Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 55

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

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Last Online
    Friday, February 25th, 2005 @ 08:15 AM
    Posts
    6
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

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

    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.

  2. #2
    Oswald Mosley
    Guest

    Post

    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.

  3. #3
    Ebusitanus
    Guest

    Post

    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.



    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...ekt/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

    Last edited by Ebusitanus; Sunday, July 28th, 2002 at 10:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 @ 08:56 PM
    Location
    eire/ireland
    Gender
    Occupation
    Tax Payer/white slave
    Politics
    White separatist
    Posts
    166
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post

    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!
    'How did it come to this?' King Theoden

  5. #5
    Account Inactive
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010 @ 10:00 PM
    Subrace
    Other
    Gender
    Politics
    Spenglarian
    Posts
    334
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post On Prince Hermann's Role

    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.

  6. #6
    Account Inactive
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010 @ 10:00 PM
    Subrace
    Other
    Gender
    Politics
    Spenglarian
    Posts
    334
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post Continuing...

    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)

  7. #7
    Account Inactive
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010 @ 10:00 PM
    Subrace
    Other
    Gender
    Politics
    Spenglarian
    Posts
    334
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post

    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 @ 08:56 PM
    Location
    eire/ireland
    Gender
    Occupation
    Tax Payer/white slave
    Politics
    White separatist
    Posts
    166
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post

    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.
    'How did it come to this?' King Theoden

  9. #9
    Account Inactive
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Last Online
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010 @ 10:00 PM
    Subrace
    Other
    Gender
    Politics
    Spenglarian
    Posts
    334
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post

    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?

  10. #10
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    May 2004
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Flemish
    Country
    Flanders Flanders
    Gender
    Posts
    5,485
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    22
    Thanked in
    19 Posts

    Post Arminius

    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

Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Has There Ever Been a Movie Made About Arminius or Hermann?
    By Balders gate in forum Film, TV, & Performing Arts
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 12:35 PM
  2. Herman, Armin, the Cherusci... at Teutoburg
    By Grimsteinr in forum Germanic & Indo-Germanic Origins
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 03:03 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •