Gambargin's avatar

Arminius and the Teutoburg Forest (Early 1st AD)

By Gambargin
109 Favourites
Hárjánáz Ermenaz of Druhtiz Herusku (Arminius of the Cherusci Tribe)

Throughout the centuries of contact between the ancient Germanic people and the Roman Empire, the two civilization sought war and alliance pretty much on equal frequencies. Due to the volatile nature of the socio-political nature of the ancient Germanic tribes, some war-leaders or groups chose to allied themselves with the Romans, serving them as auxiliaries and maintained a healthy trading relationship. Others who were not so inclined in establishing relationship with the Romans were at best cordial, but for the most part, hostile towards the Romans where raids conducted by both sides were frequent. The contact between the Romans and the Germanic people also bough about plenty of wealth; ambers from the Baltic region were highly prized by roman ladies, as such their exports brought about wealth to the trading Germanic tribes, allowing them to accumulate enough gold to increase their power within the tribal confederation. The Germanic warriors who returned to their homeland after serving under the Romans often brought back weapons, armors, and even Roman military tactics to their people whose effect can be seen when they were used against the Roman themselves.

One such tribe was the Cherusci who was first recorded by the Roman general Julius Caesar in his account of De Bello Gallic at 53 BC. the Cherusci was said to be of separate tribes than the Suebis (Sweboz), but somewhat related, just like the others such as the Chatti, as well as the Hermunduri. Historically speaking, a possible name Germanic name for the Cherusci was Heruskoz, meaning the "Ones with Sword" and indeed, many of the Cherusci warriors posses swords at greater number as compared to their Suebis neighbors. this maybe due to their proximity with the celtic world (and later, the Romans), as the tribe is situated in the Rhine valley and the plains and forests of northwestern Germania.

The Cherusci were often at odds with the Romans and at the same time, due to the tribal rivalries, some groups forged alliances with the Romans. One of its famous leader, Ermenaz, better known as Arminius, was an auxillillary officer of the Roman army who wanted independence for his people. At the same time, Segestes, another Cherusci noble, wanted the tribe to stay with the Romans and warned the Roman governor of Gaul, Publius Quinctilius Varus, about possible rebellions. However, Varus trust placed upon Arminius was used to Arminius' advantage; He enticed Varus to lead 3 Roman Legions into ambush at Teutoburg forest in 9th AD. The ensuing battle between the ambusing Cherusci warriors and the Roman Legions resulted in the complete annihilation of all the 3 roman Legions and the death of its leader, Varus, in a battle that is forever remembered in the annals of history as the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. 

The battle gained the Cheruscis fame and the crushing Roman defeat stopped Rome's advance into Germania and compelled the empire; after a few more years of generally indecisive campaigning by Germanicus, the Romans withdrew permanently behind the Limes fortification which was built as a consequence of the loss at Teutoburg Forest, to reinforce the German frontier. For Arminius however, his desire to lead and unite his tribes were met with opposition and he too was killed in the ensuing rivalries within his tribe.

In this speculated drawing, Arminius is drawn with the Roman mail armor and a stylized Celto-Germanic shield. I would assume that he would have had plenty of roman arms and armors to equip himself (and his companions) after serving the Roman as auxiliaries. His helmet is probably of the collus/gallic helmet of the latest design, though its also possible that the auxillaries may used helmet of the earlier montefortino type of the late republic which was phased out. Swords of either Roman or Celtic were used by the Cherusci warriors, as well as spears, bows and slings. Interestingly enough, clubs were also reported to be used by Germanic warriors as an answer to inflict greater damage to the increasingly armored opponents, like the Romans.

Created as part of Gambargin's Monthly Historical Sketch Series that aims to portray various cultures across the globe in the context of history, as a spin-off from the Historically Wrong Sketch Series :) (Smile)

Part 7: Roman - Marcomannic Wars (166 AD - 180 AD)

Roman - Marcomannic Wars (166 AD - 180 AD) by Gambargin

Part 5: Ariovistus, a Suebian War-Leader (1st BCE)

Ariovistus, a Suebian War-Leader (1st BCE) by Gambargin
Image size
2773x4044px 4.22 MB
Shutter Speed
1/33 second
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Sep 8, 2016, 11:59:12 PM
© 2016 - 2021 Gambargin
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
jelitoto's avatar
i hope some day you will make Slavic art.....I really like your style and how you draw warriors :D
Gambargin's avatar
Yes, they will be included in the historical series, but probably early next year, one the celts, nomads, romans/greeks are compiled :D
jelitoto's avatar
Arminius1871's avatar
That´s me XD

Awesome that you start a series about the peoples migration time now!
Will you also make the Teutons and Cimbri, Alemannen, Franks, Burgundians, Goths, Bajuwaren etc?
Gambargin's avatar
They will be included for sure, working on them now :D
Arminius1871's avatar
Awesome can´t wait for it **
Irondoors's avatar
What about the Saxons? ;D
HisPurpleness's avatar
Varus! Oh Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!
Gambargin's avatar
Muh Legyiuns! =P
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In