August 05 , 2010



A barbarian Legionary, later a Roman citizen, and later still an equestrian knight, Arminius led an army of tribal warriors to victory in a famous battle that annihilated three entire Roman legions. Certain contemporary historians revere this distant figure from the shadows of European antiquity as a liberating crusader; others as, "The noble savage gone wrong." This tale of Imperial Rome and ancient Germania centers on the travails, defeats, and victories of a Cheruscan tribal princeling Roman scribes referred to by the Latinized name Arminius. A culture hero-possibly even the legendary Wagnerian hero of heroes, Siegfried-he is credited with organizing and consummating the total destruction of three Roman legions in a crucial battle, thereby conceivably changing the course of European history by making Caesar Augustus leery of resuming the conquest of a vast territory extending from the Rhine in the west to the Elbe in the east, and transforming the region and its peoples into one or more Roman provinces. Unfortunately, what little is known of the man himself derives from sketchy, surviving portions of Roman literature written by historians naturally biased in favor of Roman culture.
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