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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    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.

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Death and the Sun View Post
    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 ? :

    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...:..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

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    Hermann great Hero of the Germanic People, a light to the "barbarian" people in the Roman darkness
    In order to build Odinism into a valid and inspiring religious expression we must overcome this tendency to trivialise divinity. The gods are not Vikings…they are spiritual beings, potent forces of numinous power"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    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
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    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
    In order to build Odinism into a valid and inspiring religious expression we must overcome this tendency to trivialise divinity. The gods are not Vikings…they are spiritual beings, potent forces of numinous power"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zyklop View Post
    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.
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    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/sigfre...nius/00101.php


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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    Arminius

    Arminius



    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



    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.

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    The Battle in the Teutoburg Forest

    The battle in the Teutoburg Forest


    Battle in the Teutoburg Forest (German Teutoburger Wald): the defeat of the Roman commander Publius Quintilius Varus 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, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth legions and forced their commander Publius Quintilius Varus 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.


    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 was erected in 1875. The first soccer club of nearby Bielefeld was (and is) called Arminia. 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, 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.


    Map of the Roman wars
    in Germania (©**)

    (...)
    The battle in the Teutoburg Forest

    Arminius Lodge - Who was Arminius?
    When men cease to fight — they cease to be — Men.
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