Arminius was a chieftain of an ancient Germanic tribe known as the Cherusci. This particular tribe of Germania was one of many that were defeated by the Romans. As a result of the Cherusci defeat, Arminius and his brother Flavus were forced as children to become hostages in Rome.
When Rome was ruling the world they made the monarchs of the territories that they conquered to give them their oldest child (usually their sons) as prisoners to the empire. They would then educate and train the captive children in the ways of Rome. This was done to keep the subjected people under control and to keep Roman puppets on the thrones of their conquered enemies. For many years, Arminius was raised in Roman custom and since he became a soldier he had an intimate knowledge of Roman military tactics and strategies.
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Arminius was the son of a Cherusci chief named Segimerus and after his father was defeated in battle he was forced to go into Rome as a hostage while he was still a young child. While he was there he was educated and given military training. In time, he grew in size and joined the Roman army. He was put in charge of a Roman detachment that was made up of German troops. He had fought against his fellow countrymen and eventually gained the trust and loyalty of the Romans. Even though he fought against his own countrymen he was also secretly plotting against the Romans with Germanic allies.
Eventually, Arminius convinced the powerful Roman General Varus that the conquered German tribes were plotting a large revolt. He managed to annihilate three Roman legions was considered one of the greatest (though not largely known) military commanders in the history of warfare because of this battle. After Arminius wiped out the Romans and drove their remaining forces out of Germany he then consolidated his power.
Meanwhile, Emperor Augustus had heard about General Varus’ humiliating defeat and when he lost all of his soldiers at the battle of Teutoburg he beat his head against his palace walls exclaiming “Varus, give me back my legions”. He then sent another able general named Tiberius into the region to exact revenge on the Germans and between 14 and 16 A.D. General Tiberius defeated many German forces.
Arminius had regained control of the Germans after he defeated Varus. He was now considered a highly regarded chieftain but when they started to lose the skill of Tiberius, some of the German leaders turned on him. By 20 A.D., treacherous German chieftains had Arminius assassinated because they felt he was becoming too powerful over the other tribes regardless of his defeats. He is listed on the Biblical Timeline during 1 A.D. through 50 A.D.
An ancient Roman historian named Strabo also states that Arminius had a wife named Thusnelda who was captured by the Romans while she was pregnant. She had a son named Thumelicus who also grew up as a hostage in Rome, the same as the father. Strabo claims that Thumelicus had an interesting story about his life that he was going to record but for some reason he never told his tale. Arminius was 40 years old when he died.
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