The Hermann Monument commemorates a Germanic war chief named Arminius who famously led an alliance of Germanic tribes that ambushed and annihilated three Roman legions and their auxiliaries in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. In AD 98, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote a text called “About the Origin and Mores of the Germanic Peoples,” or Germania, as it came to be called. In the 1940's, the Germania was taught in German schools and widely celebrated as a comprehensive account of the ancient Germanic people. It describes a proud, brave and virtuous people, but The Germans were not one nation — Tacitus lists 50 tribes that were united to defeat Rome.
Robert Sepehr is an author, producer, and independent anthropologist.
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