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A chieftain or warlord of his tribe, the Germania hero has the respect of all those below him, having earned it with his sword and spear. In battle, the hero will be found where the ﬁghting is at its most ﬁerce and desperate. It is the ambition of lesser warriors to join his warband, learn from the hero’s experience and, perhaps one day, follow in his footsteps.
A Germanic chieftain, Arminius was responsible for the total defeat of three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest. Telling Varus that a rebellion was growing, he tricked the Roman Consul into committing his legionaries, leading them into a trap he had prepared. The battle lasted three days but, in the end, Arminius’s united Germanic tribes were victorious.
Ariovistus invaded Gaul with a confederation of Germanic tribes but his gains were reversed by Julius Caesar at the battle of Vesontium. At one time an ally of Rome, Ariovistus eventually refused the dictates of a far oﬀ power and dared the legions to unseat him – a challenge Caesar was only too willing to accept.