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Thread: The Battle of Teutoburg Forest / Who Was Arminius and What Did He Do?

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    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. [...]

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    Pictures below:

    The Hermannsdenkmal
    Herman The Cheruscan
    by Kveldulf Hagan Gundarsson

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    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.
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    Last edited by Aeternitas; Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 01:31 PM.

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    Post Re: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    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........................... (imagine the bizzarre consequences on our everyday life).

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    Post Re: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    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.

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    Post AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    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.

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    Arminius (Hermann der Cherusker) and Siegfried the same person?

    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
    Information about Siegfried/Nibelung saga
    Lík börn leika best.

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    Post Re: AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    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....

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    Post Re: AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    Quote Originally Posted by Allenson
    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.

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    Post Re: AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    Quote Originally Posted by atlanto-med
    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.

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    Post Re: AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn
    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.

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    Post Re: AW: Who was Arminius and what did he do

    Quote Originally Posted by atlanto-med
    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.

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