1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Arminius
ARMINIUS, the Latinized form of the name of Hermann, or more probably Armīn (17 B.C.–A.D. 21), the German national hero. He was a son of a certain Segimer, a prince of the tribe of the Cherusci, and in early life served with distinction as an officer in the Roman armies. Returning to his own people he found them chafing under the yoke of the Roman governor, Quintilius Varus; he entertained for them hopes of freedom, and cautiously inducing neighbouring tribes to join his standard he led the rebellion which broke out in the autumn of A.D. 9. Heavily laden with baggage the troops of Varus were decoyed into the fastnesses of the Teutoburger Wald, and there attacked, the completeness of the barbarian victory being attested by the virtual annihilation of three legions, by the voluntary death of Varus, and by the terror which reigned in Rome when the news of the defeat became known, a terror which found utterance in the emperor’s despairing cry: “Varus, give me back my legions!” Then in A.D. 15 Germanicus Caesar led the Romans against Arminius, and captured his wife, Thusnelda. An indecisive battle was fought in the Teutoburger Wald, where Germanicus narrowly escaped the fate of Varus, and in the following year Arminius was defeated. The hero’s later years were spent in fighting against Marbod, prince of the Marcomanni, and in disputes with his own people occasioned probably by his desire to found a powerful kingdom. He was murdered in A.D. 21.
In 1875 a great monument to Arminius was completed. This stands on the Grotenburg mountain near Detmold. Klopstock and other poets have used his exploits as material for dramas.