Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/147

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ARMINIUS. 141


two nations until the fifth century of our era, when the Germans became the assailants, and carved with their conquering swords the provinces of imperial Rome into the kingdoms of modern Europe.

Arminius.

I have said above that the great Cheruscan is more truly one of our national heroes than Caractacus is. It may be added that an Englishman is entitled to claim a closer degree of relationship with Arminius than can be claimed by any German of modern Germany. The proof of this depends on the proof of four facts: first, that the Cheruscans were Old Saxons, or Saxons of the interior of Germany; secondly, that the Anglo-Saxons, or Saxons of the coast of Germany, were more closely akin than other German tribes were to the Cheruscan Saxons; thirdly, that the Old Saxons were almost exterminated by Charlemagne; fourthly, that the Anglo-Saxons are our immediate ancestors. The last of these may be assumed as an axiom in English history. The proofs of the other three are partly philological and partly historical. I have not space to go into them here, but they will be found in the early chapters of the great work of my friend, Dr. Robert Gordon Latham, on the "English Language," and in the notes to his forthcoming edition of the "Germania of Tacitus." It may be, however, here remarked, that the present Saxons of Germany are of the High Germanic division of the German race, whereas both the Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon were of the Low Germanic.

Being thus the nearest heirs of the glory of Arminius, we may fairly devote more attention to his career than, in such a work as the present, could be allowed to any individual leader; and it is interesting to trace how far his fame survived during the Middle Ages, both among the Germans of the Continent and among ourselves.

It seems probable that the jealousy with which Maroboduus, the king of the Suevi and Marcomanni, regarded Arminius, and which ultimately broke out into open hostilities between those German tribes and the Cherusci, prevented Arminius from leading the confederate Germans to attack Italy after his first victory. Per-

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