Thusnelda // (c. 10 BC – unknown) was a Germanic noblewoman who was captured by the Roman general Germanicus during his invasion of Germania. She was the wife of Arminius. Tacitus and Strabo cite her capture as evidence of both the firmness and restraint of Roman arms.
Thusnelda was the daughter of the pro-Roman Cheruscan prince Segestes. In 9 AD, Arminius, Thusnelda's future husband, led a coalition of Germanic tribes that defeated the legions of Publius Quinctilius Varus at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The conflict between the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes continued after the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, and Arminius abducted and impregnated Thusnelda circa 14 AD, likely as a result of a dispute with her pro-Roman father.
In May 15 AD, Thusnelda was captured by Germanicus, who commanded the invasion of Germania. She was pregnant and staying with her father, who had seized her from Arminius at some point. It was Segestes who delivered her to Germanicus, after the latter saved the former by driving off Arminius' forces, who had besieged Segestes.Arminius grieved his loss of Thusnelda deeply and did not marry again. According to Tacitus, Arminius was "driven to frenzy" by the loss of his wife.
During her captivity, Thusnelda gave birth to her and Arminius' only child, Thumelicus. At the Battle of the Weser River, Arminius engaged in a famous disputation with his brother Flavus, who was still serving in the Roman army. Flavus informed Arminius that Thusnelda was being well-treated — as, he claimed, was typical of Rome. On May 26, 17 AD, Thusnelda and her son Thumelicus were displayed as prized trophies of the triumph granted to Germanicus. During the triumphal parade, her father was forced to watch from the stands.Contemporary historians evince discomfort with her display as evidence of Roman victory in Germania, as Arminius had resisted capture.
Thusnelda's son, Thumelicus, was trained at the gladiator school in Ravenna and is believed to have died in a gladiator show at a young age. Tacitus wrote that he would report on Thumelicus' fate "at the proper time" — i.e., when he discussed the year in question in his chronicle.The main gap in the text of the Annals is for 30 and 31 AD, so it could be that Thumelicus died then, aged 15 or 16.
Details of Thusnelda's life after the triumph of 17 AD and her date of death are unknown.
Germanicus Julius Caesar was a popular and prominent general of the Roman Empire, known for his campaigns in Germania. The son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia the Younger, Germanicus was born into an influential branch of the patrician gens Claudia. The agnomen Germanicus was added to his full name in 9 BC when it was posthumously awarded to his father in honor of his victories in Germania. In AD 4, he was adopted by his paternal uncle, Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus as Roman emperor a decade later. As a result, Germanicus became an official member of the gens Julia, another prominent family which he was related to on his mother's side. His connection to the Julii was further consolidated through a marriage between himself and Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of Augustus. He was also the older brother of Claudius, the father of Caligula, and the maternal grandfather of Nero.
Maroboduus was a king of the Marcomanni, who were Germanic Suebian people. He spent part of his youth in Rome, and returning, found his people under pressure from invasions by the Roman empire between the Rhine and Elbe. He led them into the forests of Bohemia, near to the Quadi who already lived nearby, and established a large alliance.
The 10s decade ran from January 1, AD 10, to December 31, AD 19.
AD 15 (XV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Flaccus. The denomination AD 15 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
AD 17 (XVII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Flaccus and Rufus. The denomination AD 17 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, described as the Varian Disaster by Roman historians, took place in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic peoples ambushed and destroyed three Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. The alliance was led by Arminius, a Germanic officer of Varus's auxilia. Arminius had acquired Roman citizenship and had received a Roman military education, which enabled him to deceive the Roman commander methodically and anticipate the Roman army's tactical responses.
Arminius was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci tribe who is best known for commanding an alliance of Germanic tribes at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, in which three Roman legions under the command of general Publius Quinctilius Varus were destroyed. His victory at Teutoburg Forest would precipitate the Roman Empire's permanent strategic withdrawal from Magna Germania, and made a major contribution to the eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire several centuries later. Modern historians have regarded Arminius' victory as Rome's greatest defeat. As it prevented the Romanization of Germanic peoples east of the Rhine, it has also been considered one of the most decisive battles in history, and a turning point in world history.
The Chauci were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial mounds called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide. A dense population of Chauci lived further inland, and they are presumed to have lived in a manner similar to the lives of the other Germanic peoples of the region.
The Cherusci were an early Germanic people that inhabited parts of the plains and forests of northwestern Germany, in the area possibly near present-day Hanover, during the first centuries BC and AD. Ethnically, Pliny the Elder groups them with their neighbours, the Suebi and Chatti, as well as the Hermunduri, as Hermiones, one of the Germanic groupings said to descend from an ancestor named Mannus. They led an important war against the Roman Empire. Subsequently, they were probably absorbed into the late classical Germanic tribal groups such as the Saxons, Thuringians, Franks, Bavarians and Allemanni.
Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman general and politician under the first Roman emperor Augustus. Varus is generally remembered for having lost three Roman legions when ambushed by Germanic tribes led by Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, whereupon he took his own life.
The Battle of Idistaviso, sometimes known as a first Battle of Minden or Battle of the Weser River, was fought in 16 AD between Roman legions commanded by Roman emperor Tiberius' heir and adopted son Germanicus, and an alliance of Germanic peoples commanded by Arminius. The battle marked the end of a three-year series of campaigns by Germanicus in Germania.
Segestes was a nobleman of the Germanic tribe of the Cherusci involved in the events surrounding the Roman attempts to conquer northern Germany during the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus.
The Marsi were a small Germanic tribe settled between the Rhine, Ruhr and Lippe rivers in northwest Germany. It has been suggested that they were a part of the Sugambri who managed to stay east of the Rhine after most Sugambri had been moved from this area. Strabo describes the Marsi as an example of a Germanic tribe who were originally from the Rhine area, now the war-torn Roman frontier, but had migrated deep into Germania.
The Angrivarii were a Germanic people of the early Roman Empire, who lived in what is now northwest Germany near the middle of the Weser river. They were mentioned by the Roman authors Tacitus and Ptolemy.
Thumelicus was the only son of the Cherusci leader Arminius and his wife Thusnelda, daughter of the pro-Roman tribal leader Segestes.
Flavus was a son of a Cheruscan chief called Segimerus and a younger brother to the German leader Arminius. Flavus' real Germanic name is unknown, Flavus in Latin means "the blonde" certainly relating to the colour of his hair.
Segimer or Sigimer was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci and the father of Arminius.
Julius Segimundus was a nobleman of the Germanic Cherusci.
Mallovendus was a chieftain of the Germanic Marsi.
Barbarians is a 2020 German historical war drama television series created by Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting and Jan Martin Scharf and starring Laurence Rupp, Jeanne Goursaud and David Schütter. The series is a fictional account of the events leading up to the Battle of Teutoburg Forest during the Roman Empire's occupation of Germania.
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