choosing to die by the hand of an executioner rather than in battle. Numonius Vala, a lieutenant-general under Varus, who in other cases conducted himself as a modest and well-meaning man, was on this occasion guilty of abominable treachery; for, leaving the infantry uncovered by the cavalry, he fled with the horse of the allies, and attempted to reach the Rhine. Fortune took vengeance on his misdeed; for he did not survive his deserted countrymen, but perished in the act of desertion. The savage enemy mangled the half-burned body of Varus; his head was cut off, and brought to Marobodus, and being sent by him to Caesar, was at length honored with burial in the sepulcher of his family.


For those who read German, a good website to check out including the modern dig of the "Last stand" area.

http://www.geschichte.uni-osnabrueck.de/projekt/start.html

Some reconstruction of a Germanic village which should prove Germans as NON nomadic.

http://bibliothecagermanica.de/html/cheruscan1.html

http://bibliothecagermanica.de/html/treveran1.html

Germanic Defense works

http://bibliothecagermanica.de/html/defense1.html

leonidas
Monday, July 29th, 2002, 08:44 PM
The battle seems to be adequately covered here,what i would like to add is that the german tribes were defending their hearth and home,and if they did not repulse the roman empire at this juncture in time,they in all probability would have succumbed in the near future.This victory gave them belief,it also struck a legendary dread into the legions,not to thread to deaply into the forest!

The germans went on of course to shape the future of western europe after the demise of the empire of the west,but its ultimate root cause of destruction was internal,this is bourne out by the disproportionate population of invaders to citizens of the empire,something in the region of ten to one!

Patriotism to the roman tax collector was deluded,many of the citizens simply fared better off under german kings and chieftains.

Embezzlement by government officials,inflation broght about by the mint been alloyed with cheaper metals and civil strife turned the tide for the decaying empire,it largely lost its will to exist and exert itself to self sacrifice like the example shown by its founding fathers.

Of course regional nationality was also a reason for this self indulgence.We of today must remember this,stick together now western man or else do not cry out your fate to come!

Rahul
Monday, November 18th, 2002, 05:20 PM
The Victory of Hermann Over the Roman Legions

By Edward Shepherd Creasy

Author of Fifteen Decisive Battles Of The World

Twenty-three eventful years have passed away since M. Guizot delivered from the chair of modern history at Paris his course of lectures on the history of civilization in Europe. During those years the spirit of earnest inquiry into the germs and primary developments of existing institutions has become more and more active and universal, and the merited celebrity of M. Guizot's work has proportionally increased. Its admirable analysis of the complex political and social organizations of which the modern civilized world is made up, must have led thousands to trace with keener interest the great crises of times past, by which the characteristics of the present were determined. The narrative of one of these great crises, of the epoch A.D. 9, when Germany took up arms for her independence against Roman invasion, has for us this special attraction - that it forms part of our own national history. Had Arminius been supine or unsuccessful, our Germanic ancestors would have been enslaved or exterminated in their original seats along the Eyder and the Elbe. This island would never have borne the name of England, and " we, this great English nation, whose race and language are now overrunning the earth, from one end of it to the other," (i) would have been utterly cut off from existence.

Arnold may, indeed, go too far in holding that we are wholly unconnected in race with the Romans and Britons who inhabited this country before the coming over of the Saxons ; that, " nationally speaking, the history of Caesar's invasion has no more to do with us than the natural history of the animals which then inhabited our forests." There seems ample evidence to prove that the Romanized Celts whom our Teutonic forefathers found here influenced materially the character of our nation. But the main stream of our people was and is Germanic. Our language alone decisively proves this. Arminius is far more truly one of our national heroes than Caractacus; and it was our own primeval fatherland that the brave German rescued when he slaughtered the Roman legions eighteen centuries ago, in the marshy glens between the Lippe and the Ems. (ii)

Dark and disheartening, even to heroic spirits, must have seemed the prospects of Germany when Arminius planned the general rising of his countrymen against Rome. Half the land was occupied by Roman garrisons ; and, what was worse, many of the Germans seemed patiently acquiescent in their state of bondage. The braver portion, whose patriotism could be relied on, was ill armed and undisciplined, while the enemy's troops consisted of veterans in the highest state of equipment and training, familiarized with victory, and commanded by officers of proved skill and valor. The resources of Rome seemed boundless ; her tenacity of purpose was believed to be invincible. There was no hope of foreign sympathy or aid; for " the self-governing powers that had filled the Old World had bent one after another before the rising power of Rome, and had vanished. The earth seemed left void of independent nations." (iii)

The German chieftain knew well the gigantic power of the oppressor. Arminius was no rude savage, fighting out of mere animal instinct, or in ignorance of the might of his adversary. He was familiar with the Roman language and civilization ; he had served in the Roman armies ; he had been admitted to the Roman citizenship, and raised to the rank of the equestrian order. It was part of the subtle policy of Rome to confer rank and privileges on the youth of the leading families in the nations which she wished to enslave. Among other young German chieftains, Arminius and his brother, who were the heads of the noblest house in the tribe of the Cherusci, had been selected as fit objects for the exercise of this insidious system. Roman refinements and dignities succeeded in denationalizing the brother, who assumed the Roman name of Flavius, and adhered to Rome throughout all her wars against his country. Arminius remained unbought by honors or wealth, uncorrupted by refinement or luxury. He aspired to and obtained from Roman enmity a higher title than ever could have been given him by Roman favor. It is in the page of Rome's greatest historian that his name has come down to us with the proud addition of " Liberator haud dubiè Germaniae." (iv)

Often must the young chieftain, while meditating the exploit which has thus immortalized him, have anxiously revolved in his mind the fate of the many great men who had been crushed in the attempt which he was about to renew-the attempt to stay the chariot-wheels of triumphant Rome. Could he hope to succeed where Hannibal and Mithridates had perished ? What had been the doom of Viriathus ? and what warning against vain valor was written on the desolate site where Numantia once had flourished ? Nor was a caution wanting in scenes nearer home and more recent times. The Gauls had fruitlessly struggled for eight years against Caesar ; and the gallant Vercingetorix, who in the last year of the war had roused all his countrymen to insurrection, who had cut off Roman detachments, and brought Caesar himself to the extreme of peril at Alesia - he, too, had finally succumbed, had been led captive in Caesar's triumph, and had then been butchered in cold blood in a Roman dungeon.

It was true that Rome was no longer the great military republic which for so many ages had shattered the kingdoms of the world. Her system of government was changed ; and after a century of revolution and civil war, she had placed herself under the despotism of a single ruler. But the discipline of her troops was yet unimpaired, and her warlike spirit seemed unabated. The first year of the empire had been signalized by conquests as valuable as any gained by the republic in a corresponding period. It is a great fallacy, though apparently sanctioned by great authorities, to suppose that the foreign policy pursued by Augustus was pacific; he certainly recommended such a policy to his successors (incertum metu an per invidiam, - TAC., Ann., i., 1I), but he himself, until Arminius broke his spirit, had followed a very different course. Besides his Spanish wars, his generals, in a series of generally aggressive campaigns, had extended the Roman frontier from the Alps to the Danube, and had reduced into subjection the large and important countries that now form the territories of all Austria south of that river, and of East Switzerland, Lower Wirtemberg, Bavaria, the Valtelline, and the Tyrol. While the progress of the Roman arms thus pressed the Germans from the south, still more formidable inroads had been made by the imperial legions on the west. Roman armies, moving from the province of Gaul, established a chain of fortresses along the right as well as the left bank of the Rhine, and, in a series of victorious campaigns, advanced their eagles as far as the Elbe, which now seemed added to the list of vassal rivers, to the Nile, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube, the Tagus, the Seine, and many more, that acknowledged the supremacy of the Tiber. Roman fleets also, sailing from the harbors of Gaul along the German coasts and up the estuaries, co-operated with the land-forces of the empire, and seemed to display, even more decisively than her armies, her overwhelming superiority over the rude Germanic tribes. Throughout the territory thus invaded, the Romans had with their usual military skill, established fortified posts; and a powerful army of occupation was kept on foot, ready to move instantly on any spot where any popular outbreak might be attempted.

Vast, however, and admirably organized as the fabric of Roman power appeared on the frontiers and in the provinces, there was rottenness at the core. In Rome's unceasing hostilities with foreign foes, and still more in her long series of desolating civil wars, the free middle classes of Italy had almost wholly disappeared. Above the position which they had occupied, an oligarchy of wealth had reared itself; beneath that position, a degraded mass of poverty and misery was fermenting. Slaves, the chance sweepings of every conquered country, shoals of Africans, Sardinians, Asiatics, Illyrians, and others, made up the bulk of the population of the Italian peninsula. The foulest profligacy of manners was general in all ranks. In universal weariness of revolution and civil war, and in consciousness of being too debased for self-government, the nation had submitted itself to the absolute authority of Augustus. Adulation was now the chief function of the senate; and the gifts of genius and accomplishments of art were devoted to the elaboration of eloquently false panegyrics upon the prince and his favorite courtiers. With bitter indignation must the German chieftain have beheld all this and contrasted with it the rough worth of his own countrymen: their bravery, their fidelity to their word, their manly independence of spirit, their love of their national free institutions, and their loathing of every pollution and meanness. Above all, he must have thought of the domestic virtues that hallowed a German home; of the respect there shown to the female character, and of the pure affection by which that respect was repaid. His soul must have burned within him at the contemplation of such a race yielding to these debased Italians.

Still, to persuade the Germans to combine, in spite of their frequent feuds among themselves, in one sudden outbreak against Rome; to keep the scheme concealed from the Romans until the hour for action arrived ; and then, without possessing a single walled town, without military stores, without training, to teach his insurgent countrymen to defeat veteran armies and storm fortifications, seemed so perilous an enterprise, that probably Arminius would have receded from it had not a stronger feeling even than patriotism urged him on. Among the Germans of high rank who had most readily submitted to the invaders, and become zealous partisans of Roman authority, was a chieftain named Segestes. His daughter, Thusnelda, was pre-eminent among the noble maidens of Germany. Arminius had sought her hand in marriage; but Segestes, who probably discerned the young chief's disaffection to Rome, forbade his suit, and strove to preclude all communication between him and his daughter. Thusnelda, however, sympathized far more with the heroic spirit of her lover than with the time-serving policy of her father. An elopement baffled the precautions of Segestes, who, disappointed in his hope of preventing the marriage, accused Arminius before the Roman governor of having carried off his daughter, and of planning treason against Rome. Thus assailed, and dreading to see his bride torn from him by the officials of the foreign oppressor, Arminius delayed no longer, but bent all his energies to organize and execute a general insurrection of the great mass of his countrymen, who hitherto had submitted in sullen hatred to the Roman dominion.

A change of governors had recently taken place, which, while it materially favored the ultimate success of the insurgents, served, by the immediate aggravation of the Roman oppressions, which it produced, to make the native population more universally eager to take arms. Tiberius, who was afterwards emperor, had recently been recalled from the command in Germany, and sent into Pannonia to put down a dangerous revolt which had broken out against the Romans in that province. The German patriots were thus delivered from the stem supervision of one of the most suspicious of mankind, and were also relieved from having to contend against the high military talents of a veteran commander, who thoroughly understood their national character, and also the nature of the country, which he himself had principally subdued. In the room of Tiberius, Augustus sent into Germany Quintilius Varus, who had lately returned from the proconsulate of Syria. Varus was a true representative of the higher classes of the Romans, among whom a general taste for literature, a keen susceptibility to all intellectual gratifications, a minute acquaintance with the principles and practice of their own national jurisprudence, a careful training in the schools of the rhetoricians and a fondness for either partaking in or watching the intellectual strife of forensic oratory, had become generally diffused, without, however, having humanized the old Roman spirit of cruel indifference for human feelings and human sufferings, and without acting as the least checks on unprincipled avarice and ambition, or on habitual and gross profligacy. Accustomed to govern the depraved and debased natives of Syria, a country where courage in man and virtue in woman had for centuries been unknown, Varius thought that he might gratify his licentious and rapacious passions with equal impunity among the high-minded sons and pure-spirited daughters of Germany. When the general of any army sets the example of outrages of this description, he is soon faithfully imitated by his officers, and surpassed by his still more brutal soldiery. The Romans now habitually indulged in those violations of the sanctity of the domestic shrine, and those insults upon honor and modesty, by which far less gallant spirits than those of our Teutonic ancestors have often been maddened into insurrection. (v)

Arminius found among the other German chiefs many who sympathized with him in his indignation at their country's abasement, and many whom private wrongs had stung yet more deeply. There was little difficulty in collecting bold leaders for an attack on the oppressors, and little fear of the population not rising readily at those leaders' call. But to declare open war against Rome, and to encounter Varus' army in a pitched battle, would have been merely rushing upon certain destruction. Varus had three legions under him, a force which, after allowing for detachments, cannot be estimated at less than fourteen thousand Roman infantry. He had also eight or nine hundred Roman cavalry, and at least an equal number of horse and foot sent from the allied states, or raised among those provincials who had not received the Roman franchise.

It was not merely the number, but the quality of this force that made them formidable; and, however contemptible Varus might be as general, Arminius well knew how admirably the Roman armies were organized and officered, and how perfectly the legionaries understood every manoeuvre and every duty which the varying emergencies of a stricken field might require. Stratagem was, therefore, indispensable; and it was necessary to blind Varus to their schemes until a favorable opportunity should arrive for striking a decisive blow.

For this purpose, the German confederates frequented the head-quarters of Varus, which seem to have been near the centre of the modern country of Westphalia, where the Roman general conducted himself with all the arrogant security of the governor of a perfectly submissive province. There Varus gratified at once his vanity, his rhetorical tastes, and his avarice, by holding courts, to which he summoned the Germans for the settlement of all their disputes, while a bar of Roman advocates attended to argue the cases before the tribunal of Varus, who did not omit the opportunity of exacting court-fees and accepting bribes. Varus trusted implicitly to the respect which the Germans pretended to pay to his abilities as a judge, and to the interest which they affected to take in the forensic eloquence of their conquerors. Meanwhile, a succession of heavy rains rendered the country more difficult for the operations of regular troops, and Arminius, seeing that the infatuation of Varus was complete, secretly directed the tribes near the Weser and the Ems to take up arms in open revolt against the Romans. This was represented to Varus as an occasion which required his prompt attendance at the spot; but he was kept in studied ignorance of its being part of a concerted national rising; and he still looked on Arminius as his submissive vassal, whose aid he might rely on in facilitating the march of his troops against the rebels, and in extinguishing the local disturbance. He therefore set his army in motion, and marched eastward in a line parallel to the course of the Lippe. For some distance his route lay along a level plain; but on arriving at the tract between the curve of the upper part of that stream and the sources of the Ems, the country assumes a very different character; and here, in the territory of the modern little principality of Lippe, it was that Arminius had fixed the scene of his enterprise.

A woody and hilly region intervenes between the heads of the two rivers, and forms the water-shed of their streams. This region still retains the name (Teutobergenwald=Teutobergiensis saltus) which it bore in the days of Arminius. The nature of the ground has probably also remained unaltered. The eastern part of it, round Detmold, the modern capital of the principality of Lippe, is described by a modern German scholar, Dr. Plate, as being a " table-land intersected by numerous deep and narrow valleys, which in some places form small plains, surrounded by steep mountains and rocks, and only accessible by narrow defiles. All the valleys are traversed by rapid streams, shallow in the dry season, but subject to sudden swellings in autumn and winter. The vast forests which cover the summits and slopes of the hills consist chiefly of oak; there is little underwood, and both men and horse would move with ease in the forests if the ground were not broken by gulleys, or rendered impracticable by fallen trees." This is the district to which Varus is supposed to have marched; and Dr. Plate adds, that " the names of several localities on and near that spot seem to indicate that a great battle has once been fought there. We find the names , 'das Winnefeld' , (the field of victory), 'die Knochenbahn' , ( the bone-lane), 'die Knochenleke' , (the bone-brook), 'der Mordkessel', (the kettle of slaughter), and others." (vi)

Contrary to the usual strict principles of Roman discipline, Varus had suffered his army to be accompanied and impeded by an immense train of baggage-wagons and by a rabble of camp followers, as if his troops had been merely changing their quarters in a friendly country. When the long array quitted the firm, level ground, and began to wind its way among the woods, the marshes, and the ravines, the difficulties of the march, even without the intervention of an armed foe, became fearfully apparent. In many places, the soil, sodden with rain, was impracticable for cavalry, and even for infantry, until trees had been felled, and a rude causeway formed through the morass.

The duties of the engineer were familiar to all who served in the Roman armies. But the crowd and confusion of the columns embarrassed the working parties of the soldiery, and in the midst of their toil and disorder the word was suddenly passed through their ranks that the rear guard was attacked by the barbarians. Varus resolved on pressing forward; but a heavy discharge of missiles from the woods on either flank taught him how serious was the peril, and he saw his best men falling round him without the opportunity of retaliation; for his light-armed auxiliaries, who were principally of Germanic race, now rapidly deserted, and it was impossible to deploy the legionaries on such broken ground for a charge against the enemy. Choosing one of the most open and firm spots which they could force their way to, the Romans halted for the night; and, faithful to their national discipline and tactics, formed their camp amid the harassing attacks of the rapidly thronging foes, with the elaborate toil and systematic skill, the traces of which are impressed permanently on the soil of so many European countries, attesting the presence in the olden time of the imperial eagles.

On the morrow the Romans renewed their march, the veteran officers who served under Varus now probably directing the operations, and hoping to find the Germans drawn up to meet them; in which case they relied on their own superior discipline and tactics for such a victory as should reassure the supremacy of Rome. But Arminius was far too sage a commander to lead on his followers, with their unwieldly broad-swords and inefficient defensive armor, against the Roman legionaries, fully armed with helmet, cuirass, greaves, and shield, who were skilled to commence the conflict with a murderous volley of heavy javelins, hurled upon the foe when a few yards distant, and then, with their short cut-and-thrust swords, to hew their way through all opposition, preserving the utmost steadiness and coolness, and obeying each word of command in the midst of strife and slaughter with the same precision and alertness as if upon parade. (vii) Arminius suffered the Romans to march out from their camp, to form first in line for action, and then in column for marching, without the show of opposition. For some distance Varus was allowed to move on, only harassed by slight skirmishes, but struggling with difficulty through the broken ground, the toil and distress of his men being aggravated by heavy torrents of rain, which burst upon the devoted legions, as if the angry gods of Germany were pouring out the vials of their wrath upon the invaders. After some little time their van approached a ridge of high woody ground, which is one of the offshoots of the great Hircynian forest, and is situate between the modern villages of Driburg and Bielefeld. Arminius had caused barricades of hewn trees to be formed here, so as to add to the natural difficulties of the passage. Fatigue and discouragement now began to betray themselves in the Roman ranks. Their line became less steady. baggage-wagons were abandoned from the impossibility of forcing them along ; and, as this happened, many soldiers left their ranks and crowded round the wagons to secure the most valuable portions of their property ; each was busy about his own affairs, and purposely slow in hearing the word of command from his officers. Arminius now gave the signal for a general attack. The fierce shouts of the Germans pealed through the gloom of the forests, and in thronging multitudes they assailed the flanks of the invaders, pouring in clouds of darts on the encumbered legionaries, as they struggled up the glens or floundered in the morasses, and watching every opportunity of charging through the intervals of the disjointed column, and so cutting off the communication between its several brigades. Arminius, with a chosen band of personal retainers round him, cheered on his countrymen by voice and example. He and his men aimed their weapons particularly at the horses of the Roman cavalry. The wounded animals, slipping about in the mire and their own blood, threw their riders and plunged among the ranks of the legions, disordering all round them. Varus now ordered the troops to be countermarched, in the hope of reaching the nearest Roman garrison on the Lippe. (viii) But retreat now was as impracticable as advance; and the falling back of the Romans only augmented the courage of their assailants, and caused fiercer and more frequent charges on the flanks of the disheartened army. The Roman officer who commanded the cavalry, Numonius Vala, rode off with his squadrons in the vain hope of escaping by thus abandoning his comrades. Unable to keep together, or force their way across the woods and swamps, the horsemen were overpowered in detail, and slaughtered to the last man. The Roman infantry still held together and resisted, but more through the instinct of discipline and bravery than from any hope of success or escape. Varus, after being severely wounded in a charge of the Germans against his part of the column, committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of those whom he had exasperated by his oppressions. One of the lieutenant generals of the army fell fighting; the other surrendered to the enemy. But mercy to a fallen foe had never been a Roman virtue, and those among her legions who now laid down their arms in hope of quarter, drank deep of the cup of suffering, which Rome had held to the lips of many a brave but unfortunate enemy. The infuriated Germans slaughtered their oppressors with deliberate ferocity, and those prisoners who were not hewn to pieces on the spot were only preserved to perish by a more cruel death in cold blood.

The bulk of the Roman army fought steadily and stubbornly, frequently repelling the masses of the assailants, but gradually losing the compactness of their array, and becoming weaker and weaker beneath the incessant shower of darts and the reiterated assaults of the vigorous and unencumbered Germans. At last, in a series of desperate attacks, the column was pierced through and through, two of the eagles captured, and the Roman host, which on the yester morning had marched forth in such pride and might, now broken up into confused fragments, either fell fighting beneath the overpowering numbers of the enemy, or perished in the swamps and woods in unavailing efforts at flight. Few, very few, ever saw again the left bank of the Rhine. One body of brave veterans, arraying themselves in a ring on a little mound, beat off every charge of the Germans, and prolonged their honorable resistance to the close of that dreadful day. The traces of a feeble attempt at forming a ditch and mound attested in after years the spot where the last of the Romans passed their night of suffering and despair. But on the morrow, this remnant also, worn out with hunger, wounds, and toil, was charged by the victorious Germans, and either massacred on the spot, or offered up in fearful rites at the altars of the deities of the old mythology of the North.

A gorge in the mountain ridge, through which runs the modern road between Paderborn and Pyrmont, leads from the spot where the heat of the battle raged to the Extersteine, a cluster of bold and grotesque rocks of sandstone, near which is a small sheet of water, overshadowed by a grove of aged trees. According to local tradition, this was one of the sacred groves of the ancient Germans, and it was here that the Roman captives were slain in sacrifice by the victorious warriors of Arminius. (ix)

Never was victory more decisive, never was the liberation of an oppressed people more instantaneous and complete. Throughout Germany the Roman garrisons were assailed and cut off ; and within a few weeks after Varus had fallen, the German soil was freed from the foot of an invader.

Rahul
Monday, November 18th, 2002, 05:22 PM
At Rome the tidings of the battle were received with an agony of terror, the reports of which we should deem exaggerated, did they not come from Roman historians themselves. They not only tell emphatically how great was the awe which the Romans felt of the prowess of the Germans, if their various tribes could be brought to unite for a common purpose, (x) but also they reveal how weakened and debased the population of Italy had become. Dion Cassius says (lib. lvi., sec. 23) : " Then Augustus, when he heard the calamity of Varus, rent his garment, and was in great affliction for the troops he had lost, and for terror respecting the Germans and the Gauls. And his chief alarm was that he expected them to push on against Italy and Rome; and there remained no Roman youth fit for military duty that were worth speaking of, and the allied populations, that were at all serviceable, had been wasted away.

"Yet he prepared for the emergency as well as his means allowed; and when none of the citizens of military age were willing to enlist, he made them cast lots, and punished by confiscation of goods and disfranchisement every fifth man among those under thirty-five, and every tenth man of those above that age. At last, when he found that not even thus could he make many come forward, he put some of them to death. So he made a conscription of discharged veterans and of emancipated slaves, and, collecting as large a force as he could, sent it, under Tiberius, with all speed into Germany." Dion mentions, also, a number of terrific portents that were believed to have occurred at the time, and the narration of which is not immaterial, as it shows the state of the public mind, when such things were so believed in and so interpreted.

The summits of the Alps were said to have fallen, and three columns of fire to have blazed up from them. In the Campus Martius, the temple of the war-god, from whom the founder of Rome had sprung, was struck by a thunderbolt. The nightly heavens glowed several times, as if on fire. Many comets blazed forth together; and fiery meteors, shaped like spears, had shot from the northern quarter of the sky down into the Roman camps. It was said, too, that a statue of Victory, which had stood at a place on the frontier, pointing the way towards Germany, had, of its own accord, turned round, and now pointed to Italy. These and other prodigies were believed by the multitude to accompany the slaughter of Varus' legions, and to manifest the anger of the gods against Rome. Augustus himself was not free from superstition; but on this occasion no supernatural terrors were needed to increase the alarm and grief that he felt, and which made him, even months after the news of the battle had arrived, often beat his head against the wall, and exclaim, " Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions." We learn this from his biographer Suetonius; and, indeed, every ancient writer who alludes to the overthrow of Varus attests the importance of the blow against the Roman power, and the bitterness with which it was felt. (xi)

The Germans did not pursue their victory beyond their own territory; but that victory secured at once and forever the independence of the Teutonic race. Rome sent, indeed, her legions again into Germany, to parade a temporary superiority, but all hopes of permanent conquests were abandoned by Augustus and his successors.

The blow which Arminius had struck never was forgotten. Roman fear disguised itself under the specious title of moderation, and the Rhine became the acknowledged boundary of the two nations until the fifth century of our era, when the Germans became the assailants, and carved with their conquering swords the provinces of imperial Rome into the kingdoms of modern Europe.



ARMINIUS

I have said above that the great Cheruscan is more truly one of our national heroes than Caractacus is. It may be added that an Englishman is entitled to claim a closer degree of relationship with Arminius than can be claimed by any German of modern Germany. The proof of this depends on the proof of four facts : first, that the Cheruscans were Old Saxons, or Saxons of the interior of Germany. secondly, that the Anglo-Saxons, or Saxons of the coast of Germany, were more closely akin than other German tribes were to the Cheruscan Saxons; thirdly, that the Old Saxons were almost exterminated by Charlemagne; fourthly, that the Anglo-Saxons are our immediate ancestors. The last of these may be assumed as an axiom in English history. The proofs of the other three are partly philological and partly historical. I have not space to go into them here, but they will be found in the early chapters of the great work of my friend, Dr. Robert Gordon Latham, on the " English Language," and in the notes to his edition of the " Germania of Tacitus." It may be, however, here remarked, that the present Saxons of Germany are of the High Germanic division of the German race, whereas both the Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon were of the Low Germanic.

Being thus the nearest heirs of the glory of Arminius, we may fairly devote more attention to his career than, in such a work as the present, could be allowed to any individual leader; and it is interesting to trace how far his fame survived during the Middle Ages, both among the Germans of the Continent and among ourselves.

It seems probable that the jealousy with which Maroboduus, the king of the Suevi and Marcomanni, regarded Arminius, and which ultimately broke out into open hostilities between those German tribes and the Dherusci, prevented Arminius from leading the confederate Germans to attack Italy after his first victory. Perhaps he may have had the rare moderation of being content with the liberation of his country, without seeking to retaliate on her former oppressors. When Tiberius marched into Germany in the year 10, Arminius was too cautious to attack him on ground favorable to the legions, and Tiberius was too skilful to entangle his troops in the difficult parts of the country. His march and countermarch were as unresisted as they were unproductive. A few years later, when a dangerous revolt of the Roman legions near the frontier caused their generals to find them active employment by leading them into the interior of Germany, we find Arminius again active in his country's defence. The old quarrel between him and his father-in-law, Segestes, had broken out afresh. Segestes now called in the aid of the Roman general, Germanicus, to whom he surrendered himself; and by his contrivance, his daughter Thusnelda, the wife of Arminius, also came into the hands of the Romans, being far advanced in pregnancy. She showed, as Tacitus relates, (xii) more of the spirit of her husband than of her father, a spirit that could not be subdued into tears or supplications. She was sent to Ravenna, and there gave birth to a son, whose life we know, from an allusion in Tacitus, to have been eventful and unhappy; but the part of the great historian's work which narrated his fate has perished, and we only know from another quarter that the son of Arminius was, at the age of four years, led captive in a triumphal pageant along the streets of Rome.

The high spirit of Arminius was goaded almost into frenzy by these bereavements. The fate of his wife, thus torn from him, and of his babe doomed to bondage even before its birth, inflamed the eloquent invectives with which he roused his countrymen against the home-traitors, and against their invaders, who thus made war upon women and children. Germanicus had marched his army to the place where Varus had perished, and had there paid funeral honors to the ghastly relics of his predecessor's legions that he found heaped around him. (xiii) Arminius lured him to advance a little further into the country, and then assailed him, and fought a battle, which, by the Roman accounts, was a drawn one. The effect of it was to make Germanicus resolve on retreating to the Rhine. He himself, with part of his troops, embarked in some vessels on the Ems, and returned by that river, and then by sea; but part of his forces were intrusted to a Roman general named Caecina, to lead them back by land to the Rhine. Arminius followed this division on its march, and fought several battles with it, in which he inflicted heavy loss on the Romans, captured the greater part of their baggage, and would have destroyed them completely, had not his skilful system of operations been finally thwarted by the haste of Inguiomerus, a confederate German chief, who insisted on assaulting the Romans in their camp, instead of waiting till they were entangled in the difficulties of the country, and assailing their columns on the march.

In the following year the Romans were inactive, but in the year afterwards Germanicus led a fresh invasion. He placed his army on shipboard, and sailed to the mouth of the Ems, where he disembarked, and marched to the Weser, where he encamped, probably in the neighborhood of Minden. Arminius had collected his army on the other side of the river; and a scene occurred, which is powerfully told by Tacitus, and which is the subject of a beautiful poem by Praed. It has been already mentioned that the brother of Arminius, like himself, had been trained up while young to serve in the Roman armies; but, unlike Arminius, he not only refused to quit the Roman service for that of his country, but fought against his country with the legions of Germanicus. He had assumed the Roman name of Flavius, and had gained considerable distinction in the Roman service, in which he had lost an eye from a wound in battle. When the Roman outposts approached the River Weser, Arminius called out to them from the opposite bank, and expressed a wish to see his brother. Flavius stepped forward, and Arminius ordered his own followers to retire, and requested that the archers should be removed from the Roman bank of the river. This was done; and the brothers, who apparently had not seen each other for some years, began a conversation from the opposite sides of the stream, in which Arminius questioned his brother respecting the loss of his eye, and what battle it had been lost in, and what reward he had received for his wound. Flavius told him how the eye was lost, and mentioned the increased pay that he had on account of its loss, and showed the collar and other military decorations that had been given him. Arminius mocked at these as badges of slavery; and then each began to try to win the other over. Flavius boasting the power of Rome, and her generosity to the submissive; Arminius appealing to him in the name of their country's gods, of the mother that had borne them and by the holy names of fatherland and freedom, not to prefer being the betrayer to being the champion of his country. They soon proceeded to mutual taunts and menaces, and Flavius called aloud for his horse and his arms, that he might dash across the river and attack his brother; nor would he have been checked from doing so, had not the Roman general Stertinius run up to him and forcibly detained him. Arminius stood on the other bank, threatening the renegade, and defying him to battle.

I shall not be thought to need apology for quoting here the stanzas in which Praed has described this scene - a scene among the most affecting, as well as the most striking, that history supplies. It makes us reflect on the desolate position of Arminius, with his wife and child captives in the enemy's hands, and with his brother a renegade in arms against him. The great liberator of our German race was there, with every source of human happiness denied him except the consciousness of doing his duty to his country.

" Back, back! he fears not foaming flood
Who fears not steel, clad line :
No warrior thou of German blood,
No brother thou of mine.
Go, earn Rome's chain to load thy neck,
Her gems to deck thy hilt;
And blazon honor's hapless wreck
With all the gauds of guilt

" But wouldst thou have me share the prey?
By all that I have done,
The Varian bones that day by day
Lie whitening in the sun,
The legion's trampled panoply,
The eagle's shatter'd wing -
I would not be for earth or sky
So scorn'd and mean a thing.

" Ho, call me here the wizard, boy,
Of dark and subtle skill,
To agonize but not destroy,
To torture, not to kill.
When swords are out, and shriek and shout
Leave little room for prayer,
No fetter on man's arm or heart
Hangs half so heavy there.

" I curse him by the gifts the land
Hath won from him and Rome,
The riving axe, the wasting brand,
Rent forest, blazing home.
I curse him by our country's gods,
The terrible, the dark,
The breakers of the Roman rods,
The smiters of the bark

" Oh, misery that such a ban
On such a brow should be!
Why comes he not in battle's van
His country's chief to be ?
To stand a comrade by my side,
The sharer of my fame,
And worthy of a brother's pride
And of a brother's name ?

" But it is past! where heroes press
And cowards bend the knee,
Arminius is not brotherless,
His brethren are the free.
They come around : one hour, and light
Will fade from turf and tide,
Then onward, onward to the fight,
With darkness for our guide.

" To-night, to-night, when we shall meet
In combat face to face,
Then only would Arminius greet
The renegade's embrace.
The canker of Rome's guilt shall be
Upon his dying name;
And as he lived in slavery,
So shall he fall in shame."

On the day after the Romans had reached the Weser, Germanicus led his army across that river, and a partial encounter took place, in which Arminius was successful. But on the succeeding day a general action was fought, in which Arminius was severely wounded, and the German infantry routed with heavy loss. The horsemen of the two armies encountered, without either party gaining the advantage. But the Roman army remained master of the ground, and claimed a complete victory. Germanicus erected a trophy in the field, with a vaunting inscription, that the nations between the Rhine and the Elbe had been thoroughly conquered by his army. But that army speedily made a final retreat to the left bank of the Rhine; nor was the effect of their campaign more durable than their trophy. The sarcasm with which Tacitus speaks of certain other triumphs of Roman generals over Germans may apply to the pageant which Germanicus celebrated on his return to Rome from his command of the Roman army of the Rhine. The Germans were " triumphati potius quam victi."

After the Romans had abandoned their attempts on Germany, we find Arminius engaged in hostilities with Maroboduus, the king of the Suevi and Marcomanni, who was endeavoring to bring the other German tribes into a state of dependency on him. Arminius was at the head of the Germans who took up arms against this home invader of their liberties. After some minor engagements, a pitched battle was fought between the two confederacies, A.D. 19, in which the loss on each side was equal, but Maroboduus confessed the ascendency of his antagonist by avoiding a renewal of the engagement, and by imploring the intervention of the Romans in his defence. The younger Drusus then commanded the Roman legions in the province of Illyricum, and by his mediation a peace was concluded between Arminius and Maroboduus, by the terms of which it is evident that the latter must have renounced his ambitious schemes against the freedom of the other German tribes.

Arminius did not long survive this second war of independence, which he successfully waged for his country. He was assassinated in the thirty-seventh year of his age by some of his own kinsmen, who conspired against him. Tacitus says that this happened while he was engaged in a civil war, which had been caused by his attempts to make himself king over his countrymen. It is far more probable (as one of the best biographers (xiv) has observed) that Tacitus misunderstood an attempt of Arminius to extend his influence as elective war-chieftain of the Cherusci, and other tribes, for an attempt to obtain the royal dignity. When we remember that his father-in-law and his brother were renegades, we can well understand that a party among his kinsmen may have been bitterly hostile to him, and have opposed his authority with the tribe by open violence, and when that seemed ineffectual, by secret assassination.

Arminius left a name which the historians of the nation against which he combated so long and so gloriously have delighted to honor. It is from the most indisputable source, from the lips of enemies, that we know his exploits. (xv) His country-men made history, but did not write it. But his memory lived among them in the days of their bards, who recorded

" The deeds he did, the fields he won,
The freedom he restored."

Tacitus, writing years after the death of Arminius, says of him, " Canitur adhuc barbaras apud gentes." As time passed on, the gratitude of ancient Germany to her great deliverer grew into adoration, and divine honors were paid for centuries to Arminius by every tribe of the Low Germanic division of the Teutonic races. The Irmin-sul, or the column of Herman, near Eresburgh, the modern Stadtberg, was the chosen object of worship to the descendants of the Cherusci, the Old Saxons, and in defence of which they fought most desperately against Charlemagne and his Christianized Franks. " Irmin, in the cloudy Olympus of Teutonic belief, appears as a king and a warrior ; and the pillar, the 'Irmin-sul,' bearing the statute, and considered as the symbol of the deity, was the Palladium of the Saxon nation until the temple of Eresburgh was destroyed by Charlemagne, and the column itself transferred to the monastery of Corbey, where perhaps a portion of the rude rock idol yet remains, covered by the ornaments of the Gothic era." (xvi) Traces of the worship of Arminius are to be found among our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, after their settlement in this island. One of the four great highways was held to be under the protection of the deity, and was called the " Irmin street." The name Arminius is, of course, the mere Latinized form of " Herman," the name by which the hero and the deity were known by every man of Low German blood on either side of the German Sea. It means, etymologically, the " War-man," the " man of hosts." No other explanation of the worship of the " Irmin-sul," and of the name of the " Irmin street," is so satisfactory as that which connects them with the deified Arminius. We know for certain of the existence of other columns of an analogous character. Thus there was the Roland-seule in North Germany; there was a Thorburn-seule in Sweden, and (what is more important) there was an Athelstan-seule in Saxon England. (xvii)

There is at the present moment a song respecting the Irmin-sul current in the bishopric of Minden, one version of which might seem only to refer to Charlemagne having pulled down the Irmin-sul.

" Herman, sla dermen,
Sla pipen, sla trummen,
De Kaiser will kummen,
Met hamer un stangen,
Will Herman uphangen."

But there is another version, which probably is the oldest, and which clearly refers to the great Arminius.

" Un Herman slaug dermen,
Slaug pipen, slaug trummen;
De fürsten sind kammen,
Met all eren-mannen
Hebt Varus uphangen." (xviii)

About ten centuries and a half after the demolition of the Irmin-sul, and nearly eighteen after the death of Arminius, the modern Germans conceived the idea of rendering tardy homage to their great hero, and accordingly, some eight or ten years ago, a general subscription was organized in Germany for the purpose of erecting on the Osning-a conical mountain, which forms the highest summit of the Teutoberger Wald, and is eighteen hundred feet above the level of the sea - a colossal bronze statue of Arminius. The statue was designed by Bandel. The hero was to stand uplifting a sword in his right hand, and looking towards the Rhine. The height of the statue was to be eighty feet from the base to the point of the sword, and was to stand on a circular Gothic temple ninety feet high, and supported by oak trees as columns. The mountain, where it was to be erected, is wild and stern, and overlooks the scene of the battle. It was calculated that the statue would be clearly visible at a distance of sixty miles. The temple is nearly finished, and the statue itself has been cast at the copper works at Lemgo. But there, through want of funds to set it up, it has lain for some years, in disjointed fragments, exposed to the mutilating homage of relic-seeking travelers. The idea of honoring a hero, who belongs to all Germany, is not one which the present rulers of that divided country (xix) have any wish to encourage; and the statue may long continue to lie there, and present too true a type of the condition of Germany herself. (xx)

Surely this is an occasion in which Englishmen might well prove, by acts as well as words, that we also rank Arminius among our heroes.

I have quoted the noble stanzas of one of our modern English poets on Arminius, and I will conclude this memoir with one of the odes of the great poet of modern Germany, Klopstock, on the victory to which we owe our freedom, and Arminius mainly owes his fame. Klopstock calls it the " Battle of Winfield." The epithet of " sister of Cannae " shows that Klopstock followed some chronologers, according to whom Varus was defeated on the anniversary of the day on which Paulus and Varro were defeated by Hannibal.



SONG OF TRIUMPH AFTER THE VICTORY OF HERRMAN, THE DELIVERER OF GERMANY FROM THE ROMANS.

FROM KLOPSTOCK'S " HERRMAN UND DIE FÜRSTEN."

Supposed to be sung by a chorus of Bards.
A CHORUS.

Sister of Cannae! (xxi) Winfield's (xxii) fight!
We saw thee with thy streaming, bloody hair,
With fiery eye, bright with the world's despair,
Sweep by Walhalla's bards from out our sight.

Herrman outspake : " Now Victory or Death ! "
The Romans . . . " Victory ! "
And onward rushed their eagles with the cry.
So ended the first day.

" Victory or Death! " began
Then, first, the Roman chief; and Herrman spake
Not, but home-struck : the eagles fluttered - brake.
So sped the second day.

TWO CHORUSES.

And the third came . . . the cry was " Flight or Death ! "
Flight left they not for them who' d make them slaves -
Men who stab children! flight for them! . . . no! graves !
" 'Twas their last day."

TWO BARDS.

Yet spared they messengers : they came to Rome -
How drooped the plume-the lance was left to trail
Down in the dust behind-their cheek was pale -
So came the messengers to Rome.

High in his hall the imperator sat -
Octavianus Caesar Augustus sat.
They filled up wine, cups, wine-cups filled they up
For him the highest-wine-cups filled they up
For him the highest, Jove of all their state.

The flutes of Lydia hushed before their voice,
Before the messengers-the " Highest" sprung -
The god (xxiii) against the marble pillars, wrung
By the dread words, striking his brow, and thrice
Cried he aloud in anguish, " Varus! Varus!
Give back my legions, Varus ! "

And now the world-wide conquerors shrunk and feared
For fatherland and home,
The lance to raise; and 'mongst those false to Rome
The death-lot rolled, (xxiv) and still they shrunk and feared;

" For she her face hath turned
The victor goddess," cried those cowards - ( for aye
Be it!) -" from Rome and Romans, and her day
Is done" - and still be mourned,
And cried aloud in anguish, " Varus ! Varus!
Give back my legions, Varus! "(xxv)

Rahul
Monday, November 18th, 2002, 05:25 PM
I have been trying to get my hands on one single reference source about, but I have been unsuccessful so far, Prince Hermann. Its as if he is completely blocked by the Jewish control of the world media, especially in Europe, where the butcher and murderer Charlemagne is crowned as the greatest and not a word is said of those before whom he would naturally look worthless.

leonidas
Monday, November 18th, 2002, 09:48 PM
I have read Greasy's accounts of Arminius,he claims him to be more related to the modern day English than the German.He was evidently a german whose tribesmen later settled in England.He bemoans Britains lack of remembrance to him,he may have some good points here.

Also Tacitus shows high esteem of him.

However it must be noted that many today can claim descent from the German valleys.

I believe Hermann was a great warrior worthy of all our respect.

Rahul
Tuesday, November 19th, 2002, 07:53 AM
And Greasy also laments the lack of respect and regard which the then German rulers had for Hermann The Great, they stifled and put osbtacles in the efforts to mark the remembrance for him. I read a book last evening, listing some "1000" great men. It is truly amazing that 'Arminius' was not there.

Can anything be more shallow and mindless in revelling the middle east?

Tacitus, I probably feel as if I am in his position myself with my nation having lost its core and debased, tried his best to put forth the truth which he saw, but I am yet to read him, after having read reviews.

Learning from this account, it appears that "truth is indeed the base which sustains the earth", and denial of truth, not necessarily an inversion to the untruth, is as sickening and degenerate as is untruth itself.

Hermann fought for the true worth of the Germanic people and he delievered them from a multi-cultural morass which the Romans had become. Could the same have happened with Adolf Hitler as well?

Frans_Jozef
Sunday, February 27th, 2005, 04:19 AM
Reprint from RUNESTONE #21, Spring 1998


Arminius and the Cherusci

by Hnikar



When the mead horn is filled at Sumbel, and the heroes of our Folk
are honored, the name of Arminius, or Hermann, is seldom neglected.
The victory he gained in Teutoburger Wald demonstrated a courage, a
fierce will to be free and unfettered, untamed, that even today it
inspires us to raise our horns before our gods and hail him. And to
seek to emulate his virtues. Tacitus, writing nearly a century after
the battle, wrote, "To this day the tribes sing of him".



And yet, for a millenium and a half, he appears to have largely been
forgotten. Only with his rediscovery by classical scholars did his
deeds again inspire our Folk. After centuries of Christian historical
obscurantism, by the 19th Century people throughout Europe, and
everywhere our Folk lived, were being drawn by a longing to know
their own history, their own ancestors and heroes- just as we today
seek to know our own faith. Huge memorials were raised to him.



It has been said that history is written by the victors, but of the
battle of Teutoburger Wald it has just as truly been noted that were
it not for the accounts of the vanquished, we would likely know
nothing of it. So completely were the deeds of Arminius forgotten
that Delbruck was inspired to suggest that his name survived in
legend. In his Geschichte der Kriegskunst In Rahmen der Politischen
Geschichte he disputes the generally agreed upon idea that the name
Arminius is a Latinization of Hermann. That, in fact, we do not know
his German name. He points out that in the Niebelungenlied,
Siegfried's father was named Sigemund, and that Arminius' father was
named Sigimer, and presents a number of parallels to suggest that
perhaps the German name of Arminius was Siegfried.



There are some clear weaknesses in Delbruck's suggestion, not least
of which is the origin of the name Arminius if it is not simply a
Latinized form of a Germanic name. Normally if a Roman name was
adopted, it was a pre-existing name, taken either by adoption or by
the client-patron relationship. Arminius is not a Roman name.
Additionally, as Markus Wolff pointed out in the article "The
Irminsul" in Vor Tru #57, the god-names Hirmin and Irmin are
attested, so perhaps Arminius/Hermann has a similar etymological
origin.



Whatever the case, today, although Asatruar and scholars recall him,
most people one encounters have little or no knowledge of him. Those
who remember anything are often rather like the kid who, asked a
question, replies, "Oh yeah, we studied that but I already took the
test so I don't remember". Who, then, was Arminius?



When Sigimer's son was born around 18 BCE, the Cherusci laid claim to
an extensive area. As was commonly the case in later Germanic
history, as among the Saxons, Franks and Allemanni, one should think
of the Cherusci as a tribal confederation. Their culture was robust
and warlike, and they had extensive dealings with the Romans. While
he spoke of the time after the Roman expansion across the Rhine, Dio
Cassius' words are true for the years of Arminius' childhood. "[T]he
barbarians soon accomodated themselves to Roman customs, came to the
market centers, and carried on peaceful relations with them.
Nonetheless, they still could not forget the customs of their
ancestors, their local habits, their uninhibited life-style, and
their armed power."



Indeed, while the modern Cult of the Victim has sought to present a
simplistic view of the events which followed strictly in the light of
resistance to Roman aggression, in truth raids were often made across
the Rhine into Roman territory. Just as Caesar spoke of the German
raids on the Celts of Gaul prior to the Roman conquest there, these
quests for glory and wealth continued. In 29 BCE and in 17 BCE, while
the infant Arminius enjoyed the freedom of German children,
significant raids across the Rhine into Roman territory were made by
Germans.



In 12 BCE, the Roman Emperor Augustus ordered his legions across the
Rhine, as far as the Elbe. Commanded by his nephew Drusus, they
secured the alliance of the Batavians (who had seperated from the
Chatti after a civil war) and the Frisians, who provided auxiliary
troops. The Batavians earned great fame in subsequent service. In 11
BCE, Drusus advanced to the Weser, defeated the Usipetes, and in 10
BCE he attacked the Chatti. In 9 BCE an altar to Roma et Augustus,
the cult of the Emperor, was established at the tribal capital of the
Ubii (later Cologne), and he attacked the Marcomanni, advanced
through the territory of the Cherusci, and reached the Elbe. One
wonders what the young Arminius made of all this. His later life
shows both a fascination with the majesty of Rome's warriors and a
disillusionment. Drusus died of an accident and was replaced by his
older brother, the future Emperor Tiberius, until he was recalled to
Rome in 7 BCE. Small scale operations continued as Rome established
itself, although for the most part withdrawing to winter camps each
season. In 4 BCE, Tiberius returned, advancing again to the Elbe and
sending some troops to explore even Jutland. It was his intention to
subdue the powerful Marcomanni, a branch of the Suebi or Suevi
confederation, but trouble in Illyricum intervened and Maroboduus,
the leader of the Marcomanni, agreed to an alliance with Rome.



The young Arminius and his brother Flavus joined the auxiliary forces
of Rome, with the former apparently commanding Cheruscans. Little is
known of his service to Rome, but Arminius earned Roman citizenship
and gained equestrian rank. In the years immediately prior to the
uprising he had served under Tiberius in Pannonia. Whereas German
soldiers had had the reputation of being fierce but undisciplined
troops, clearly Arminius learned a great deal during his service.
Above all, he evidently learned to hate Rome.



Publius Quinctilius Varus had married the grand-niece of Augustus. By
most accounts he had enjoyed a successful time as governor of Syria,
though he was accused by some of becoming wealthy at the expense of
the province. (This is a typical accusation of Roman enemies, like
charges of sexual misconduct, so it needs to be taken with a grain of
salt). Appointed legate of Germania, it is said that he was arrogant
and treated the proud Germans like subjugated enemies, imposing harsh
taxes and outlandish legal methods (by German standards).



Whether due to Varus in particular or because of a general opposition
to Roman ways, Arminius acted. The sources give some conflicting
details and scholars will quibble forever about precisely what
happened, but it seems that Arminius gave Varus to understand that he
was a loyal ally. Arminius was entertained in the Roman camp on the
Visurgis as a guest. Dio Cassius says a complex rebellion was planned
in which a portion of the Germans put on a show of rebellion while
Arminius pretended to march with Varus as an ally to subdue the
rebels, only to fall on him when the time and place were right.
Elsewhere we hear that the Romans were simply withdrawing to their
winter quarters. There are further contradictions on the length of
the battle, however it is clear that the Thunderer was about. A
violent storm raged around the marching Romans. Delbruck estimates
their number at 18,000 to 30,000, loaded with supply wagons, women,
children, servants. The column was spread through the forest for many
miles. No precautions had been taken, it seems, no special security.



The odd thing is that Varus had in fact been warned. Segestes, a
Cherusci, bore a great grudge against Arminius, and informed Varus of
the intent to attack. Arminius had taken Segestes' daughter,
Thusnelda, as wife, although she had been promised to another man-
while Tacitus called it "stealing" she proved it to be otherwise in
subsequent years by her loyalty to her husband. He advised that Varus
arrest him, Arminius and others so that the ringleaders would be in
check, then sort out the loyal from the rebellious. Apparently
Arminius was a persuasive man because Varus did not heed the warning
or the advice.



The storm with howling winds and rain made the ground treacherously
slippery. Treetops tumbled to the ground. The Germans made probing
attacks on the column, and the Romans erected a camp for better
defense. It was on this first day that Arminius and his allies
deserted the column and joined in the attacks. In the camp that
night, Varus ordered the burning of all superfluous baggage.



In close order the next day the Romans marched onward. Progress under
the circumstances was slow and the harrying attacks of the Germans
took their toll. Toward the end of the day, the column came once
again upon a wooded area in the Teutoburger Wald near the modern
Bielefeld in Westphalia. There, the Germans waited- trees had been
felled to block the path, and so once again the Romans pitched a camp.



The morning brought another raging storm and a battle. In the
unfamiliar forest, disoriented further by howling winds and lashing
rain, unable to stand or to manuever in the muddy morass, the Romans
were easy targets for the Germans who descended from the heights.
What an omen it must have seemed to the Germans as the thunder roared
above the clash of weapons. Wounded and disgraced, Varus committed
suicide. Around him three legions of the mightiest power on Earth
were falling into the morass, slain. Others retired to the camp for a
final stand. The body of Varus was burned and buried, then an
unconditional surrender was made. Some escaped to Aliso to tell the
tale of the massacre. Of the three Eagle standards of the legions-
XVII, XVIII, and XIX- two were captured. The standardbearer with the
third plunged with his standard into a swamp. As one German cut out
the tongue of a Roman, he cursed, "Now, snake, your hissing is
finished".



On the orders of Arminius, the body of Varus was dug up and the head
was sent to Maroboduus of the Marcomanni. Whether intended as an
invitation to join the uprising, or a threat, or both, Maroboduus
remained nuetral in the war which followed. He sent the head of the
fallen Varus to Augustus so that it might be buried.



Suetonius reports that the aging Augustus, worshipper of Mars Ultor,
would thereafter mutter on occasion, "Quinctili Vare, legiones
redde!" (Quinctilius Varus, return me my legions!). The battle had
the effect of stopping the expansion of Rome into Germania, with
tremendous consequences for European history. As such, it is
considered one of the most decisive battles in history. Arminius,
only 27, proved his understanding of strategic requirements and a
mastery of tactics. Understanding that a frontal assault on the
Romans and a straight-forward rebellion would be futile, he lulled
the Romans into complacency and then, when the conditions were right,
he annihilated them.



In the years which immediately followed, a vigilant Roman presence on
the Rhine prevented the Germans from exploiting their victory. But
the story does not end there for Arminius or for the Cherusci.
Segestes, the unhappy father-in-law of Arminius, had been drawn into
the battle with his tribe due to the near unanimous will of the
Cherusci to fight Rome. Still, his grudge against Arminius festered.



In 14 CE, Augustus died, and was succeeded by Tiberius. The following
year, the son of Drusus and nephew of Tiberius, Germanicus commenced
operations against the Chatti (his son, Gaius, nicknamed "Little
Boots"- Caligula- was raised in the frontier camps...though nothing
he was likely to have experienced was any worse than a horrible, and
horribly false, movie made about him a few years ago!). His general,
Aulus Caecina Severus, meanwhile attacked the Marsi. The Cherusci
thought to aid the Chatti but Caecina's manuevers kept them in check.
Tacitus wrote, "Germanicus completely surprised the Chatti. Helpless
women, children, and old people were at once slaughtered or captured."



One of the ploys used to intervene in the affairs of others
throughout history, particularly Roman history, has been to receive
an appeal for help from someone more directly involved. Political
justification had its place then even as it has now. In this case, it
was Segestes who asked for Roman intervention, as he was besieged by
Arminius. His envoy was his son, Segimundus, who in the year of the
uprising had taken off the insignia of his Roman priesthood at the
Ubian altar in order to join the Cheruscan uprising. Nonetheless, of
course, he was well recieved by the Romans. Germanicus then rescued
Segestes from the siege.



In the party of Segestes was Thusnelda, the pregnant wife of
Arminius, and daughter of Segestes. She remained loyal to her husband
and would not beg the Romans for special treatment. A son was born to
her- Thumelicus- and raised at Ravenna. It seems that husband and
wife were never to see one another again.



And so, the war was renewed.



The speeches inserted by classical authors in their texts were a
means of expressing the issues involved as they perceived them. But
while they are not actually the words of those to whom the authors
attribute them, their value lies just where the author thought it to
be. Tacitus tells of a speech given by the thirty-three year old
Arminius to the Cherusci. "My fighting has been open, not
treacherous", he said, "and it has been against armed men and not
pregnant women. The groves of Germany still display the Roman Eagles
and standards which I hung there in honor of the gods of our
fathers." He continues, "Let Segestes live on the conquered bank, and
make his son a Roman priest again- with a human being to
worship!...If you prefer your country, your parents, and the old ways
to settlement under tyrants abroad, then do not follow Segestes to
shameful slavery- follow Arminius to glory and freedom!" How much of
this speech is derived from Tacitus' love of the old freedoms of the
Republic, how much by his position in the Senatorial party?
Doubtless, much. And yet it is likely that he was not off the mark
much in presenting Arminius as a kindred spirit in this regard. In
his youth, Arminius had watched the disciplined might of Rome march
into the lands of his people. When he was able, he went to join them,
to stand by their sides on the battlefield. Quickly he would have
learned, through the Roman views of the barbarians, of his identity.
Some, like his brother Flavus, sought to become Roman. Arminius came
to realize the value of his identity, of his ancestry, and of the old
ways of his people (any tribal identities would've been broadened by
the Roman catagorization of the Germans together). And of "the gods
of our fathers", the ancestral gods we again honor today.



The Cherusci responded to the call with warlike gusto, as did those
of many other tribes. Germanicus sent a detachment under Lucius
Stertinius against the Bructeri, where in the midst of a campaign of
terror he also recovered the Eagle of the XIX Legion. A recon mission
headed by Caecina was then sent to the Teutoburger Wald to ensure a
safe approach, followed by the army of Germanicus. The bones of the
Romans slaughtered six years prior littered the forest. Tacitus
writes, "On the open ground were the whitening bones, scattered where
men had fled, heaped where they had stood and fought. Fragments of
spears and of horses limbs lay there- also human heads, fastened to
tree trunks. In groves nearby were the outlandish altars at which the
Germans had massacred the Roman colonels and senior company-
commanders". Which of these had Arminius known from his Roma service?



As an augur, Germanicus should not have handled the objects of the
dead, yet he helped to bury the fallen.



Germanicus pursued, or was led by, Arminius deep into the wilderness.
Finally he sent his cavalry against the Germans. Arminius proved his
merit as a commander once again, using the classic tactic of
withdrawing in order to draw the enemy into position, then using
hidden troops to envelope him. It was only by bringing up his regular
forces that Germanicus was able to avert disaster, and the battle
broke off without a victor.



The season was late so the Romans made their way out towards their
winter quarters. A force led by Caecina, however, found itself cut-
off while seeking to cross a swamp over which a narrow causeway had
been built in earlier years by Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Again the
leadership of Arminius was telling- by forced marches and the use of
short-cuts he had placed his warriors upon the gently sloping woods
overlooking the bog. Assessing the situation correctly, Caecina
erected a camp there in order to repair the old causeway while
fending off Arminius. Even so, attacks upon the heavily armed Romans,
slipping in the mud, by the experienced marsh-fighters took their
toll. Were it not for the fall of night, the faltering Romans may
have been overwhelmed.



The Germans showed further ingenuity by diverting streams from the
surrounding hills onto the low ground, making the repair of the
causeway all the more difficult.



The mood of the Romans was somber. They had just been to the site of
a great Roman defeat at the hands of these very warriors they now
faced. The sounds of "savage shouting and triumphant songs" in the
night, the heavy scent of the marshy rot about them- what an alien
and terrifying place this wild land must have seemed to them. In
Caecina's dream that night, blood-drenched Varus rose from the marsh
and called to him, extending his hand. Caecina, for four decades a
Roman warrior, for four decades part of the conquering legions of
Mars, brushed the hand aside.



Black night parted for the dawn. The Romans on the flanks had
withdrawn from the demons of their fears, and this gave Arminius a
clear approach. The battle surrounded Caecina, whose horse was slain
beneath him. Victory neared again, but the Germans let it from their
grasp again, as they turned prematurely to looting. The Romans were
able to battle their way onto firm, open ground where they set up
hasty defenses.



Terror reigned among the Romans that night, who felt themselves
defeated, and greed ruled among the Germans, who were certain of
victory. A horse broke loose in the Roman camp, and many Romans fled
in terror from an imagined attack, only to be stopped by Caecina
blocking their way. The Germans quarreled. Arminius wanted victory
and glory, and wished to let the Romans make their way back into the
swamp, because there was no other escape. He understood the tactical
advantage given him in the marsh, and also that the terror-striken
Romans, given a step toward escape and then attacked, would be
difficult for Caecina to control. His uncle, Inguiomerus, however,
wanted to capture prisoners and undamaged loot, and therefore urged
that the camp be surrounded and attacked. With the next dawn, his
plan was tried. Given a chance at battle on firm ground, and time to
prepare, the Romans were ready. Horns and bugles filled the morning
air, and the startled Germans found not cowering opponents but a
fierce battle. The momentum had shifted, the Germans were defeated.
For this, Caecina was awarded a triumph. Arminius made his escape and
awaited another day.



He hadn't long to wait. In 16 CE, Germanicus came again for battle.
The Angrivarii rose as he made his way toward the Cherusci, and
Lucius Stertinus was put into his accustomed role of killing and
burning. At the Weser, the Romans and the Germans faced one another
across the river. Here a meeting of brothers, seperated by war and by
their response to Rome, took place- Flavus on the Roman side, an eye
missing from his sword-service to Rome; and Arminius on the other,
commanding men of many tribes at the peak of his prowess. Flavus
spoke of the greatness of Rome, of Roman wealth, of Roman harshness
toward its enemies and mercy for those who submitted. Arminius spoke
of patriotism, freedom, family, and "the national gods of Germany".
Clearly, he percieved the Germans as a people united by a faith. The
brothers nearly came to blows as the discussion became heated.
Arminius shouted threats and insults in the Latin he had learned in
the Roman army, thus letting the Romans know of his utter contempt.
It was Lucius Stertinus who restrained Flavus.



Batavians under Chariovalda were sent across the river against the
Cherusci and their allies, there to die for Rome at the hands of
their kinsmen.



Germanicus had by now an advantage similar to the one wasted by
Varus. He had an informer. He knew that Arminius planned a night
attack upon his camp and due to the vigilance of the Romans based on
this knowledge, the Germans withdrew without casting a spear. He
knew, too, that Arminius planned to bring battle in a forest sacred
to Donar. To Donar, who had roared in triumphant thunder-claps in the
Teutoburger Wald, was offered a Roman army.



Idistaviso, the Romans were to call the battle. A level plain, with a
forest behind it. This forest, however, was clear between the tree
trunks, little to entangle and hamper movement. The forest sloped
upward- in the heights were the Cherusci, beneath them their allies.
Here, Arminius seemed to lose control of his troops- impetuously the
Cherusci fell upon the Romans, who simply outflanked the Germans with
their cavalry and began to roll them up from all sides. Eight eagles
flew toward the forest, and Germanicus presented these symbols of
Rome as omens of victory. Arminius smeared his face with his own
blood- his skin colored red like the Romans honoring Mars in
triumphal processions- and battled his way free again into the wilds
of his homeland. Others were speared in the river or became sport for
the bowmen when they climbed into the trees.



Tacitus tells of a further battle, in which Arminius- wounded or
weary- did not fight vigorously, and tells of a great defeat for the
Cherusci. He says, "Germanicus, who had torn off his helmet so as to
be recognized, ordered his men to kill and kill. No prisoners were
wanted. Only the total destruction of the tribe would end the war".
Elsewhere it is written that Arminius was fought to a stalemate at
times, but never beaten. Given later developments, it is safe to say
that Tacitus embellished the account somewhat. Sympathetic as he
might have been to Arminius' fight against tyranny for the old ways,
he was still a loyal Roman who would have wanted to believe that some
retribution was made for the Teutoburger Wald. It would seem rather
that the Germans withdrew from an inconclusive series of fights.



Whatever the case, Germanicus was recalled by Tiberius. Tiberius
said, "...the Cherusci and other rebellious tribes, now that we have
duly punished them, can be left to their own internal disturbances."
Indeed, very shortly Arminius and Maroboduus were at one another.
Maroboduus of the Marcomanni led the Suebian confederation. Two
Suebian peoples, however, sided with Arminius- the Semnones and the
Lombards. Arminius' uncle, Inguiomerus, and a number of Cherusci went
over to Maroboduus. Arminius was victorious. Maroboduus called upon
Rome's aid, and was refused since he had offered no aid in the
earlier battles. Had Germanicus enjoyed the sort of victory claimed
by Tacitus, Arminius would've had a hard time raising a force able to
defeat Maroboduus, who had lost nothing in the preceding conflict.
Had Rome thought itself capable of inflicting such a defeat,
Maroboduus' call offered the ideal political pretext to put an end to
Arminius' aspirations. It must have been galling to Rome to see
Arminius still the preeminant power in Germania. With the defeat of
Maroboduus, too, the prospect that the still young Arminius would
present a greater threat loomed large. How safe was the Rhine
frontier? Could a great German confederation arise? And support had
been given Segestes a few years before with much less cause than the
claims of Maroboduus, a longtime friend of Rome, which were rejected.
In the end the results were similar. Segestes enjoyed a comfortable
exile in Gaul, Maroboduus in Ravenna. Arminius roamed the forests
free.



A chieftain of the Chatti, Adgandes, offered to poison Arminius, but
Tiberius refused such underhanded trickery. Nonetheless, envy and
distrust of Arminius grew, due to his growing power- perhaps wielded
too harshly in order to unite the Germanic tribes. Men with a vision,
idealists, are often blinded to humanity. He succumbed to the
treachery of kinsmen. Dead at the age of 37, yet alive still in our
hearts. He drinks of the mead we offer him at sumbel, at the side of
the gods he honors to this day.



By 47 CE, the Cherusci were so reduced by internal fueding and
endless warfare with the Chatti that they asked the Roman Emperor
Claudius to appoint a king over them. From Rome, there arrived a
warrior, horseman, and prodigious drinker. On his mother's side he
was Chatti- his mother was the daughter of Actumerus, chief of the
Chatti (any relation to Adgantes?). On his father's side he was not
merely Cherusci. His grandfather was Sigimer, father of Arminius. His
father was Flavus. Thus Italicus became king of the Cherusci. One
learns of history that the story never ends- he was expelled some
years later in repeated in-fighting, and restored by the Lombards.



By the time Tacitus wrote the Germania in 98 CE, he described the
Cherusci thus: "[T]he Cherusci have been left free from attack to
enjoy a prolonged peace, too secure and enervating- a pleasant but
perilous indulgence among powerful aggressors, where there can be no
true peace. When force decides everything, forebearance and
righteousness are qualities attributed only to the strong; and so the
Cherusci, once known as "good, honest people", now hear themselves
called lazy fools...." The fame of Arminius' deeds will last for
eternity.



Tacitus tells of a speech given by the thirty-three year old Arminius
to the Cherusci: "My fighting has been open, not treacherous", he
said, "and it has been against armed men and not pregnant women. The
groves of Germany still display the Roman Eagles and standards which
I hung there in honor of the Gods of our fathers." He continues, "Let
Segestes live on the conquered bank, and make his son a Roman priest
again - with a human being to worship!...If you prefer your country,
your parents, and the old ways to settlement under tyrants abroad,
then do not follow Segestes to shameful slavery- follow Arminius to
glory and freedom!"



How much of this speech is derived from Tacitus' love of the old
freedoms of the Republic, how much by his position in the Senatorial
party? Doubtless, much. And yet it is likely that he was not far off
the mark in presenting Arminius as a kindred spirit in this regard.
In his youth, Arminius had watched the disciplined might of Rome
march into Germania. When he was able, he went to join his people, to
stand by their sides on the battlefield. Some, like his brother
Flavus, sought to become Roman. Arminius, on the other hand, came to
realize the value of his ancestry, and of the old ways of his people -
and of "the Gods of our fathers", the ancestral Gods we Asatruar
honor today.



The Cherusci responded to the call with warlike gusto, as did many
other tribes. Germanicus sent a detachment under Lucius Stertinius
against the Bructeri, where in the midst of a campaign of terror, he
also recovered the Eagle of the XIX Legion. A reconnaissance mission
headed by Caecina was then sent to the Teutoburger Wald to ensure a
safe approach, followed by the army of Germanicus. The bones of the
Romans slaughtered six years earlier littered the forest. Tacitus
writes, "On the open ground were the whitening bones, scattered where
men had fled, heaped where they had stood and fought. Fragments of
spears and of horses' limbs lay there - also human heads, fastened to
tree trunks. In groves nearby were the outlandish altars at which the
Germans had massacred the Roman colonels and senior company
commanders."



As an augur, Germanicus should not have handled the objects of the
dead, yet he helped to bury the fallen.



Germanicus pursued Arminius deep into the wilderness. Finally he sent
his cavalry against the Germans. Arminius proved his merit as a
commander once again, using the classic tactic of withdrawing in
order to lure the enemy into position, then using hidden troops to
envelope him. It was only by bringing up his regular forces that
Germanicus was able to avert disaster, and the battle broke off
without a victor.



The season was late, so the Romans made their way towards their
winter quarters. A force led by Caecina, however, found itself cut
off while seeking to cross a swamp over which a narrow causeway had
been built in earlier years. Again the leadership of Arminius was
telling - by forced marches and the use of shortcuts he had placed
his warriors upon the gently sloping woods overlooking the bog.
Assessing the situation correctly, Caecina erected a camp there in
order to repair the old causeway while fending off Arminius. Even so,
attacks upon the heavily armed Romans, slipping in the mud, by the
experienced marsh-fighters took their toll. Were it not for the fall
of night, the faltering Romans may have been overwhelmed.



The Germans showed further ingenuity by diverting streams from the
surrounding hills onto the low ground, making the repair of the
causeway all the more difficult.



The mood of the Romans was somber. They had just been to the site of
a great Roman defeat at the hands of these very warriors they now
faced. The sounds of "savage shouting and triumphant songs" in the
night, the heavy scent of the marshy rot about them - what an alien
and terrifying place this wild land must have seemed! In Caecina's
dream that night, blood-drenched Varus rose from the marsh and called
to him, extending his hand. Caecina, for four decades a Roman
warrior, for four decades part of the conquering legions of Mars,
brushed the hand aside.



Black night parted for the dawn. The Romans on the flanks had pulled
back, and this gave Arminius a clear approach. The renewed fighting
surrounded Caecina, whose horse was slain beneath him. Victory neared
again, but the Germans let it from their grasp, as they turned
prematurely to looting. The Romans were able to battle their way onto
firm, open ground where they set up hasty defenses.



Terror reigned among the Romans that night, who felt themselves
defeated, and greed ruled the Germans, who were certain of victory. A
horse broke loose in the Roman camp and many Romans fled in terror
from an imagined attack, only to be stopped by Caecina himself. The
Germans quarreled. Arminius wanted victory and glory, and wished to
let the Romans make their way back into the swamp. He understood the
tactical advantage given him in the marsh, and knew that the terror-
striken Romans, granted a step toward escape and then attacked, would
be difficult for Caecina to control. His uncle Inguiomerus, however,
wanted to capture prisoners and undamaged loot, and therefore urged
that the camp be surrounded and the Romans attacked where they stood.



With the next dawn, Inguiomerus' plan was tried. Given a chance at
battle on firm ground, and time to prepare, the Romans were ready.
Horns and bugles filled the morning air, and the startled Germans
found a fierce battle instead of the cowering opponents they had
expected. The momentum had shifted, and the Germans were defeated.
For this, Caecina was awarded a triumph.



Arminius made his escape and awaited another day.



He hadn't long to wait. In 16 CE, Germanicus came again for battle.
The Angrivarii rose as he made his way toward the Cherusci, and
Lucius Stertinus was put into his accustomed role of killing and
burning. At the Weser, the Romans and the Germans faced one another
across the river. Here a meeting of brothers, separated by war and by
their attitude toward Rome, took place - Flavus on the Roman side, an
eye missing from his sword-service to the Emperor; and Arminius on
the other, commanding men of many tribes at the peak of his prowess.
Flavus spoke of the greatness of Rome, of Roman wealth, of Roman
harshness toward its enemies and mercy for those who submitted.
Arminius spoke of patriotism, freedom, family, and "the national Gods
of Germany". Clearly, Arminius percieved the Germans as a people
united by a faith. The brothers nearly came to blows as the
discussion became heated. Arminius shouted threats and insults in the
Latin he had learned in the Roman army, thus letting the Romans know
of his utter contempt. It was Lucius Stertinus who restrained Flavus.



Batavians under Chariovalda were sent across the river against the
free tribes, there to die for Rome at the hands of their kinsmen.



Germanicus, through an informer, knew that Arminius planned a night
attack upon his camp. Due to the resulting vigilance of the Romans,
the Germans withdrew without casting a spear. Germanicus knew, too,
that Arminius planned to seek battle in a forest sacred to Donar,
whom Asatruar today call Thorburn. To Donar, who had roared in triumphant
thunder-claps in the Teutoburger Wald, would be offered a Roman army!



The Romans were to call the battle Idistaviso. It took place on a
level plain, with a forest behind it. The trees, however, however,
contained very little undergrowth to entangle and hamper movement.
The forest sloped upward - in the heights were the Cherusci, beneath
them their allies. At the onset, Arminius seemed to lose control of
his troops - impetuously the Cherusci fell upon the Romans, who
simply outflanked the Germans with their cavalry and began to roll
them up from all sides. Eight eagles flew toward the forest, and
Germanicus hailed these symbols of Rome as omens of victory. Arminius
smeared his face with his own blood - his skin colored red like the
Romans honoring Mars in triumphal processions - and battled his way
free again into the wilds of his homeland. Others were speared in the
river or became sport for the bowmen when they climbed into the trees.



Tacitus tells of a further battle, in which Arminius - wounded or
weary - did not fight vigorously, and calls it a great defeat for the
Cherusci. He says, "Germanicus, who had torn off his helmet so as to
be recognized, ordered his men to kill and kill. No prisoners were
wanted. Only the total destruction of the tribe would end the war."
Elsewhere he writes that Arminius was fought to a stalemate, but
never beaten. Given later developments, it is safe to say that
Tacitus embellished the account somewhat. Sympathetic as he might
have been to Arminius' fight against tyranny and for the old ways, he
was still a loyal Roman who would have wanted to believe that some
retribution was made for the slaughter of his countrymen at
Teutoburger Wald. A more likely explanation is simply that the
Germans withdrew from an inconclusive series of fights.



Whatever the case, Germanicus was recalled by Tiberius, who said
that "...the Cherusci and other rebellious tribes, now that we have
duly punished them, can be left to their own internal disturbances."
Indeed, this proved prophetic; very little time passed before
Arminius and Maroboduus were at one another. Maroboduus, chief of the
Marcomanni, led the Suebian confederation. Two Suebian peoples,
however, sided with Arminius - the Semnones and the Lombards.
Arminius' uncle, Inguiomerus, and a number of Cherusci went over to
Maroboduus. Arminius won, partly because Maroboduus' plea for Roman
aid was refused.



It must have been galling for the Romans to see Arminius still the
preeminant power in Germania. With the defeat of Maroboduus, too, the
prospect loomed large that the still-young Arminius would present a
greater threat. How safe was the Rhine frontier? Could a great German
confederation arise?



Segestes enjoyed a comfortable exile in Gaul, Maroboduus in Ravenna.
Arminius roamed the forests free.



A chieftain of the Chatti, Adgandes, offered to poison Arminius, but
Tiberius refused such underhanded trickery. Nonetheless, envy and
distrust of Arminius grew, due to his growing power - which, perhaps,
he wielded too harshly in his drive to unite the Germanic tribes. Men
with a vision, idealists, are often blinded to humanity. The
Cheruscan succumbed to the treachery of kinsmen and was murdered.
Dead at the age of 37, he is still alive in our hearts. He drinks of
the mead we offer him at sumbel, at the side of the Gods he honors to
this day.



By 47 CE, the Cherusci were so reduced by internal feuding and
endless warfare with the Chatti that they asked the Roman Emperor
Claudius to appoint a king over them. From Rome, there arrived a
warrior, horseman, and prodigious drinker. On his mother's side he
was Chatti - his mother was the daughter of Actumerus, chief of the
Chatti (any relation to Adgantes?). On his father's side he was not
merely Cherusci. His grandfather was Sigimer, father of Arminius. His
father was Flavus. Thus Italicus became king of the Cherusci. One
learns of history that the story never ends- he was expelled some
years later in repeated in-fighting, to be later restored by the
Lombards.



By the time Tacitus wrote the Germania in 98 CE, he described the
Cherusci thus: "[T]he Cherusci have been left free from attack to
enjoy a prolonged peace, too secure and enervating - a pleasant but
perilous indulgence among powerful aggressors, where there can be no
true peace. When force decides everything, forebearance and
righteousness are qualities attributed only tothe strong; and so the
Cherusci, once known as 'good, honest people', now hear themselves
called lazy fools...."



Whatever the ebb and flow of Cheruscan fortunes, the bright legacy of
Arminius the freedom fighter, beloved of our Gods, shines still in
our memories. The fame of his deeds will last for eternity!


Source:
http://www.runestone.org/flash/home.html (http://www.runestone.org/flash/home.html)

Aeternitas
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005, 01:08 PM
Arminius (c. 18 BC- AD 19), chief of the Cherusci, a Teutonic tribe inhabiting parts of what is now Germany. German nationalists of the 19th century celebrated him as a national hero, under the name of Hermann, for having freed Germany from Roman control. He served in the Roman army (AD 1-6), obtaining Roman citizenship and an insight into the arts of war and policy as practised by the Romans. Returning home about AD 7, he found his people oppressed by the Roman governor Publius Quinctilius Varus. Arminius organized a rebellion of the Cherusci, annihilating three Roman legions in the Varus Battle or Battle of Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 and forcing the Romans back to the Rhine. The defeat of his legions led Varus to commit suicide.

In AD 15 the Romans, under the general Germanicus Caesar, invaded Germany and in AD 16 defeated Arminius. Germanicus was recalled to Rome, however, and the advantages gained were lost. After this time, no Roman army ventured to penetrate the interior of Germany. After the expulsion of the Romans, internal feuds broke out among the Teutonic tribes, and Arminius was slain by his relatives. A colossal statue of him was set up in 1875 near the spot where he allegedly defeated Varus. Newer archaeological research indicate that the battle had taken place about 80 km north of the statue at the foot of the Kalkriese hill.


In 1875, the Germans erected a colossal statue of Hermann, a chief of the Cherusci tribe, near the spot where he had annihilated the Roman army. Nationalists viewed this chieftan as a patriot who had freed Germans from Roman domination. The Romans called the man Arminius ("hammer" in Latin). Arminius' early career was not untypical: he had served in the Roman army from 1-6 AD, studied its military techniques, and earned Roman citizenship. Rome's policy was to integrate subject peoples into the Roman political and cultural framework, allowing them to keep their customs and forms of government largely intact and to enjoy the creature comforts afforded by Roman "civilization." The conquered people paid taxes to Rome, which retained control of critical areas in the judiciary (only Romans could exercise the death penalty) and in civil and military administration. Those barbarians who pledged allegiance to Roman rule might serve in the military (often in a distant part of the empire, where they would be unlikely to provoke rebellion), and become Roman citizens. This system of integration combined with a degree of population shifting could work well, as the Assyrians had demonstrated in Mesopotamia--as long as the conquerors did not becoming excessively overbearing. When Arminius returned home in northern Germany around 7 AD, he found the Cherusci suffering under the inept governorship of Publius Quintilius Varus. [...]


Read more... (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bess el.org%2Farmihist.htm)

Pictures below:

The Hermannsdenkmal
Herman The Cheruscan by Kveldulf Hagan Gundarsson

2646 2647


Teutoburg Forest

Range of forested hills, northern Germany. It was the scene of a battle in AD 9 in which German tribes defeated the Roman legions, thus establishing the Rhine River as the German-Latin border. The Hermannsdenkmal, a colossal statue commemorating the battle, stands outside Detmold. There are numerous health and holiday resorts in the forest's small hill towns.Source (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.answ ers.com%2Ftopic%2Fteutoburg-forest)

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Huzar
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005, 02:26 PM
Excellent choice. Arminius (or Hermann) chief of Cherusci, should be remembered like the most important historical chief of Ancient Germanic era. Few people, often, understand the importance of so distant facts ; Afterall Teutoburg battle happened about 2000 years ago, therefore, who cares of the fact ? Only who has studied very well history, realizes the meaning of certain things. This fact frustrates me deeply sometimes. I know very well that in an historical perspective, even small fact can influence all the following development of the events.

Of course, Teutoburg, was not a little fact : Roman empire, lost 10% of its military power in that battle (30'000 men, a big number for the times) about 1/3 of all its military power in northeurope. The invincible Roman march toward the northeurope, after 50 years of victories (from Caesar to Varo), died forever in teutoburg forest. After the catastrophic defeat of Varo, no one Roman legion crossed the Rhine river more. The Rhine, became a deadly line for every roman emperor for hundreds of years. Germanic populations saved themselves from the romanization (differently from Celts who were conquered) : If the Roman attempt to colonize Germanic lands would has been victorious, well now perhaps wouldn't exist the german language probably (Germany would be a neo-latin country , at least in linguistic terms, like France, therefore no war between these two countries through the centuries ;) ).


Probably neither Skadi, would be online now, if Varo had won his battle...........................:-O :P (imagine the bizzarre consequences on our everyday life).

Thorn
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005, 03:03 PM
After the Romans defeated the Germanic tribes with their superior military tactics, they had to face a new risen army just 15 years later, that adepted their skills on the battelfield. That is the true achievment of the old germans.

Interesting is that Arminius most dangerous enemies where his own relatives, that collaborated with the romans. Its the old german problem: no unity.

Blutwölfin
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 08:58 AM
New studies are linking Hermann the Cherdusker with Siegfried (Sigurd). No one knows Hermann's correct name, but almost all men in his family had names beginning with "Sieg-".


And there are several more hints that this theory might be true:
In the Edda, there's a special symbolism with Sigurd: He appears a a golden deer and nursed by a hind. And the deer was totem of the Cherusker. The tribes name comes from the germanic word "herut" - deer.


Furthermore, the Edda names the place, where Sigurd killed the wyvern: at the "Gnitaheide", Gnita-heath. There's a "Knitterheide" about 70 km away from the place where the Teutoburg battle had taken place.

The wyvern could symbolize the Roman legions - the thousands and thousand of soldiers formed a platoon which was long about 6 km.

Völsunga saga tells about Sigurd, who breaks in into the home of Fafnir and finds - next to a huge amount of gold - also a sword, a armour and a helmet -
such weapons captured the Germanic at the Teutoburg battle.

The huge amount of gold could symbolize the very precious dishes, the Romans brought with them. Pompeius Paulinus, who was governor in Lower Germania, travelled with about 4.000 kg of silver dishes. Probably Varo carried at least the same amount of dishes with him.

Finally, Hermann and Siegfried/Sigurd both died in outrageous ways, killed by their own relatives.

Blutwölfin
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 11:04 AM
I read an intresting article about a new theory saying the Hermann der Cherusker, also known as Arminius, and Siegfried (Sigurd), Nibelung, are probably the same person.

The so-called facts:
- No one knows Hermann's correct name, but almost all men in his family had names beginning with "Sieg-".

- In the Edda, there's a special symbolism with Sigurd: He appears a a golden deer and nursed by a hind. And the deer was totem of the Cherusker. The tribes name comes from the germanic word "herut" - deer.

- The Edda names the place, where Sigurd killed the wyvern: at the "Gnitaheide", Gnita-heath. There's a "Knitterheide" about 70 km away from the place where the Teutoburg battle had taken place.

- The wyvern could symbolize the Roman legions - the thousands and thousand of soldiers formed a platoon which was long about 6 km.

- Völsunga saga tells about Sigurd, who breaks in into the home of Fafnir and finds - next to a huge amount of gold - also a sword, a armour and a helmet -
such weapons captured the Germanic at the Teutoburg battle.

- The huge amount of gold could symbolize the very precious dishes, the Romans brought with them. Pompeius Paulinus, who was governor in Lower Germania, travelled with about 4.000 kg of silver dishes. Probably Varo carried at least the same amount of dishes with him.

- Hermann and Siegfried/Sigurd both died in outrageous ways, killed by their own relatives.

What do you think about this theory? I think it could be right. In the Nibelung-saga Siegfried is surroundes by historical person - just he seems to be kind of "alien". So why don't draw a line between him and Hermann/Arminius? There are a lot of paralells...

Information about Arminius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminius)
Information about Siegfried/Nibelung saga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibelungenlied)

Allenson
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 01:13 PM
I posted this on Blut und Boden once as we were having a discussion of this historical event--I beleive our English friend, Biggles suggested that it would make a good movie. ;)

Anyway, what I mentioned there was that not too long ago I was browsing thorugh one of those history "what if" books where a historian asks that question "what if such and such didn't happen--where would we be today...?" One of the chapters dealt with the Teutoburg affair--which of course, perked my interest. What I read though made me a bit angry. The author basically postulated that had this event not happend or if the Germanic tribe(s) had been defeated by the Romans, German nationalism later on in history would not have been as strong and that perhaps we would not today have to deal with the "German question"--a thinly veiled reference to the Germans dealing with the "Jewish question". Needless to say, I didn't appreciate that too much....

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 01:27 PM
I posted this on Blut und Boden once as we were having a discussion of this historical event--I beleive our English friend, Biggles suggested that it would make a good movie. ;)

Anyway, what I mentioned there was that not too long ago I was browsing thorugh one of those history "what if" books where a historian asks that question "what if such and such didn't happen--where would we be today...?" One of the chapters dealt with the Teutoburg affair--which of course, perked my interest. What I read though made me a bit angry. The author basically postulated that had this event not happend or if the Germanic tribe(s) had been defeated by the Romans, German nationalism later on in history would not have been as strong and that perhaps we would not today have to deal with the "German question"--a thinly veiled reference to the Germans dealing with the "Jewish question". Needless to say, I didn't appreciate that too much....

I think I have those two books, Dalonord. Their suggestion was that if Arminius had been defeated then the Roman Empire would reach the Elbe instead of the Rhine and the Danube.

Actually Roman control of Britain was loose, so its unlikely the Romans would have had much effect on Germany.

Thorn
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 04:19 PM
Actually Roman control of Britain was loose, so its unlikely the Romans would have had much effect on Germany.
However the roman influence was strong enough to romanice southern England. This romaniced group fled in the 5th century to the Bretangne, and southern England was settled by Germanic tribes (Anglo-Saxons). So if the Garmanic tribes would have been romaniced also England would look different.

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 04:46 PM
However the roman influence was strong enough to romanice southern England. This romaniced group fled in the 5th century to the Bretangne, and southern England was settled by Germanic tribes (Anglo-Saxons). So if the Garmanic tribes would have been romaniced also England would look different.

Well the Romanisation was exaggerated, it was largely native aristocracy imitating Roman culture as signs of their power.

The Romans werent that interested in settling northern Europe, they thought it was too foreign and cold.

Vanir
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 09:53 PM
I think I have those two books, Dalonord. Their suggestion was that if Arminius had been defeated then the Roman Empire would reach the Elbe instead of the Rhine and the Danube.

Actually Roman control of Britain was loose, so its unlikely the Romans would have had much effect on Germany. I have a documentary on the battle which over-emphasizes this nazism~nationalism point. The DVD came close to death upon that first viewing. At least there were a few other interesting points that made it worth the buy....

If the Arminian battle hadn't have occurred the way it did, I feel that the Germans would have repulsed the Romans in some other battle anyway. It always absurdly pleases me reflecting on the fact that the Cherusci were the ancestors of the Saxons (from what I've read)

What I would be interested to know is precisely how much wealth the Romans extracted from Britain per year in the time that ancient Imperial Multi-National controlled it.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 04:37 AM
New studies are linking Hermann the Cherdusker with Siegfried (Sigurd). No one knows Hermann's correct name, but almost all men in his family had names beginning with "Sieg-".


And there are several more hints that this theory might be true:
In the Edda, there's a special symbolism with Sigurd: He appears a a golden deer and nursed by a hind. And the deer was totem of the Cherusker. The tribes name comes from the germanic word "herut" - deer.


Furthermore, the Edda names the place, where Sigurd killed the wyvern: at the "Gnitaheide", Gnita-heath. There's a "Knitterheide" about 70 km away from the place where the Teutoburg battle had taken place.

The wyvern could symbolize the Roman legions - the thousands and thousand of soldiers formed a platoon which was long about 6 km.

Völsunga saga tells about Sigurd, who breaks in into the home of Fafnir and finds - next to a huge amount of gold - also a sword, a armour and a helmet -
such weapons captured the Germanic at the Teutoburg battle.

The huge amount of gold could symbolize the very precious dishes, the Romans brought with them. Pompeius Paulinus, who was governor in Lower Germania, travelled with about 4.000 kg of silver dishes. Probably Varo carried at least the same amount of dishes with him.

Finally, Hermann and Siegfried/Sigurd both died in outrageous ways, killed by their own relatives.

The Sigurd saga was earlier than Siegfried which some say was 13th century or so. It is certainly possible that elements of Hermann's times, situation, deeds and culture came into the Siegfried story as this sort of thing happens. It may be true that Romance Language would have only been adopted by the upper class but look what it did to English in Norman times under exactly those conditions. No telling what would have happened if Hermann had never lived or lost at Teutoburgerwald. We might be posting in Latin now.

Blutwölfin
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 10:12 AM
The Sigurd saga was earlier than Siegfried which some say was 13th century or so. It is certainly possible that elements of Hermann's times, situation, deeds and culture came into the Siegfried story as this sort of thing happens. It may be true that Romance Language would have only been adopted by the upper class but look what it did to English in Norman times under exactly those conditions. No telling what would have happened if Hermann had never lived or lost at Teutoburgerwald. We might be posting in Latin now.
The first time the Edda was written down was in 1271 ("Codex regius"). The oldest songs in the Edda were probably made 300 to 400 years before.

The first time the Nibelung saga was written down was between 1180 and 1210.

Sigurd and Siegfried are the same person, Siegfried is the German version of the Edda-Sigurd.

Zyklop
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 11:32 AM
Sigurd and Siegfried are the same person, Siegfried is the German version of the Edda-Sigurd.
Something interesting about this:

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/dahn/walhall/walh041.htm

(German link)

Dr. Solar Wolff
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 06:00 AM
The first time the Edda was written down was in 1271 ("Codex regius"). The oldest songs in the Edda were probably made 300 to 400 years before.

The first time the Nibelung saga was written down was between 1180 and 1210.

Sigurd and Siegfried are the same person, Siegfried is the German version of the Edda-Sigurd.


Siegfried was to some extent based on Sigurd but Sigurd is a much earlier story. Sigurd's story is primarily killing a dragon. Siegfried's story is his travels to Worms, adventures with women, and betrayal. Siegfried is a classic tale of the middle ages.


Something interesting about this:

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/dahn/walhall/walh041.htm

(German link)

I read the first paragraph. There is nothing in Sigurd like the characters Atilla and I believe Hagen. Sigurd's other main character is his father Siegmund. Where is the Brunhilde-like character in Sigurd?

Zyklop
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 06:15 AM
I read the first paragraph. There is nothing in Sigurd like the characters Atilla and I believe Hagen. Sigurd's other main character is his father Siegmund. Where is the Brunhilde-like character in Sigurd? There is Atli (Etzel/Attila) who marries Sigurd´s widow Gudrun (Krimhild), Gutthorm (Hagen) and Brynhild. The Sigurd saga obviously was influenced by historical events in Germany.

Horagalles
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 12:40 PM
The first time the Edda was written down was in 1271 ("Codex regius"). The oldest songs in the Edda were probably made 300 to 400 years before.

The first time the Nibelung saga was written down was between 1180 and 1210.

Sigurd and Siegfried are the same person, Siegfried is the German version of the Edda-Sigurd.The Nibelung Saga has even things in common with the Iliad of Homer. Think of Achilles Heel and Siegfrieds vulnerable spot:~( . Ancient Aryan mythology is interesting in many ways. The Rigsthula of the Edda explains the genealogy of the social order. Interesting also the link to racial features that is made... Back to "Arminius" - how is this linked to the irminsul? I must dig out what I have from Tacitus....

...lucky me:
http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/Tacitus0248/Works/0067-01_Bk.html
http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/Tacitus0248/Works/0067-02_Bk.html
http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/Tacitus0248/Works/0067-04_Bk.html

These seem to be most of the works. Check it out it's a hole library of thinkers you can have a look at. In some cases on can even find what they said on racial issues :D

White Iceland
Sunday, June 5th, 2005, 08:10 PM
Most legendary figures are based at least in part on real historical personalities...

This sounds very likely, at least in later tellings of the Sigurð tale folks may have drawn comparisons to Arminus.

Has anyone been to the memorial site in Teutoborgswald? I found a book online a couple of years ago dealing with ongoing archaeological discoveries in the area. I should have bought it at the time, but it should be easy enough to track down again.

Blutwölfin
Sunday, June 5th, 2005, 11:48 PM
Maybe you're talking about this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0393020282/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-4637757-4046507#reader-link) or this (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1932714081/qid=1118011230/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-4637757-4046507?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)?

This webpage - unfortunately only availabe in German - shows some pictures from the battle field, the silver precious and some other thinks.

Die Varusschlacht (http://www.varusschlacht-am-harz.de/varus_arminius.htm)
If you need some translation, let me know.

Teutonic
Sunday, May 14th, 2006, 11:22 PM
their is a 100ft statue of Hermman in a small town in minnesota called new ulm. a very beautiful German American community. Hermman or Arminus was a great and true patriot. Alaric is another Great German.

Ægir
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 05:26 PM
Arminius and the Cherusci also joined up with the Chatti Tribe before the Teuteburger Forest war:

The Chatti (also Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe settled in central and northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony, along the upper reaches of the Weser river and in the valleys and mountains of the Eder, Fulda and Werra river regions, a district approximately corresponding to Hesse-Cassel, though probably somewhat more extensive. According to Tacitus (Histories iv. under 70 [1]), among them were the Batavians, until an internal quarrel drove them out, to take up new lands at the mouth of the Rhine.

The Chatti successfully resisted incorporation into the Roman Empire, joining the Cheruscan war leader Arminius' coalition of tribes that annihilated Varus' legions in 9 in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Germanicus later, in 15, raided their lands in revenge, but Rome eventually responded to the Chatti's belligerent defense of their independence by building the limes border fortifications along the southern boundary of their lands in central Hesse during the early years of the 1st century. The remnants of a very large fortified retreat (Altenburg) have been found on a hill near the village of Metze Niedenstein (Latin: Mattium) in the core lands of the Chatti near Fritzlar, south of Kassel. On the other hand, it has been said that the identified retreat was abandoned prior to the Christian Era, making its earlier identification with the Chatti's capital Mattium unfounded.

According to Tacitus in his book Germania (chapter 30), they were disciplined warriors famed for their infantry, who (unusually for Germanic tribes) used trenching tools and carried provisions when at war. Their neighbours to the north were the Usipi and Tencteri.

The Chatti eventually became a branch of the much larger neighboring Franks and were incorporated in the kingdom of Clovis I, probably with the Ripuarians, at the beginning of the 6th century. They are mentioned in the Old English epic Beowulf as Hetwaras.

In 723, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Winfrid -- subsequently called St. Boniface, Apostle of the Germans -- proselytizing among the Chatti, felled their sacred tree, Thor's Oak, near Fritzlar, as part of his efforts to compel the conversion of the Chatti and the other northern Germanic tribes to Christianity.

"Chatti" eventually became "Hesse" through a series of sound shifts.




Gruß,
Boche

Did the Chatti have any relation to the Marcomanni at all? I know that under King Marbod the Marcomanni formed a confederation of tribes with other Germanic tribes. The reason I ask this is that by family tradition my mothers family is said to be descended from the Marcomanni…however the family is from Hochstadt, Hessen-Hanau, so I don’t know if the Marcomanni tradition is really possible…then again a lot of movement can happen in a few hundred years!

Zyklop
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 06:24 PM
The reason I ask this is that by family tradition my mothers family is said to be descended from the Marcomanni…Sounds a bit fishy. The Marcomanni, as a distinguishable ethnic group, are gone since about 200 AD. I doubt anyone can trace his family tree back to this time.

Ægir
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 07:48 PM
What's your lastname? I can try to find out - but i can't promise it - as Zyklop said, it's nearly impossible to trace it that far back.




Gruß,
Boche

I did not say that I can trace my direct family line that far back. However I can trace that particular family line (which is my mother’s father’s line) directly to about 1242 or so. Where the Marcomanni come in is that the family’s tradition is that they are descended from Marbod. I seriously doubt any blood decent; however the argument is that the family name formed a derivation of Marbod. Depending on what century in my family tree you are looking at this name it has been written
Merboto, Marbot, Merbot, Meerbot Meerbott, and Marbut.

Nothing fishy as I am not saying that I am the descendent of Marbod at all, but I do not doubt that the origin of the name may have somehow been taken for that great King. If you have any information that is great.

P.S. I did not intend to start a genealogy conversation with my original post (although I always like talking of genealogy) as that was not the original purpose of this thread…but if any one has information that could confirm or deny the Marcomanni being with the Hesse that would be excellent .

Sigurd
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Hmm, I also once heard the theory that Arminius/Hermann was the model for the later Nibelungenlied & its cognates such as the Volsunga saga. ;)

Janus
Thursday, November 1st, 2007, 09:47 PM
Teutoburg Forest

Range of forested hills, northern Germany. It was the scene of a battle in AD 9 in which German tribes defeated the Roman legions, thus establishing the Rhine River as the German-Latin border. The Hermannsdenkmal, a colossal statue commemorating the battle, stands outside Detmold. There are numerous health and holiday resorts in the forest's small hill towns.

Argh! When will people stop repeating this myth. The battle did not happen there but further north near Osnabrück.

Dagna
Thursday, November 1st, 2007, 09:52 PM
Argh! When will people stop repeating this myth. The battle did not happen there but further north near Osnabrück.
Yes I believe it did. Do you have any sources to prove otherwise?

Death and the Sun
Thursday, November 1st, 2007, 09:56 PM
Argh! When will people stop repeating this myth. The battle did not happen there but further north near Osnabrück.


No matter, the Teutoburger battle was a memorable stand against the Judeo-Christian disease, one that should always be remembered by all free Northmen and -women.

Janus
Thursday, November 1st, 2007, 10:00 PM
Yes I believe it did. Do you have any sources to prove otherwise?

Too lazy to search for English language searches but just look for names like Osnabrück and Kalkriese in connection with Varus at google.

SwordOfTheVistula
Friday, November 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM
No matter, the Teutoburger battle was a memorable stand against the Judeo-Christian disease, one that should always be remembered by all free Northmen and -women.

Jesus was still a small child at that time (assuming he actually existed), and Rome was still fully Pagan and without any significant jewish interests.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Friday, November 2nd, 2007, 08:08 AM
Argh! When will people stop repeating this myth. The battle did not happen there but further north near Osnabrück.

OK, my map shows them pretty close together. The important points are that Hermann chose a forest setting, Teutobergerwald, to fight the Romans because this was tactically the best setting for his fighters. He was right. Without this forest (and of course without Hermann) the Western Germanics would have gone the way of the Gauls. The Eastern Germanics didn't survive and I don't know how the Northern Germanics would have faired if this battle had not been won. Would the Romans have stopped in Jutland?

Osnabruek is in Lower Saxony, Niedersachsen, so is Teutobergerwald. In those days this area was undoubtedly a continuous forrest. What's the big whup?

Carl
Friday, November 2nd, 2007, 02:31 PM
No matter, the Teutoburger battle was a memorable stand against the Judeo-Christian disease, one that should always be remembered by all free Northmen and -women.

Yes indeed - something along the lines of my own sentiment. The Roman legions were stopped - had they not been , Rome would have , at that time , continued its cruel and barbarous conquest of all the lands to the north -including, had the reached the northern sea, the Urlands of the Old English and their brothers!! As it was they didn't. The NorthSea peoples were safe until it was given to them collectively to take England unto their own in their own Germanic faith and belief.

Many times have I visited the great Denkmal in the north and given thanks for their victory.

Janus - why can't you find a more suitable picture - something vaguely Germanic perhaps? something pleasant rather than offputting. :D

Gefjon
Friday, November 2nd, 2007, 02:59 PM
OK, my map shows them pretty close together. The important points are that Hermann chose a forest setting, Teutobergerwald, to fight the Romans because this was tactically the best setting for his fighters. He was right. Without this forest (and of course without Hermann) the Western Germanics would have gone the way of the Gauls. The Eastern Germanics didn't survive and I don't know how the Northern Germanics would have faired if this battle had not been won. Would the Romans have stopped in Jutland?

Osnabruek is in Lower Saxony, Niedersachsen, so is Teutobergerwald. In those days this area was undoubtedly a continuous forrest. What's the big whup?
Exactly! One should keep in mind that the Old Teutoburg Forest isn't the same as the modern day Teutoburg Forest.


The decisive battle was fought over three days in Teutoburg Forest, a mountain range in the north-west of Germany (now approximately 70 miles [115km] across from Osnabrück to Padoborn). The precise location of Varus' final stand is believed to be at Kalkriese (near Osnabrück), where in the mid 1980s a British soldier discovered large numbers of bronze coins and lead slingshot "bullets". Further archaeological excavations have revealed fragments of armour, numerous coins which all pre-date AD 9 and are stamped "VAR" (for "VARUS") as the issuer, and even the face mask from a legionary helmet. Over 3000 items were discovered, along with (even more gruesomely) human remains, which supports the theory that Kalkriese is the spot of the massacre.
http://www.falcophiles.co.uk/facts/teutoburg.html

It is believed to be. There are archaeologists who support the old theories nonetheless. Remember folks, this isn't an exact science, new evidence can be found any day and it needs to be interpreted.

NorthernDawn
Sunday, November 11th, 2007, 05:06 PM
Regardless of where the Battle of the Teutoburger Forest was actually fought....I wish to thank Raven for posting the beautiful pictures of the Teutoburger Wald! Actually the great German poet and nature writer Hermann Lons is buried in, and has a memorial stone in the Teutoburger Wald, which he so dearly loved and wrote about extensively.

Huzar
Sunday, November 11th, 2007, 06:50 PM
No matter, the Teutoburger battle was a memorable stand against the Judeo-Christian disease, one that should always be remembered by all free Northmen and -women.


As SwordoftheVistlua stated, Roman empire was still fully Pagan at the time. And very syncretic too. It means Germanic pantheon wouldn't had been destroyed, but assimilated simply (but we could consider that another form of degeneration)

On the other side, a Roman victory would had open the doors to a rapid christianization in the centuries after.

Anyway, don't worry......even in case of a Roman victory, the Empire would had expanded to northern sea at best. Finnish area was TOO far, geographically from any possible Imperial plan of conquest ;)



The Roman legions were stopped - had they not been , Rome would have , at that time , continued its cruel and barbarous conquest of all the lands to the north -including, had the reached the northern sea, the Urlands of the Old English and their brothers!! As it was they didn't. The NorthSea peoples were safe until it was given to them collectively to take England unto their own in their own Germanic faith and belief.



IMO, One of the MOST fascinating interrogatives of entire European History. Another stereotypical "alternative hypothetical scenario" : WHAT IF, the Roman Legions had won in Teutobourg ? :confused:

What historical course in that case ?


What destiny for GERMANIC world ? Effective hypothetical consequences ?

Imo, (hypothizing an analogue dynamic of Gallic campaigns) , in a lapse of time of 50-70 years from the ROMAN victory in Teutobourg, entire Germanic area, between Rhine and Vistula would had been colonized.

Not big consequences genetic/racially speaking : not more than 100'000-150'000 Roman colonists on a native Germanic population of over 3 millions (estimed). Not more than 5% of population.

From a CULTURAL point of view......consequences would had been dramatic. Actual Germany/Austria/Netherlands (and maybe danish Jutland) would speak a Romance language or something similar (i often wonder what kind of hybrid language could generate from such mix...:confused:..similar to actual FRENCH language perhaps ? ), so would be integrally part of Romance world. With its specific particularity of course : Romanization often adapted itself to traits of conquered lands. So, as much as existed a Gallic/roman civilisation in the Celtic areas conquered by Rome, we could imagine a Germanic/Roman civilisation in the Germanic area conquested by Roman legions.

Besides a similar conquest would have meant to make almost untouchable the Roman domain in the british isles. No anglo-saxon invasions (you can guess the consequences). (A longer and more strong permanence in the british isles potential danger for free areas as Ireland and Scottish Highlands too)

And a subsequently, a direct, violent, clash with Slavic populations of eastern Europe : the territories over the vistula. Not probable a conquest there, but probable the formation of a defensive line from Baltic sea to DACIA (actual Romania)



In few words.........a different outcome in the Teutoburg battle, would have meant a different course of European civilisation process, reflected in a dramatic alteration of actual accepted linguistic domains ; around 80% of Europeans would belong to the Romance world. Entire European continent would be substantially Romance (culturally) in its various versions (Gallic-romance, Hispanic-Romance, Germanic-romance etc etc.).

GERMANIC world would be limited to Scandinavian Peninsula today. Sweden and Norway only. Scandinavia wasn't on the Imperial "death list".

Not Anglo-saxon america, rather Romance/saxon America ;)

Skarpherdin
Friday, December 7th, 2007, 09:46 AM
Hermann great Hero of the Germanic People, a light to the "barbarian" people in the Roman darkness

SwordOfTheVistula
Saturday, December 8th, 2007, 10:19 AM
Hmm, I also once heard the theory that Arminius/Hermann was the model for the later Nibelungenlied & its cognates such as the Volsunga saga. ;)

I have always heard it was derived from the time of Atilla the Hun, who appears in the Nibelungenlied as 'Etzel'? It is possible that some elements of the story came from earlier times? The foreign sources with whom the characters in the Nibelungenlied interact with come from the east, not the west/south

Skarpherdin
Sunday, December 16th, 2007, 11:03 AM
he was a symbol that the so called Barbarians could defeat the Romans if they pulled together and planned a attack instead of just charging at them, Hermann used his brain and trick the foolish Varus

Agrippa
Sunday, December 16th, 2007, 11:24 AM
Sounds a bit fishy. The Marcomanni, as a distinguishable ethnic group, are gone since about 200 AD. I doubt anyone can trace his family tree back to this time.

The only realistic possibility to do this would be to trace back a distinguishable, clearly Marcomanni genetic line and racial type and finding it in the own family. Everything else and especially games with names are highly speculative and what I mentioned can't be done, at least not for common people at the moment.

Dagna
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008, 03:48 PM
I believe it is very important to read about Arminius and honor him. Here is something of interest. I wanted to start a new thread about it but I decided to post it in this once so that the readers who are interested in Arminius can find information easier.



SIGFRED – ARMINIUS.


Qui inuicti fuere uiri, pater optime Olumpi,
hos egomet uici.


In looking at the long bede-roll of the heroes of Teutonic Song and Legend, Sigfred, Ermanaric, Theodric of Verona, Hygelac the Goth, Gundahari the Burgundian, Ælfwine the Lombard, Charles the Great and his marquis Hruodland, Lodbrok, Ælfræd of Wessex, Harold fairhair, down to Olaf Tryggwason, one cannot but be struck by the fact that in every case but one we have contemporary accounts, which not only give the means of clearing the legendary deposit crystallized by imagination about these great men, but also help to discover by what facts of character and achievement the hero was able to impress his greatness upon the mind of his own age. Of one single name, however, most famous of all, most widely known, most deeply stamped upon the Teuton imagination, we seem to have no historical record --- Sigfred. Of all the others, as the annexed table will show, we have a double record, one popular, fanciful, imaginative, the other plain, often bald, but historical. For instance, a few lines of Ammianus, the contemporary of Ermanaric, give the facts which Jordanes, Saxo and the Eddic Lays preserve in poetical dress concerning that mighty King of the Goths. A dozen words of Eginhard proves that the Roland who died at Roncesvaux is no poetic myth. The brief sentence of Bishop Gregory of Tours confirms the legendary tale of the old English Epic of Beowulf, and reveals Chochilaicus in the flesh, a real king fighting and dying in a raid against the Frisones ----

Hero History Legend
Ermanaric Ammianus Jordanes, Saxo, Eddic Lay.
Attila Jordanes, Priscus. Eddic Lays.
Hygelac. Gregory. Beowulf.
Theodric. Excerpt. Vales. Eddic Lays.
Ælfwine [Alboin]. Paul the Deacon, etc. Widsith.
Charles the Great. Eginhard, etc. Chansons de geste.

Throughout one finds that epic poetry is built up upon a firm rock-foundation of fact, unshakeable and steadfast. May we not legitimately extend the inference to Sigfred's case?
Again, if we turn to the four chief classic historians that tell of early Teutonic History --- Velleius Paterculus, Tacitus, Dio, Strabo, we are confronted by a singular and startling fact, that Arminius the Cheruscan--- the man, but for whose heroism and skill Germany would not now be Germany, nor England England; the general who stemmed once and for ever the full tide of Roman conquest in the hey-day of the early empire --- that this hero of heroes seems to be the one man passed over, forgotten, unknown to the lips and hearts of his own people. Is this credible? Tacitus witnesses that in his day at least it was not so: caniturque adhuc barbaras apud gentes.
Is there not, after all, a simple solution to this double difficulty? Are not Sigfred and Arminius one and the same? With the train of reasoning that has led us to this somewhat startling conclusion we will now deal.
In a late number of Germania (1) Mr. L. Smith, in a closely argued and carefully wrought out paper, proved that the numerous attempts, from J. Grimm upward and downward, to identify the name of the Liberator with any Teutonic name has failed, and had gone upon a wholly wrong track --- that Arminius is, in fact, a Roman gentile name that has been recognized in Roman Inscriptions.
Velleius Paterculus, whose vivid, if brief, delineation of the defeat of Varus, was written within nine years of the Conqueror's death, strongly confirms this view. Says he, --- Tum iuvenis genere nobilis, manu fortis, sensu celer, ultra barbarum promptus ingenio, nomine Arminius, Sigimeri principis gentis eius [Cheruscorum] filius, ardorem animi uultu oculisque preferens, adsiduus militiae nostrae prioris comes, [cum] iure etiam ciuitatis Romanae ius equestris consecutus gradus, segnitia ducis in occasionem sceleris usus est. Lib. II. c. 118; cf. Tac. Ann. ii. 10. ut qui Romanis in castris ductor popularium meruisset.
Here are the facts of Arminius' youth spent under a training of Roman military discipline, his rank, birth, patronymic, and tribe. Tacitus supplies his exact age at the end of his victorious career; Septum et triginta annos uitae, duodecim potentiae expleuit. Arminius, therefore, was born B.C. 16, crushed Varus A.D. 9, and died A.D. 21, the same age within a year as that at which the second Deliverer of Germany, Gustavus Adolphus, closed his course.
Arminius' intimate association with the Roman army in early life, which may have covered as much as ten years, will amply account for his being mentioned by the Roman historians only under the name he had borne while in their service. On the other hand, the songs of his people would celebrate him only under his own Teutonic name. If, like Segestes his father-in-law, a diuo Augusto ciuitate donatus, he had attained Equestrian rank only as a full-grown man, he would, like him, probably have come down to us only under his native name.
Have we any data in the Roman writers, which may help us to identify Arminius' native name?
The following pedigree of the royal house of the Cheruscans the ancients have preserved for us.

tree

According to the early custom of Teutonic nomenclature (such as we find it for example in the houses of Theodric the Goth, Oswald the Northumbrian, Gundahari the Burgundian) Arminius' name would therefore be a compound of Segi ---- and why not Segi-fredus? (3)
And is there not found in Teutonic poetry the very name of the royal clan or gens of the Cherusci? In the Thulor (a 13th century Gradus ad Parnassum) (4) is a list of synonyms for 'King' gleaned from old Pindaric odes or encomia upon various Scandinavian princes. Among them are these ---
öðlingr [Ethel-ing], West Saxon royal gens.
audlingr [Ead-ling], English royal gens.
bragningr [Brag-ning].
budlungr [Beadu-ling].
döglingr [Day-ling], Danish royal gens.
hildingr [Hild-ingr], Frankish royal gens.
lofðungr [Leof-ding}.
hniflungr [Hnef-ling].
maeringr [Maer-ing], Frankish royal gens.
sciöldungr [Shield-ing], Danish royal gens.
mildingr [Mild-ing], English royal gens.
scilfingr [Shelf-ing], Swedish royal gens.
ynglingr [Yngwi-ling], Swedish royal gens.
ylfingr [Wolf-ing].
Beowulf's Lay supplies other names of the same type, openly treating them as patronymic or clan-names:---
bronding [Brand-ing], Gothic gens.
helming [Helm-ing], cf. O.N. hilmir.
wiccing [Wicg-ing], Heath-bard clan.
And last, not least, Jordanes yields ---
Amalungs [Amal-ungs], Gothic royal gens.
May we not rightly add to the list a well-known northern synonym for king and explain its origins as?---
siclingr [Sige-ling], Cheruscan royal gens. (5)
Hence by gens Arminius would be Sigeling, as Ethelward the Patrician was Etheling.
In fragmentary Hyndlu-liod, a genealogical poem composed for a member of the Horda-Kari family of Hordaland and afterwards of Orkney (set side by side with the early paraphrase of its pure text preserved in Flatey-book, and reconstructed by the author in the Corpus Poeticum) (6), such royal titles as those cited in the Thulor are openly and clearly used as patronymic clan-names. So that in the Old English chronicles with their Æscings and Ethelings, in the Norwegian Kings' Lives with their Skioldungs and Ynglings, and in this curious Lay of Hyndla, (7) the title-deed of Ohthere heimske, we seem to hear the last echoes of a clan or gens nomenclature which no doubt dates back to an early 'totem-stage' of Teutonic development.
Leaving personal and clan-names, let us look to his tribal title, Arminius the Cheruscan. This is in consonance with true Teutonic use, which survived in such denominations as der Friedlaender, der Pappenheimer, down to der Dessauer (known from Carlyle's Frederic). No doubt in the lost lays Tacitus tells of, Arminius was the Cheruscan par excellence.
In the Eddic Lamentation Lays (Corp. Poet. Bk. V), the unnamed author of which had access (as we have shown elsewhere) to High and Low German poems and traditions, Sigfred is marked out by a curious and unique epithet --- Hunsci, e.g.:---

Long Brunhild Lay, line 16 Hunscr conungr.
" 33 conunger enn hunsci.
" 75 enn hunsci herbaldr.
" 264 enn hunsca.
" 265 enom hunsca.

Greenland Atlamal, line 362. dauðr varð enn hunsci.
In all of which it is an epithet to Sigfred. As an epithet to others besides we find it in the ---

Old Gudrun Lay, line 84. hunscar meyiar.
More doubtful uses are ---
Old Gudrun Lay, line 50. recca huna. (read, hunsca?).
Gudrunar kuiða, line 102. hunscrar theoðar.

In all these instances the –sc inflexive form is to be noted.
Now to call Sigfred a Hun is absurd; the word, therefore, upon any hypothesis, stands for some lost tribal name --- is it not Cheruscus, Heorsci? All but two letters are identical. The word we want must begin with H, for this letter is needed to complete the alliteration in many of the instances given above. A Northern German singer would get some kind of sense out of Hunsci; for the great Hun hero, Attila, was a famous figure in the Epic Lays he knew, but the tribe of Cherusci had already in Tacitus' time been melting away into swift decay, having produced its great man, and done its duty and fulfilled its service to Teuton history. Therefore, save as a traditional epithet or synonym to Sigfred, its very name would long ago have perished, and be utterly foreign to a Scandinavian or even a German ear.
G. Storm's ingenious note on Susat (Soest) and the Hunaland (Westphalia) of the Wilkina Saga, will yield no slight confirmatory evidence to this strange confusion. For, how could Huns come to dwell in the old Cheruscan land, save by such error as this? It is in fact the same misnomer, Heorsc- for Hunsc-, over again.
While on this subject one cannot pass over Tacitus' words, boni aequique Cherusci, nunc inertes ac stulti uocantur--- a snatch, one may well believe, from an old Teutonic camp-song, to which we can even restore its original German words: 'horscr' (8) is exactly bonus aequusque, while 'heimscr' is iners stultusque. Horscr, too, would alliterate most happily with Heorscr (Cheruscus), to which it must have been of old the standing epithet (like the gallant Græme, light Lindsay, gray Gordon of the Border ballads). The apt opposition of 'horscr' and 'heimscr' in satire is attested by the early Norwegian poem, Guest's Wisdom, where we find ----
Heimsca or horscom goerir haolda sono sa-enn mátci munr
and
Opt fá á horscan, es á heimscan ne fá, lost-fagrir litir.
This word-play has, we believe, kept 'horscr' alive in the war of words, and saved its noble meaning unsullied; for it is the word which rightly describes perfect hero or heroine, the true Teuton term for which the English have borrowed the word 'gentle' from their Romance neighbours.
And thus, both personal and tribal name seem to come home to Arminius. As to Arminius' wife, Tacitus has not preserved her name, but Strabo once names her. But, unfortunately, Strabo never reached us in a form derived from a single uncial MS. --- omni genere errorum inquinatissimus, as the much-troubled editor, Dr. Kramer, stigmatizes it--- hence his proper names are in terribly corrupt state. He calls her QOUSNELDA; but this word is evidently incorrect, indeed impossible; the last part, '-elda,' being the only bit we can trust, for this shows that the final element was '-hilda.' Here is a curious coincidence. Both the women tradition has mixed up with Sigfred's life, have names in '-hild,' Brun-hild and Grim-hild. We can scarcely doubt that Strabo's mutilated word was originally one of these, most probably 'Grimhilda'. Thousn- is impossible, and sn is not a likely combination, nor could there (for Strabo is copying Latin) have been any 'Th' in the Latin inscriptions that were inscribed above the captives in their car. GIRMELDA or GERMILDA are likely original forms. At all events, the scribe's mistakes have not obliterated the traces of the important –hild ending; and we have a further coincidence here between the Arminius of history and the Sigfred of tradition.
From these questions of expression, it will be well now to look to the Eddic Lays (which, it is to be remembered, are the oldest bits left us of traditional Teuton history), and see how far their view of Sigfred agrees with the plain matter of fact statements of Velleius, Strabo, and Tacitus, contemporary Roman authorities respecting Arminius.
To begin at the beginning, the name of 'Unborn' is given by some of the older Lays to Sigfred, and it is explained by what may be a mythical story, that, like young Macduff the avenger, he was from his mother's womb untimely ript. Yet, doubt as we may this tale, the surname must surely witness to an historical fact. Arminius' father was certainly not alive during his son's career; he is only spoken of as a step in his pedigree. It is his mother, not his father, that Arminius speaks of when he reproaches his brother. (9) How else can we account for the boy's reception into a Roman gens, and the long years of education passed in full Roman training in a Roman camp? Sigfred was probably posthumous, and this would be the sense of unborn here. That his father perished by violence tradition declares; and history, though silent on this head, is by no means contradictory.



Notes
1. The first draught of this was written in Sept. 1883.
2. There were two Segimers, (1) Arminius' father, mentioned by Velleius only; (2) Segestes' brother, Segisday's father, Arminius' lieutenant on the Varus day (Armenioj kai Segimhroj, Dio, Bk. lvi. ch. 19). Though the historians are particular in noticing in each case the relation, if a close one, to Arminius, there is no hint of Segestes being his uncle; nor is it likely that Arminius and his wife were first cousins; nor can Dio's Segimer be Arminius' father, for he is a subordinate person (A kai S ).
3. Of the twin-forms, Segis- and Segi-, the former seems to be used before t, d, Seges-te-s (qs. Seges-theow) but Segimund.
4. Corp. Poet. ii. 424, ll. 21-32.
5. sicling (Thulor, l. 29) stands for Sigling = Sigeling. Cf. Corp. Poet. ii. 519 V. Cf. wig- wicg- wiccing.
6. Excurs. IV to second volume, p. 515.
7. Better Hynla = Hunila; no relation with Hund (hound) we now think.
8. See Dict. p. 279-80.
9. Tac. Ann. ii. 10, matrem precum sociam.


Continue here:
http://www.northvegr.org/lore/sigfred_arminius/00101.php

Guntwachar
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Arminius

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/Drim_GruNcheR/Hermann_statue_closeuphhh.jpg

Arminius (also Armin, 18 BC/17 BC - 21 AD) was a chieftain of the Cherusci who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. His tribal coalition against the Roman Empire successfully blocked the efforts of Germanicus, nephew of Emperor Tiberius, to reconquer the Germanic territories east of the Rhine, although there is debate among historians about the outcome of several inconclusive battles (Tacitus, Annals 2.22, Suetonius, Caligula 1.4). And although Arminius was ultimately unsuccessful in forging unity among the Germanic tribes, his upset victory had a far-reaching effect on the subsequent history of both the ancient Germanic tribes, of the Roman Empire, and ultimately, of Europe.

Biography

Born in 18 or 17 BC as son of the Cheruscan war chief Segimerus, Arminius was trained as a Roman military commander and attained Roman citizenship and the status of equestrian (petty noble) before returning to Germania and driving the Romans out. Arminius is probably a Latinized variant of the Germanic name Irmin meaning "great" (cf. Herminones). During the Reformation but especially during 19th century German nationalism, Arminius was used as a symbol of the "German" people and their fight against Rome. It is during this period that the name "Hermann" (meaning "army man" or "warrior") came into use as the German equivalent of Arminius; the religious reformer Martin Luther is thought to have been the first to equate the two names.



Battle at the Teutoburg Forest

Around the year 4 AD, Arminius assumed command of a Cheruscan detachment of Roman auxiliary forces, probably fighting in the Pannonian wars on the Balkan peninsula. He returned to northern Germania in 7/8 AD, where the Roman Empire had established secure control of the territories just east of the Rhine, along the Lippe and Main rivers, and now sought to extend its hegemony eastward towards the Weser and Elbe rivers, under Publius Quinctilius Varus, a high-ranking administrative official appointed by Augustus as governor. Arminius soon began plotting to unite various Germanic tribes and to thwart Roman efforts to incorporate their territories into the empire.

In the fall of 9, in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Arminius — then twenty-five years old — and his alliance of Germanic tribes (Cherusci, Marsi, Chatti , Bructeri , Chauci and Sicambri) ambushed and annihilated a Roman army (comprising the 17th, 18th and 19th legions as well as three cavalry detachments and six cohorts of auxiliaries) totalling around 20,000 men commanded by Varus. Recent archaeological finds suggest that the long-debated precise location of the three-day battle is almost certainly near Kalkriese Hill, about 20 km north of Osnabrück. When defeat was certain, Varus committed suicide by falling upon his sword.


The Attempted Roman Reconquest

After his victory, Arminius tried for several years to bring about a more permanent union of the northern Germanic tribes so as to resist the inevitable Imperial counter-offensive. After the Teutoburg Forest disaster, other Germanic tribes did become more openly hostile to Rome, although the most powerful Germanic ruler, King Marbod of the Marcomanni, in Bohemia, remained neutral, although Arminius sent him the head of Varus (Velleius II 119,5; he declined the present and sent it on to Rome for burial). Also, most of the coastal tribes were successfully wooed by the Romans. Still, Arminius succeeded in forging a solid block of anti-Roman tribes in what is now west-central Germany and the eastern Netherlands.

Between 11 AD and 13 AD, the Romans under Tiberius, then heir apparent, made initial incursions along the Ruhr, Lahn and Ems rivers, reestablishing some bases. In September 14 AD, Tiberius became emperor and his nephew Germanicus took over the huge army on the Rhine, immediately launching a successful assault. The next spring, he launched a two-pronged invasion up the Ruhr and Lahn, the main success of which was the capture of Arminius's wife, Thusnelda. She was taken to Rome and displayed in Germanicus' victory parade in May, 17; she never saw her homeland again and is not mentioned again by Tacitus, who reported these events. The son she bore Arminius while in captivity, Thumelicus, was trained by the Romans as a gladiator in Ravenna and probably died in the arena.

That was followed by another two-pronged attack with an army of as many as 100,000 troops that cut Arminius's forces in half along the Ems river, and then swept eastward. However, Arminius had launched an emotional appeal to the tribes to fight back against an invader whose only success was, he claimed, in making war on women (i.e., his wife), and had managed to collect such a huge force that he was able to inflict severe defeats on the huge Roman army.

After securing the surrounding territory, Germanicus visited the Teutoburg Forest battlefield and buried the remains of the dead soldiers, building a monumental grave tumulus which indicated that he was in fact planning to hold onto that ground (Tacitus says it was later destroyed by the Germanic tribesmen and that Germanicus decided against rebuilding it -- i.e., he was no longer able to do so). He then launched a swift attack on Arminius, who lured him into a trap and succeeded in ambushing and largely wiping out his cavalry and his auxiliary units. Germanicus beat a hasty retreat northward up the Ems, sending half his army southward to restore a key causeway -- another indication that the Romans planned to reconquer the area and thus wanted to restore its infrastructure. Arminius surrounded this force, led by Caecina, destroyed the repaired causeway, and drove the Romans in confused retreat through a swampy area. But in a nighttime council of the army, Arminius' uncle Inguiomer called for an assault on the Roman camp - and was supported by the warriors, against the urging of Arminius, who wanted to attack them again, when once they tried to escape. The assault failed, with heavy Germanic losses, and the surviving Romans escaped across the Rhine.

In 16 AD, Germanicus again invaded Germania, this time from the north. Three major battles are reported in Tacitus' account, the first being the Battle of the Weser River, where Arminius last saw his brother Flavus, who was fighting with the Romans. In a shouting-match across the river, probably around the modern city of Minden, Arminius called on his brother to return to his homeland, and Flavus made an opposite appeal, asking Arminius to make peace with a stern but forgiving Roman Empire, which was, he claimed, treating his captured wife and newborn son well. Neither convinced the other, and in the ensuing battle the Romans were able to cross the river, but with heavy losses.

The next battle took place at Idistaviso, further up the Weser, probably around Rinteln. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. and Arminius himself was wounded, but the Romans were unable to secure a strategic advantage, and had to abandon their plan to drive into the Cheruscan heartland, around Detmold. Arminius escaped by smearing his face with blood, so that he would not be recognised. The final battle took place much further down the Weser, to the north, at the Angrivarian Wall, near Steinhude Lake. Here, again, both sides suffered heavy loss, but Germanicus was unable once again to wipe out the Germanic forces, and his own losses must have been very severe by this time, for, although it was the height of summer, he once again beat a hasty retreat and completely abandoned all conquered territory. And as in the previous year, his withdrawal route up the Ems river resulted in a catastrophe, as a ferocious storm scattered his fleet. Although he ended the year by launching some punitive operations, and also managed to recover 2 of the 3 legionary eagles lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Emperor Tiberius denied his request to launch a further campaign the following year, realizing that any such effort would only invite further disaster. Instead, he accorded Germanicus the honor of a triumph, a victory march in which captives -- including Thusnelda -- and loot were paraded through Rome, and reassigned him to Syria. This sparked Tacitus' wry remark that the Germanic tribes were more often "triumphed" in Rome than defeated in Germania. The third eagle was recovered later under Emperor Claudius (Cassius Dio, Roman History 60.8)



Inter-Tribal Conflicts and Death

Thereafter, war broke out between Arminius and Marbod, king of the Marcomanni (see above). The war ended with Marbod's retreat, but Arminius did not succeed in breaking into the "natural fortification" that Bohemia is, and the war ended in stalemate. Arminius also faced serious difficulties at home from the family of his wife and other pro-Roman leaders.

In 19 A.D., his formidable opponent Germanicus suddenly died in Antioch, under circumstances which led many to believe he had been murdered by his opponents; Arminius suffered this fate two years later, at the hands of opponents within his own tribe, who felt he was becoming too powerful. Tiberius had purportedly refused an earlier offer from a Chatti nobleman to poison Arminius, declaring that Rome did not employ such dishonorable methods.



Legacy

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/Drim_GruNcheR/Herrmann-von-Vorneggggg.jpg

Rome

In the accounts of his Roman enemies he is highly respected for his military leadership skills and as a defender of the liberty of his people. Based on these records, the story of Arminius was revived in the sixteenth century with the recovery of the histories of Tacitus by German humanists, who wrote in his Annales II, 88:

Arminius liberator haud dubie Germaniae et qui non primordia populi romani, sicut alii reges ducesque, sed florentissimum imperium lacessieret: proeliis ambiguus, bello non victus. (Arminius, without doubt Germania's liberator, who challenged the Roman people not in its beginnings like other kings and leaders, but in the peak of its empire; in battles with changing success, undefeated in the war.)
Arminius was not the sole reason for Rome's change of policy towards Germania. Augustus sought a secure boundary to protect Gaul, and found this in the Rhine river instead of the Elbe (Cornell and Matthews, Atlas of the Roman World 80). The resources for the conquest of Germany may have been lacking after the great Roman civil wars in the Late Republic and loss of three legions in the Teutoberg Forest, but they were not however lacking later on (Goldsworthy, Roman Warfare 122). That indicates -- and archeological evidence supports this -- that Arminius' achievements together with the influence of Rome, which continued peacefully during the centuries that followed, also sparked a development within the Germanic tribes that made it possible for them to withstand further Roman aggression.

Politics also played a factor; the Emperors could rarely entrust a large army to a potential rival, although Augustus had enough family members to wage his wars; Drusus, Augustus' step son, who himself campaigned successfully against Germanic tribes, is a good example (Cassius Dio, Roman History 54.32). For a period after the Marian reforms (the professionalization of the legions) Germanic tribesmen were beaten by the legions with almost monotonous regularity: Gaius Marius' victory at Aquae Sextiae, Caesar's victory over Ariovistus, and Tiberius' and Drusus' campaigns (Tacitus, Germania 37). Arminius' victories changed all that. Henceforth, Rome would try to control Germania by appointing client kings, which was cheaper than direct military campaigns.

Obtaining the final defeat and death of Arminius (possibly through assassination by client princes) was costly to Rome which no longer intended to rule directly in Germania east of the Rhine and north of the Danube; Rome preferred to exert indirect influence through client kings, so Italicus, nephew of Arminius, was appointed king of the Cherusci; Vangio and Sido became vassal princes of the powerful Suebi, (etc.), according to Tacitus, Book 12 [verse 27 to 31]


Germanic Sagas

The story of Arminius and his victory may have lived on in Germanic sagas, in the form of the dragon slayer Siegfried of the Nibelungenlied (who is called Sigurd in the Scandinavian tradition). An Icelandic account states that Sigurd "slew the dragon" in the Gnitterheide -- today a suburb of the city of Bad Salzuflen, located at a strategic site on the Werre river which could very well have been the point of departure of Varus's legions on their way to their doom in the Teutoburg Forest.



Martin Luther

In Germany, he was rechristened "Hermann" by Martin Luther, and he became an emblem of the revival of German nationalism fueled by the wars of Napoleon in the 19th century.

Another theory regarding Arminius' Latin name is that it is based on the Latin word armenium a vivid blue, ultramarine pigment made from a stone. Thus, Arminius would have been called "blue eyes," and his brother Flavus "blondie" -- as references to the stereotype physical features which the Romans assigned to their Germanic neighbors. In that case, the theory goes, "Arminius" does not necessarily have anything to do with the word and God-name "irmin", and his Germanic name could thus have been anything -- Siegfried, for instance. Proponents of that theory argue that his father, too, (Segimerus, the modern form of which is "Siegmar") also bore a name with the stem "sieg," or "victorious".



German Nationalism

In 1808, Heinrich von Kleist's published but unperformed play Die Hermannsschlacht, unperformable after Napoleon's victory at Wagram, aroused anti-Napoleonic German sentiment and pride among its readers.

The play has been revived repeatedly at moments propitious for raw expressions of National Romanticism and was especially popular during the Third Reich.

In 1839, construction was started on a massive statue of Arminius, known as the "Hermannsdenkmal", on a hill near Detmold in the Teutoburg Forest; it was completed and dedicated during the early years of the Second German Empire in the wake of the German victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. The monument has been a major tourist attraction ever since, as has The "Hermann Heights Monument", a similar statue erected in the United States. The German Bundesliga football-club DSC Arminia Bielefeld is also named after Arminius.

The Order of the Sons of Hermann, named for Hermann the “Cherusker”, had its origins as a mutual protection society for the protection of German immigrants in New York City during the 1840s. The order promoted the love of German language and preservation of German traditions and customs. Also provided for members was low cost insurance. The order flourished in many U.S. communities where German immigrants settled but was in decline by late 20th century probably owing to thorough acculturation of the immigrants’ progeny. Hermann, Missouri, a town on the Missouri River in the United States founded in the 1830s and incorporated in 1845, was named for Arminius.

Aptrgangr
Thursday, July 24th, 2008, 11:36 AM
The battle in the Teutoburg Forest


Battle in the Teutoburg Forest (German Teutoburger Wald): the defeat of the Roman commander Publius Quintilius Varus (http://www.livius.org/q/quinctilius/varus.html) against the Germanic tribesmen of the Cheruscian leader Arminius in 9 CE. Three legions were annihilated and Germania remained independent from Roman rule.

Introduction

The name of the Teutoburg Forest in Germany will forever be connected to one of the most famous battles from ancient history, the clades Variana, the defeat of the Roman general Varus. In September 9 CE, a coalition of Germanic tribes, led by a nobleman named Arminius, defeated the Seventeenth (http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/xvii.html), Eighteenth (http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/xviii.html), and Nineteenth (http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/xix.html) legions and forced their commander Publius Quintilius Varus (http://www.livius.org/q/quinctilius/varus.html) to commit suicide. The result of the battle was that Germania remained independent and was never included in the Roman empire.
In the nineteenth century, the battle became a powerful national symbol. In 1806, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte decisively beat the armies of the German states. The humiliation was too big for the Germans, who started to look to the battle in the Teutoburg Forest as their finest hour. As Napoleon spoke a romanic language and presented himself as a Roman emperor, it was easy for the Germans to remind each other that they had once before defeated the welschen Erbfeind - an untranslatable expression that refers to the Latin speaking archenemies of Germany. The Teutoburg Forest became the symbol of the eternal opposition between the overcivilised and decadent Latin and the creative and vital Germanic people, between old France and new Germany.

http://www.livius.org/a/2/germania/kalkriese_mask_s.jpg (http://www.livius.org/a/1/germania/kalkriese_mask.jpg)
Cavalry mask found at
Kalkriese

To make the connection between the noble savages of Antiquity and the modern nation closer, the Germanic war leader whose name had been rendered by the Romans as Arminius was referred to by his (presumed) real Germanic name: Hermann. Already famous in the days of Martin Luther, who invented the name Hermann, the Germanic leader became a very popular hero in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Germany, and a symbol of national unity that could be used on almost any occasion. For example, in 1809, the romantic poet Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) wrote a play called Die Hermannsschlacht, to inspire the Germans to a national war against Napoleon. At Detmold, which was believed to be the site of the battle, the Hermannsdenkmal (http://www.hermannsdenkmal.de/) was erected in 1875. The first soccer club of nearby Bielefeld was (and is) called Arminia (http://www.arminia-bielefeld.de/). The list is endless. Arminius/Hermann was not alone. The nineteenth-century witnessed the resurrection of many ancient war leaders, who were used as a symbol by nationalists: the French exploited Vercingetorix, the Belgians Ambiorix (http://www.livius.org/am-ao/ambiorix/ambiorix.html), the Dutch Julius Civilis, and the British Boudicca. The difference is that they were all defeated by the Romans; Arminius, on the other hand, was ultimately victorious.

http://www.livius.org/a/2/maps/teutoburg_forest_map_s.jpg (http://www.livius.org/a/1/maps/teutoburg_forest_map.gif)
Map of the Roman wars
in Germania (©** (http://www.livius.org/mail2.html))

(...)

The battle in the Teutoburg Forest (http://www.livius.org/te-tg/teutoburg/teutoburg01.htm)

Arminius Lodge - Who was Arminius? (http://www.bessel.org/armihist.htm)

Crimson Guard
Tuesday, July 29th, 2008, 09:59 AM
There isnt much evidence though that Rome wanted to advance beyond its border which was the Rhine River. Much of modern day Germany was under Roman control, the landmass of Germania including uncharted areas east of the Rhine, basically North Eastern Europe and Russia ect. This would be one of the reasons later which was why General Germanicus Caesar was later recalled despite his highly considerable victories agaist the upstart tribes led by Arminius, was cause he crossed the Rhine without the Emperors authority. The entire war with Arminius basically ended up a stalemate, and Arminius never obtained his goals, he lost his family and was later killed off by members of his own tribe.

It should be noted though that Arminius was Roman trained soldier, and led a force of Auxiliaries through a series of battles under the Roman flag . He was completely Romanized to point of citizenship, as Roman a equestrian he knew their tactics well. His ambush style slaughter on unsuspecting Roman Legions is legendary but it wasn't a decisive victory. Armininus was unable to make gains within the Germanic tribal ranks, most of the tribes remained loyal to Rome or neutral during the conflict. Arminius success was short lived, as Germanicus reclaimed much of the former lost territories and recaptured 2 out've the 3 lost Roman Legion standards from the Teutoburg Forest, which was a symbol of redemption and victory.

Aptrgangr
Tuesday, July 29th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I have always heard it was derived from the time of Atilla the Hun, who appears in the Nibelungenlied as 'Etzel'? It is possible that some elements of the story came from earlier times? The foreign sources with whom the characters in the Nibelungenlied interact with come from the east, not the west/south

Yes indeed, Arminius could be Siegfried, the dargon he slayed was the "Heerwurm" the long worm of troops so to speak.


There isnt much evidence though that Rome wanted to advance beyond its border which was the Rhine River.
Wrong - the Romans wanted to reach the Elbe and make this river their new border.


Much of modern day Germany was under Roman control, the landmass of Germania including uncharted areas east of the Rhine, basically North Eastern Europe and Russia ect. This would be one of the reasons later which was why General Germanicus Caesar was later recalled despite his highly considerable victories agaist the upstart tribes led by Arminius, was cause he crossed the Rhine without the Emperors authority. The entire war with Arminius basically ended up a stalemate, and Arminius never obtained his goals, he lost his family and was later killed off by members of his own tribe.

Germanicus had not reached considerable victories - he stalked from behind and slew drunk Germanics and their families after feast days.
His actions were show to demonstrate Roman power and to lull Romans at home.


It should be noted though that Arminius was Roman trained soldier, and led a force of Auxiliaries through a series of battles under the Roman flag . He was completely Romanized to point of citizenship, as Roman a equestrian he knew their tactics well.
It should be noted Romans kidnapped children of Germanic chieftains to grant their loyality towards the Roman empire.


His ambush style slaughter on unsuspecting Roman Legions is legendary but it wasn't a decisive victory. Armininus was unable to make gains within the Germanic tribal ranks, most of the tribes remained loyal to Rome or neutral during the conflict.
If the stop of Roman expansion into free Germania is no victory for Germanics and no gain of Arminius- then nothing is :D


Arminius success was short lived, as Germanicus reclaimed much of the former lost territories and recaptured 2 out've the 3 lost Roman Legion standards from the Teutoburg Forest, which was a symbol of redemption and victory.
Ah Yes - the capturing of standers is a big victory - indeed :D
The Roman empire never again stated any attempt to conquer free Germania -and more and more came into defensive until the point it was Germanic tribes capturing Rome.

Chlodovech
Saturday, September 12th, 2009, 12:53 AM
http://www.kalkriese-varusschlacht.de/images/10_mythos_05.jpg

Remember only the greed, the cruelty and the arrogance of the Romans. Is anything left for us but to retain our freedom or to die before we are enslaved? - Arminius, quoted by Tacitus, annals, 2.15.

Author John Eidsmoe is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, pastor with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, professor at the Oak Brook College of Law & Government Policy, and counsel to the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama. Source: TheNewAmerican.com (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/history/ancient/1859-teutoburg-forest-the-battle-that-saved-the-west)


September, 9 A.D., Kalkriese Hill, northern Germany: the Germanic warriors waited in grim silence. Three Roman legions, commanded by General Publius Quintilius Varus, advanced across the Rhine into Anglo-Saxon territory. The Romans hoped to expand Roman power, Roman law, and Roman culture. The Germans hoped to preserve their Teutonic laws and institutions and their way of life.

Probably neither side realized that the Battle of Teutoburg Forest would decide the course of Western law and Western civilization for millennia to come.

And now, in the year 2009, the 2,000th anniversary of the battle, very few Americans have even heard of the battle, and fewer still understand its significance.

Contestants and Stakes

The ancestors of these German warriors had lived in these fields and forests for centuries untold, possibly arriving with the great Indo-European migrations around 2000 B.C. They farmed and hunted, living in rural compounds consisting of several homes, usually occupied by relatives, with other compounds or villages a few miles away. They worshipped their pagan gods, like Wotan (Odin) and Donnar (Thor), who represented forces of nature, and they lived by the old Teutonic virtues: keeping one’s word, valor in battle, loyalty to family and community, and hospitality to strangers.

And they lived under the ancient Teutonic common law. The Germans practiced a highly decentralized form of government, with law based on custom and administered by a local council (witan) composed of all free men, who served both as a lawmaking body and as a jury for civil and criminal cases.

But Rome threatened to change that. They, too, were a Western people, who probably came to Italy during the same Indo-European migrations. At one time Rome was a republic, governed by the Senatus Populus Que Romanus (Senate of the People of Rome, or SPQR) under the Law of the Twelve Tables. But in the century before the birth of Christ, the Roman republic gradually gave way to the empire. Power became centralized in Rome, and the Senate was reduced to a figurehead, rubber-stamping the emperor’s edicts.

And the Roman Empire was gradually expanding northward. Around 50 B.C., Julius Caesar decided to subdue Gaul (France). The various Celtic tribes united under a chieftain named Vercengetorix; they fought bravely, but their ferocity was no match for the discipline of the Roman legions.

Rome then turned its attention to Germany. Some of the southern German tribes, those south and west of the Rhine, succumbed to Roman rule. But those east of the Rhine, and especially those of Saxony, resisted.

As these Germanic warriors waited for battle, they knew they were facing the wrath of the most powerful army the world had ever seen. The Roman army was divided into 28 legions, each consisting of approximately 5,000 soldiers. The legionnaires were exceptionally well-disciplined, and they were in superb physical condition. In addition to 70-80 pounds of armor and weapons, each soldier marched carrying a 40-pound pack. Their primary weapons were spears, but they also used the gladius, a short two-edged sword that was well suited for thrusting, slashing, blocking, and parrying. They also carried rectangular shields that, when locked together in formation, made them almost invulnerable to attack. They used a battle formation known as the maniple, similar to the Macedonian phalanx, but looser and more flexible and therefore effective on a variety of terrains.

The 17th, 18th, and 19th legions had been sent to Germany, and Emperor Augustus had appointed Publius Quintilius Varus governor of Rhineland. Varus was a patrician aristocrat and a skilled diplomat who had rendered great service to Rome on foreign fields, but he had little actual battle experience.

The Germans lacked the discipline of the Romans, and their steel was of inferior quality. But they possessed more than size, strength, and courage in battle. The army consisted of all able-bodied freemen, and they fought with shields, spears, battle-axes, and occasionally large broadswords, more powerful than the Roman gladius but more difficult to use in close infighting. They commonly attacked using a wedge formation, and cowardice in battle was punishable by death. They fought with machine-like efficiency in smaller groups but were unused to fighting together in large armies.

This time the Germans had a chieftain named Hermann, perhaps better known at that time by his Latinized name Arminius. Born a prince of the Cherusci tribe, Arminius had been raised in Rome as a hostage, and he received military training and became a Roman officer. He learned Latin and received Roman citizenship, an honor bestowed on non-Romans only for exceptional service. His years of service to Rome gave him a thorough understanding of Roman military strategy and tactics, and of the Roman mindset. But he had not forgotten his Germanic heritage, and as a young man he returned to his German people. Arminius managed to unite some of the northern German tribes and instilled in them a passionate desire to preserve their independence from Roman domination.


http://i28.tinypic.com/2nim990.jpg

Herman the German

Varus, the Roman commander, and Arminius, the German commander, knew that northern Germany was a tinderbox that needed only a spark to erupt into a major conflagration. Rome claimed authority over northern Germany; the German tribes had not accepted Roman rule but had not yet openly revolted.

Arminius devised a brilliant strategy. He caused a rumor to reach Varus that two German towns east of Teutoburg Forest had openly revolted against Rome. As expected, Varus decided that a display of force was necessary to suppress this revolt and prevent it from spreading to other parts of Germany. He led his three legions, totaling up to 20,000 men, across the Rhine and into Teutoburg Forest. And Arminius planned his ambush.

East of the Rhine, in Teutoburg Forest, is Kalkriese Hill. A narrow road stretched from west to east along the northern edge of the hill. For several miles the road runs between a marsh to the north, known as the Great Bog, and Kalkriese Hill to the south. The narrowness of the road, as Arminius knew, would force Varus to march his army only eight men abreast, and therefore he would have to spread his legions over several miles. Arminius knew his German warriors could not match the disciplined Roman legions in open battle, but he also knew the Romans preferred to fight on open terrain and were less effective in woodlands and marshes.


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2513/3907571429_8ed3af7c9c.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2515/3907568551_374be9f3d5.jpg

Excavation site of earthworks in Kalkriese.

Arminius and his warriors constructed earthworks on the north side of Kalkriese Hill. He probably placed 5,000 warriors behind the earthworks, 5,000 in the woods behind them, 7,000 on the northeast slope of the hill, and 1,000 at strategic points in the marsh north of the road. As Peter S. Wells wrote in The Battle That Stopped Rome,

The Germans waited nervously behind the sod wall. Some of the older men, who had fought against the Roman legions during the campaigns of Drusus, Ahenobarbus, and Tiberius, or who had lost kinsmen in battles with those armies, hated the Romans with passion and were eager to attack the troops and to kill as many as they could. But most were frightened, even terrified, at the prospect of confronting the dreaded legions in face-to-face combat.

In September of 9 A.D., Varus and his legions entered Teutoburg Forest. At this point, a torrential downpour occurred. And with the legions and their wagons bogged down in the rain and mud, Arminius and his warriors attacked.

The attack began with a barrage of spears thrown through the air. Wells estimates that each of the 5,000 warriors behind the earthworks could have thrown one spear with accuracy every four seconds, so within 20 seconds the Roman legions could have been struck with as many as 25,000 spears. Wells writes,

Within ten seconds of the start of the spear barrage, the marching units disintegrated into chaos. The attacked soldiers stopped walking, in order to try to defend themselves. Since they were marching in close formation and few could see much beyond the men immediately around them, those behind kept marching forward and crashed into their fellows. At first, soldiers farther back in the column were unaware of what was happening toward the front, and they kept pressing on.… Like a chain-reaction highway crash, men piled into one another.…

Wounded, dying, and already dead men quickly covered the track, making movement increasingly difficult for the others. The scene was one of complete chaos — spears falling like hail, men collapsing and gasping, even those not yet wounded struggling to remain on their feet, and occasionally frenzied horses and mules crashing through the swarm of troops. Within minutes, thousands of Roman soldiers lay dead or dying, pierced by spears, while others struggled to stay on their feet and to use their shields for shelter.


http://i30.tinypic.com/1585gu8.jpg

With a deafening war cry, the German warriors then leaped over the earthworks and charged into the Roman ranks. “For the first time in their lives,” writes Wells, “they saw Roman legionaries — representatives of the imperial power that marched with impunity through their lands, bribing their chiefs and subverting their politics — powerless and helpless.”

Some authorities believe the battle was over in an hour; others believe it stretched out over three days. Possibly the outcome was clear after the first hour, but skirmishing continued for three days as Roman survivors fought their way back to the Rhine. But this is clear: Arminius and his German warriors had won a resounding victory. Of the 15,000-20,000 Roman soldiers, fewer than 1,000 survived. German losses were about 500 dead, 1,500 wounded. News of the defeat caused consternation in Rome. Suetonius, in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, wrote that Emperor Augustus banged his head against the palace walls, shouting Quintili Vare, legions redde! (“Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!”) But rather than face the ignominy of defeat, Varus committed suicide after the battle. And the 17th, 18th, and 19th legions were never restructured, which is unique in Roman history.

The Course of History

More battles between Rome and the Germans took place in the years that followed, but the Rhine was firmly established as the northernmost boundary of Roman expansion. And as a result, northern Germany and Scandinavia remained free from the influence of Roman culture and Roman law.

The areas of southern Germany that fell to Roman domination largely adopted the centralizing features of Roman law. The Code of the Visigoths, governing what is now Spain and southern France, contained many features of the Roman Theodosian Code, and on Christmas Day 800 A.D. the Pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor: “Charles Augustus, crowned by God, great and peace-giving emperor, life and victory!” Although he was a devout Christian and a great ruler in many ways, Charlemagne governed largely according to Roman law, combining it with some Christian and some Germanic elements. And in 911 A.D., after King Charles the Simple of France gave the Normandy peninsula to the Viking jarl Hrolfr (Rollo), Rollo and his Norman descendants, including William the Conqueror, likewise adopted French customs and the Romanized law of France.

But in northern Germany, especially among the Angles and the Saxons, the old Teutonic common law continued, with its emphasis on individual rights and decentralized government. And in Scandinavia the Viking law was similar to it, in some ways even more decentralized than in Germany.

In the late 400s A.D., after the Roman legions were withdrawn from Britain, the Angles and Saxons of northern Germany and the Jutes of Denmark migrated to Britain. After securing the land from the raids of the Picts and Scots, these tribes established a kingdom based upon the old Teutonic common law. Britain became known as Angle-land, or England, and in keeping with Teutonic concepts of decentralized government, the land was divided into seven kingdoms: the Saxons occupied the southern kingdoms of West Saxony (Wessex), East Saxony (Essex), and South Saxony (Sussex); the Angles occupied the northern kingdoms of East Anglia, Northumbria, and Mercia; and the Jutes occupied Kent in the southeast. Roughly speaking, each 10 families were led by a tithing-man, each 50 by a vil-man, each 100 by a hundred-man, and each 1,000 constituted a shire, headed by an eolderman (shortened to earl) and his assistant, the reef. The reef was a law-enforcement officer, and the term “shire reef” became “sheriff.”

Each shire was governed by a council known as the witan, composed of all freemen in the shire. The witan at first served as both a legislative body and as a jury to try civil and criminal cases, but eventually the legislative and jury functions of the witan were separated. Once a year all of the witans of the kingdom met together in a grand council called the witangemot.

When the Anglo-Saxons first came to Britain, they still retained their pagan beliefs. But the Celts converted many of them to Christianity, around 597 Archbishop Augustine arrived from Rome to further their Christianization, and by the late 600s England was a Christian country. The Laws of King Aethelbirht, baptized by Augustine in 601 A.D., reflect a Christian perspective, as do the Laws of King Wihtraed (691-725 A.D.) of Kent and King Ine of Wessex (688-725 A.D.). King Alfred the Great’s Book of Dooms (890 A.D.) began with a recitation of the Ten Commandments and was interspersed throughout with Old Testament and New Testament references.

Viking raids on the British Isles began around 787 A.D., and Vikings soon ruled large portions of England, Scotland, and Ireland. King Alfred repelled the Viking advances and entered into a treaty by which the Vikings could rule areas of northeastern England north of a line called the Danelaw, with the further requirement that the Viking King Guthrun become a Christian. Viking law and Anglo-Saxon law developed out of the same Teutonic background and were very similar. The Viking witan was called the thing and met at the call of any freeman. A judge or lawspeaker, called the godi, presided and was elected to a three-year term. Once a year he was required to recite from memory one-third of the Viking law code, so the entire code was recited over his three-year term.

In 1066 A.D. William the Conqueror (a descendant of Hrolfr or Rollo) of Normandy defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, and England fell under Norman rule. William did not try to change everything at once; he left the witangemot intact and gave it the French name parliament. But he and his successors worked to centralize government under the Norman monarchy, while the Anglo-Saxons and their Viking allies struggled to preserve local shire government.

Read everything here. (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/history/ancient/1859-teutoburg-forest-the-battle-that-saved-the-west)

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Nachtengel
Friday, November 13th, 2009, 03:08 PM
This half-hour episode of the Learning Channel series "Archeology," titled "Caesar's Nightmare: Battle in the Forest," describes recent archeological finds at the site of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (9 A.D.), in which heroic Germanic tribesmen led by their chief, Hermann (Arminius) annihilated three legions of the Roman Army.

2009 marks the 2,000th anniversary of this battle.

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kioewen
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 05:15 AM
In 1801, the English writer M.G. Lewis published a collection of ballads called Tales of Wonder. Most were translations of continental poems, especially from Herder's Volkslieder.

In one of Lewis's poems, purportedly from a German source, Flavus, the brother of Arminius, who apparently fought for the Romans and against his brother, has been cursed to spend all eternity haunting Arminius's tomb.

Here's the text of the poem, along with Caspar David Friedrich's memorable painting, The Grave of Arminius:

http://angerburg.blogspot.com/2010/08/tomb-of-arminius.html

Friedrich painted that work in 1813 to inspire his fellow Germans in the struggle against Napoleon by invoking the memory of Arminius.