Thusnelda ( // ; c. 10 BC – after AD 17) was a Germanic Cheruscan 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, who had been given by his father to the Romans as a child and raised as a Roman military commander serving under Publius Quinctilius Varus, switched sides to the Germans, and led a coalition of Germanic tribes that defeated the legions of 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 raped Thusnelda circa 14 AD, likely as a result of a dispute with her pro-Roman father, according to Tacitus.
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 dispute 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 watched from the stands, Tacitus suggests with mixed feelings.Contemporary historians evince discomfort with her display as evidence of Roman victory in Germania, as Arminius had resisted capture.
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.
In the 2020 German Netflix series Barbarians , Thusnelda is played by German actress Jeanne Goursaud.
Thusnelda (under the name of Rosmonda) and other figures of the conflict between Arminius and Germanicus were immortalized by the Italian composer Nicola Porpora in his opera Germanico in Germania .
She was also a character in the novel "Roman Mask", part one of the Cassius Chronicles, by Thomas MD Brooke.
Germanicus Julius Caesar was an ancient Roman general and politician most famously 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, himself the stepson and heir of Germanicus' great-uncle Augustus; ten years later, Tiberius succeeded Augustus as Roman emperor. As a result of his adoption, Germanicus became an official member of the gens Julia, another prominent family, to which he was related on his mother's side. His connection to the Julii Caesares was further consolidated through a marriage between him and Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of Augustus. He was also the father of Caligula, the maternal grandfather of Nero, and the older brother of Claudius.
Maroboduus was a king of the Marcomanni, who were a 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.
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, described as the Varian Disaster by Roman historians, was a major battle between Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire that took place somewhere near modern Kalkriese from September 8–11, 9 AD, when an alliance of Germanic peoples ambushed 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 precipitated the Roman Empire's permanent strategic withdrawal from Germania Magna, and modern historians regard it as one of Rome's greatest defeats. 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 human history.
The Cherusci were a Germanic tribe that inhabited parts of the plains and forests of northwestern Germany in the area of the Weser River and present-day Hanover during the first centuries BC and AD. Roman sources reported they considered themselves kin with other Irmino tribes and claimed common descent from an ancestor called Mannus. During the early Roman Empire under Augustus, the Cherusci first served as allies of Rome and sent sons of their chieftains to receive Roman education and serve in the Roman army as auxiliaries. The Cherusci leader Arminius led a confederation of tribes in the ambush that destroyed three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9. He was subsequently kept from further damaging Rome by disputes with the Marcomanni and reprisal attacks led by Germanicus. After rebel Cherusci killed Arminius in AD 21, infighting among the royal family led to the highly Romanized line of his brother Flavus coming to power. Following their defeat by the Chatti around AD 88, the Cherusci do not appear in further accounts of the German tribes, apparently being absorbed into the late classical 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 killed himself.
The Battle of the Weser River, sometimes known as the First Battle of Minden or Battle of Idistaviso, was fought in 16 AD between Roman legions commanded by Roman Emperor Tiberius's 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.
"Hermann und Thusnelda" is a poem written in 1752 by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock exalting the Cheruscan chieftain Arminius, whom Johannes Turmair and Martin Luther named Hermann in the 16th century, and his wife Thusnelda. The poem was set to music by Franz Schubert in 1815 (D 322).
Flavus was a member of the royal family of the Germanic Cherusci tribe who served in the Roman military. He is chiefly remembered as the younger brother of Arminius, who led the Germans to victory over the Romans at Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.
Italicus was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci. He is chiefly remembered as the nephew of Arminius.
Segimer or Sigimer was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci tribe. He is chiefly remembered as the father of Arminius, who led the Germans to victory over the Romans at Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.
Julius Segimundus was a nobleman of the Germanic Cherusci, a son of Segestes who was a close ally of the Roman Empire. They were followers of the imperial cult of Augustus. In this context, Segimundus worked as a high priest at the Ara Ubiorum, a sanctuary in Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, near Cologne, Germany.
The Battle of the Angrivarian Wall was fought near Porta Westfalica, Germany in 16 AD between the Roman general Germanicus and an alliance of Germanic tribes commanded by Arminius. This battle followed immediately after the Battle of Idistaviso, and was supposedly sparked by Germanic outrage over the trophy erected on that prior battlefield by the Romans.
Barbarians is a 2020 German historical war drama television series created by Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting, and Jan Martin Scharf. It stars Laurence Rupp, Jeanne Goursaud, and David Schütter. The series is a fictionalized account of events during the Roman Empire's occupation of Germania, and the resulting rebellion of the Germanic tribes led by Arminius. The series was renewed for season 2 on November 10, 2020. It was released on Netflix on October 21, 2022.