Born a prince of the Cherusci
tribe, Arminius had been raised in Rome as a hostage, and he received military training and became a Roman officer.
John Wilson tells the extraordinary tale of The Battle of Teutoburg forest, during which the Cherusci
tribe of Northern Germany handed the Roman army one of its greatest military defeats.
He had marched over the Rhine and into the German forest to try to bring local tribes, including the Cherusci, under Roman influence, but very few of the 25 000 men of his army escaped and he fell on his sword on the battlefield.
Far from having the precise geometry of the Roman camp as described by Tacitus, the site (4) reveals a long sinuous earthwork constructed by the Cherusci at the edge of what was then probably a dense oak and beech forest.
He went to great lengths to flatter the corrupt Roman legate and convince him that he and his tribe, the Cherusci, were friends and allies of Rome.
He convinced Varus that the "loyal" Cherusci and, no doubt, the economic potential of the region, were being threatened by anti-Roman tribes in the area and in need of military protection.
In the early first century, following the disastrous defeat of Varus' three legions in the German forests by Arminius the chief of the Cherusci
, Augustus abandoned the earlier ambition of conquering Germany to the Elbe, and set limits to the empire.
The younger son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla, although his parents were divorced and his mother married Augustus just before his birth (38); served with his older brother Tiberius (later emperor) in the Alpine campaign (15); governor of the three Gauls (13); led a series of expeditions into Germany, subduing the Frisians, Chauci, Cherusci
, and Chatti, and constructing a Rhine-North Sea canal (12-9); praetor (11), proconsul (10), and consul (9); reached the Elbe River (9), but was injured in a riding accident and died a month after.
(18 bc -- ad 21) Assumed to be the Latin form for Hermann, the heroic chief of the Germanic Cherusci