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Arminius, also known as Armin or Hermann (b. 18 BC/17 BC in Magna Germania; d. AD 21 in Germania) was a chieftain of the Cherusci who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. His influence held an allied coalition of Germanic tribes together in opposition to the Romans but after decisive defeats by the Roman general Germanicus, nephew of the Emperor Tiberius, his influence waned and he was assassinated on the orders of rival Germanic chiefs.[1][2] Although Arminius was ultimately unsuccessful in forging unity among the Germanic tribes, the loss of the Roman legions in the Teutoburg forest had a far-reaching effect on the subsequent history of both the ancient Germanic tribes and on the Roman Empire. Germanicus' campaign was the last major Roman military effort east of the Rhine.



Born in 18 or 17 BC as son of the Cheruscan war chief Segimerus, Arminius was trained as a Roman military commander and attained Roman citizenship and the status of equestrian (petty noble) before returning to Germania and driving the Romans out.

"Arminius" is probably a Latinized variant of the Germanic name Irmin meaning "great" (cf. Herminones). During the Reformation but especially during 19th century German nationalism, Arminius was used as a symbol of the "German" people and their fight against Rome.[3] It is during this period that the name "Hermann" (meaning "army man" or "warrior") came into use as the German equivalent of Arminius; the religious reformer Martin Luther is thought to have been the first to equate the two names.[4]

Battle at the Teutoburg Forest

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