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Thread: The Fate of Thusnelda, a Germanic Woman Between Two Influential Men

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    The Fate of Thusnelda, a Germanic Woman Between Two Influential Men

    Thusnelda (deceased around 26th May 17 A.D.) was the daughter of the Cheruscan (A germanic tribe in today´s northern Germany) prince Segestes. Her father had intended her for someone else, but Arminius, who subsequently led a coalition of Germanic tribes to victory over Publius Quinctilius Varus and his legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D., eloped with her and married her instead.

    The war between the Roman Empire and the northern German tribes continued, and in May 15 A.D. Thusnelda became the prisoner of Germanicus, the nephew of Emperor Tiberius, who commanded the invasion of Germany. She was pregnant and staying with her father, who was a Roman client and bitterly opposed to Arminius, and it was her father who delivered her to Germanicus, after the latter saved him by driving off Arminius forces, who had besieged him. Her husband much grieved over her loss and did not marry again. He used the fact of her capture to drum up support among the German tribes, with the result that he had enough forces to deliver two crushing defeats to the Roman army in August and September of that year.

    During her captivity in Rome, Thusnelda gave birth to her and Arminius' only child, Thumelicus. On May 26, 17 A.D., Thusnelda and her son were displayed as prized trophies in Germanicus' triumphant parade in Rome -- with her father watching from the stands. The next year, just prior to the Battle of the Weser River, Arminius engaged in a famous disputation with his brother Flavus, who was still serving in the Roman army. Flavus informed Arminius that Thusnelda was being well-treated -- as, he claimed, was typical of Rome, which was a firm but fair ruler.

    Thumelicus, Thusnelda´s son, was trained at the gladiator school in Ravenna and is believed to have died in a gladiator show at a fairly young age.

    Tacitus tells us that he will report on Thumelicus' fate "at the proper time" -- i.e., when he discusses the year in question in his chronicle. The main gap in his text is for 30 and 31 AD -- so it could be that Thumelicus died then, aged 15 or 16.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thusnelda

    The fate of Thusnelda would be a good story for a big blockbuster movie. She married Arminius, the biggest foe of her father Segestes and the hero of the historic battle at the Teutoburger Forest! And later, her father Segestes delievered his daughter to the Romans who imprisoned her - while her son had to become a gladiator. (Personal note: Damn you, Segestes! Traitor! )

    There´s a statue named "The sad Barbarian girl" at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. It´s supposed to be Thusnelda.

    Thusnelda became a famous figure in German history, especially during the phase of Enlightment. A woman of resistance. Poets like Friedrich Schiller wrote about her and her destiny. Many artists painted pictures.

    For example, here a painting from Theodor von Pilaty. Name: "Thusnelda at the triumphe-march of Germanicus trough rome"



    "Thusnelda" had a very positive connotation until the 19th century. Then Heinrich von Kleist (who wrote a very important school-book back then) used the name to describe bad, misbehaving girls... So the positive attribute of the Name "Thusnelda" changed. "Thusnelda" became "Tussie", and "Tussie" is a derogative German word for plain, superficial women nowadays. A total dishonor to the historical person Thusnelda, a proud Germanic women!

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valkyrie View Post
    The fate of Thusnelda would be a good story for a big blockbuster movie.
    I certainly had read various versions of the battle in the Teutoburgerwald and Arminius/Hermann....but until now, I was unaware of Thusnelda. Thanks for sharing...!

    Oh yes, will you be writing the screenplay any time soon?

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    it would make a great movie but Hollywood would make stuff up of it adding Christians and token africans here and there.

    if it was by a small group or the people that made the Beowulf and Grendel with Gerald Butler in it, the movie would make heaps
    In order to build Odinism into a valid and inspiring religious expression we must overcome this tendency to trivialise divinity. The gods are not Vikings…they are spiritual beings, potent forces of numinous power"
    (Odinic Rite)

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    Yep, the movie would be great. But i doubt Hollywood can make a real saga-style epic. I bet they\'d also cast a negro as a Roman emperor or smth like that .

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    Or maybe as Thusnelda herself. Heavens forbid.

    Here another painting of Thusnelda and Arminius:



    The painter is named Johann Heinrich Tischbein.

    My favourite painting of Thusnelda and Arminius is the one Hauke Haien uses for an avatar.



    Thusnelda says farewell to Hermann before battle.

    Here an interpretation from a movie called Arminius the Terrible, by Hans von Borsody and Antonella Lualdi:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin View Post
    Or maybe as Thusnelda herself.


    Here another painting of Thusnelda and Arminius:



    The painter is named Johann Heinrich Tischbein.

    My favourite painting of Thusnelda and Arminius is the one Hauke Haien uses for an avatar.



    Thusnelda says farewell to Hermann before battle.
    Hm... the second one is much better. The first is kinda ridiculous, depicting them in Renascimento clothes, and using \"standard-middle-age-faces\" style of portraits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epiphanus View Post
    My nickname on Thiazi is "Thusnelda". So I´d take the role!

    Seriously, Thusnelda and her fate is extremely underrated among Germanics nowadays. *sighs*

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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