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THE ROMAN LEGIONS UNDER VARUS.

to and obtained from Roman enmity a higher title than ever could have been given him by Roman favour. It is in the page of Rome's greatest historian, that his name has come down to us with the proud addition of "Liberator haud dubie Germaniæ."[1]

Often must the young chieftain, while meditating the exploit which has thus immortalized him, have anxiously revolved in his mind the fate of the many great men who had been crushed in the attempt which he was about to renew, — the attempt to stay the chariot-wheels of triumphant Rome. Could he hope to succeed where Hannibal and Mithridates had perished? What had been the doom of Viriathus? and what warning against vain valour was written on the desolate site where Numantia once had flourished? Nor was a caution wanting in scenes nearer home and more recent times. The Gauls had fruitlessly struggled for eight years against Cæsar; and the gallant Vercingetorix, who in the last year of the war had roused all his countrymen to insurrection, who had cut off Roman detachments, and brought Cæsar himself to the extreme of peril at Alesia — he, too, had finally succumbed, had been led captive in Cæsar's triumph, and had then been butchered in cold blood in a Roman dungeon.

  1. Tacitus, " Annals," ii. 88.