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family set out on the first migration of which we can trace the record, this portion, when passing the Borysthenes river, divided. The larger part journeyed past the northern end of the Caspian Sea through Southern Russia, and halted on the shores of the Baltic. The smaller, whom Herodotus calls Getæ, were no other than the Goths of the fourth century, or in other words, Germani, went southward and occupied the land along the mouth of the Danube. Already before them, marching through Asia Minor, the Celts had taken a western direction with other related tribes, whom we later meet under the name of the Romaic nations. While of these two great migrations the latter occupied Southern Europe, the Celts choosing the central part, the Germani passed the Baltic, took Southern Scandinavia, and pushed a Mongolic tribe, whom they found in possession, up to the extreme north of Scandinavia into the Peninsula of Kola. Of all these the Germanic tribes were the latest to form States, the Hellenes were most susceptible of culture, the Romans had the most pronounced talent for political organisation, and the Celts were from the first, according to the ancient historians, volatile and superficial; they had often conquered, but never founded. When the Germani first met the Romans they had lost all remembrance of their Asiatic origin ; they declared themselves to the Roman soldiers, who informed Tacitus, to be the children sprung from the soil they trod. The physical development of these races had completely retarded the mental. Whence, then, our knowledge of their origin and first migration ? This knowledge is the result of modern comparative philology, of the examination by its light of the reports of Greek travellers, who knew in Alexander's time that Teutons and Goths were living on the shores of the Baltic; and of the fundamental ideas of the Aryan myths, still prevalent among the inhabitants of the highlands of Asia, still found in the sagas of Northern Europe, as for example the Sigurd-Saga of Scandinavia, which has its echo to-day in the literature of the Zend nations of Asia. The next migration of the Germani was from Scandinavia to return to the plains of Northern Germany, which they have since held and now to a great extent inhabit.
Looking over the times from Cæsar's to Clovis' battles on the Rhine, we remark that they were the consequences of a restive spirit and love of warlike life and conquest on both sides ; but the enthusiasm with which the Romans had begun the strife, after fifty years of staunch resistance on the part of their Germanic antagonists, gave way to a mere struggle to retain their conquests and preserve the integrity of the Roman dominions. The Eburones were the first who taught the Romans the importance of their adversaries. They, whom the proud Cæsar termed "a wretched people,” were the only tribe under King Ambiorix whom Cæsar vever conquered ; in B. C. 54, in the Ardennes, they gave, by destroying two legions, the prelude to the fates of Lollius and Varus. Their old King Cativolcus horrified even Cæsar's breast by the truly heathenish Germanic manner with which he died by his own hands; when he saw that the Eburones were on the eve of their last desperate struggle he committed suicide, to give way to a younger and more active head who might lead his nation better than he could. But the example of this devoted tribe was not lost; its burning enthusiasm roused another tribe, the Sicambri.
The novelty and importance of the theory of Dr. Watterich which, in his most recent publication, has recalled this celebrated Germanic tribe from oblivion, may warrant a more extended account of it. They are, according to his researches, the ancient germ of Germanic unification, the fathers and predecessors of the Cherusci. The name of this tribe is in German Sigambern, Sicambri, or Sigambri. The first syllable has no less than the weighty meaning of the same syllable in the heathen name Sigfrid ; which is traced back to the descendant of the Germanic heathen.gods Thor and Wodan — the King Sigi. Since gambar, the second syllable, means streitbar, "ready for battle or fighting,” the whole word should resolve itself into Sigi-gambar, or the present German Sigamber, and would mean
ready for battle (or fighting) unto victory.”. By their deeds the Sicambri did not fail to honor this distinguished appellation, although they had, after all, to succumb, not to the military prowess of the Romans, but to the treachery of Germanicus. Tacitus gave to them, with the other Germanic tribes, the surname Cantus. Led by pardonable national pride, German authorities in archæology look upon these singing tribes as perfect master-singers; yet if we may accept the evidences of the cultivated ear of the Roman historian Tacitus, when speaking of the carmina antiqua, and of the Sicambri as a nation particularly, as “cantuum et armorum tumultu trucem," their singing, no doubt, was more like the yells with which the Confederate soldiers rushed into battle, and with which not a few times they scared the civilised Romans opposed to them, than like the rhythmical canticles with which the Puritans went to fight.
After the treachery of Cæsar against the Usipetes and Tenctheri, in expiation of which Cato demanded of the Roman Senate the delivery of Cæsar to these Germanic tribes, the Sicambri received with a friendly hand the remainder of their betrayed brothers, settled them along the Lippe river, and concluded with them a league against the Romans. Cæsar demanded the surrender of the fugitives; the Sicambrian herald in response threw down the shield as a sign of perpetual war, and gave this message : “Go back to the Rhine; to its western bank extends Rome's authority, and not an inch further!” But when Cæsar had thrown the bridge across the Rhine near Neuwied, and had penetrated into the country of the Sicambri, he found it deserted; in his rage, not daring to invade the mountains whither they had withdrawn, he destroyed the whole region and returned upon Gallic territory. If we divest Cæsar's report in iv. 16-19 of Roman ostentation, the remainder will show a very meagre result. His next step was the invasion of the Eburonian country ; to which he invited all Germanic tribes, giving them license to plunder. The Sicambri, too, came from their strongholds; two thousand of their horsemen crossed the Rhine to plunder. Learning that Cæsar's own camp was much weakened in garrison, they attacked it at Aduatuca (Tongres) and sacked it. This beneficium did not encourage Cæsar to recross the Rhine, or to call again for the assistance of the Sicambri.
The Ubii, originally a Germanic tribe, formerly occupying the present Duchy of Nassau, whose descendants at this day are the Walloons, were looked upon with particular disfavor by the Sicambri, because they had given themselves up to the Romans body and soul. It is remarkably in accordance with their ancient character that the Walloons of the present day, the transition between Germans and French, incline more in language, manners, and sympathy to the French. Octavianus, who made the lands of the Ubii and Treveii his base of operations, only augmented the hatred with which these tribes were looked upon by the Germani on the right bank of the Rhine.
Of more serious significance was a Germanic advance-guard, which under the Sicambrian Prince Melo, B. C. 16, met Lollius with his legions in an ambush and defeated them. Drusus was now sent by his stepfather, the Emperor Augustus, after having victoriously returned from Rhæria. His plan was to seize Germania from The northwest and southwest at the same time. A feet was to ascend the Rhine and form a junction with his Belgian army. Then the real navy was to enter the mouths of the Ems and Weser, whence to operate against the heart of Germany, to avoid the storms and perils of the unknown North Sea. The hydrographical condition of Holland was then different. From the Yssel to the islands of Vlieland and Ter Schelling extended a chain of inland lakes, of which the Zuidersee was the largest. Drusus united by a canal the Yssel and Rhine rivers, deepened the lakes to penetrate between the two islands into the North Sea. The Sicambri were the only tribe which took the alarm. Amid universal despondency they made a razzia upon the canal, but were repulsed, which led the Frisians to offer submission to Drusus, and both guidance and protection to his feet to the mouth of the Ems. But the tides brought to naught the bold conception of Drusus. The fleet was left high and dry upon the “Waden,” a prey to the unrelenting storms of that treacherous coast. With Germanic naïveté and barbaric simplicity the Frisians respected their oath of allegiance, and actually conducted safely the disappointed Roman legions back to their strong camps on the Rhine.
Renewed courage now animated the Germani on the left bank, and headed by the Sicambri, a confederation was entered into against the common enemy, composed of the Marsi, Bructeri, Rhine-Suevi, and Cherusci. The compact is significant: the Cherusci were to have the horses to be taken, the Suevi the gold, and the Sicambri the prisoners. But the Catti had refused to enter the confederation. Drusus had sown the seed of discord among the barbarians; he had promised the Catti a better country on the Rhine than that which they inhabited. The confederation could not long remain unaware of this defection. Like a thunderbolt the Sicambri fell upon the Catii; Drusus, expecting this movement, immediately crossed the Rhine between the Waal and Lippe, filled out the void made by the Sicambri in the line of defence, overthrew the opposing Usipetes and Tenctheri, and suddenly appeared on the frontiers of the Cherusci; but there he found so staunch a resistance that winter had already settled over the Teutoburgian Forests, and the Porta Westphalica was still only seen but not yet attained by the Roman cohorts, when, as by a miracle,
the pole of the commanding Drusus' tent was covered by a swarm of bees This augury was to be fulfilled. Upon his retreat, the Sicambri, having finished with the Cattian traitors, fell upon his rear. Like swarms of bees from the depth of the impenetrable forests the hordes of barbarians broke forth; mile after mile the cohorts sank to rise no more under the clubs and battle-axes of the enraged Germani. The matchless tactical coup d'æil of Drusus alone saved him and his army. Himself in a swampy country completely surrounded, he perceived the undisciplined hordes growing careless under the exhilarating effects of their victory. Massing his troops he broke through the wall which encircled him, and by his tactics was saved. So highly did he value this victory achieved by Roman valor and military science, that in the face of the baffled Germani he erected the stronghold Aliso as a perpetual mark of Roma's sovereignty.
He had scarcely left Aliso for the Imperial City to celebrate his triumph, when again the Sicambri moved and compelled the Catti lo enter a new confederacy In haste Drusus returned and (B. C. 9) set out from Mayence Castel on his last and most gigantic undertaking, comparable only to the Indian invasion of Alexander. Leaving the Sicambri and their confederates, he threw his whole force south upon the Catti at Arbalo, which victory opened to him the whole north and east of Germania. But when he advanced against the Hermunduri Thuringians — they opposed to him an impenetrable wall in their mountain fastnesses. Drusus sought hastily to regain the northwestern lowlands, where Roman tactics felt assured of victory. He had reached the Elbe when a gigantic woman with withered hands and straggling locks rose from the middle of the stream, commanding him to " Turn back, insatiable! the end of your career is at hand!” A shivering despondency is said to have seized the Romans. Silent and worried, they turned back. The horse of Drusus suddenly fell, and he broke his leg. It was in the neighborhood of the Saale river, near Maumburg. The Germani gathered around the castra scelerata of the enemy, for the Romans were compelled to halt to await the recovery of Drusus. That was not to come. Although the Romans were encamped there for thirty days till Drusus died, the Germanic hosts which had gathered around them did not attack: it was their belief that Wodan had already punished the daring invaders, and they held back in dread and awe.
Rome saw that the barbarians were not to be conquered with the chivalric and tactical genius of even a Drusus. The Sicambri, this most hated of all the Germani, were now to be uprooted and destroyed by any means, this was resolved upon. A Tiberius was sent, who achieved by treachery over a confiding and valiant tribe what probably could never have been done in the open field. Does not a parallel suggest itself to every American? He imitated the treachery of Cæsar; he sowed dissensions among the Cherusci, whose Germanic faction was headed by Segimer, the Roman by Segest, the traitor. With friendly protestations Tiberius came among these barbarians; he invited them to accede to a Roman confederation, and called them “cherished companions-in-arms." But the Sicambri were not represented at the grand council. “The negotiations must be bruken off ; for without the
Sicambri nothing can be done. The war must recommence! Submission of all or of none ; great benefits to all or to none !” This was the dictum of the Roman General. This dissimulation had its intended effect among the tribes; they entreated and finally prevailed upon the Sicambri to accede. A new council, at which Imperator Augustus was present, to celebrate the final triumph with Tiberius over the despised barbarians, was called. Prince Melo of the Sicambri came with the chiefs of his nation. Behind them closed the doors ; they were by treachery prisoners henceforth, to be led in triumph to Roma. But free men they resolved to remain. Not one of the Sicambri chiefs ever bore the prisoner's chains : they all died by their own hands. Forty thousand Sicambrian warriors, mere children without their chiefs, were deported; but where to ? Excisi,” Tacitus says: it is the merit of Dr. Watterich to have traced their subsequent fate. We translate the whole passage as an historical contribution of great value:
"As, ‘used to victory,' they had fallen, so as free, frank men they again sprang up; throwing the new name like a renewed declaration of war in the face of the Roman hereditary enemy. But Tiberius received as reward for his execrable victory the name 'Germanicus'; and the crowned criminal wrote in his memoirs that all the kings of the earth had bowed before him, among them, too, the Sicamber Melo!
“They were now,' says Dio Cassius, 'quiet for a certain time, but they paid the Romans afterward for their misfortune with full measure.' The Roman Generals who now carried on the war, did not renounce the policy which had been pursued up to that time ; and they sought especially to nurture the party dissensions in the nation of the Cherusci. Even the success of Tiberius in carrying out the grand plan of Drusus, by penetrating with a fleet into the mouth of the Elbe, and by forming a junction with it and his land-forces in the Lünenburg country, is in no proportion to the undertaking. It only pointed out to the Germani the renewed dangers, and facilitated to the leading nation, the Cherusci under their Arminius, the duty of uniting once more all the tribes in one firm confederacy. Strabo had well said: 'Every effort to conquer beyond the Rhine, creates and strengthens the bond of liberty. The spirit of the Sicambri, which had fallen upon the Cherusci, still survived under the weight of time ; again, and more thoroughly than ever, Roman dominion was shattered in the Teutoburgian Forest; and after all there was redeemed the proud word of the Sicambri: 'To the Rhine and no further!'
"The leadership of the Cherusci was effective so long only as they had in Arminius their noble head. The seed of dissension had been strewn too thickly among them by the Romans, had brought forth in the traitor Segest its most poisonous blossom, so that after their acceptance of the Roman appointee Italicus over them as king, another German nation had to appear to make an end of this national scandal. This nation were the Catti, who from this time made thoroughly good their earlier defection. They undertook the Guard of the Rhine,' and under their protecting wings was reinvigorated the remainder of the destroyed Sicambri, who had assumed the appellation