Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/260

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ambitious schemes against the freedom of the other German tribes.

Arminius did not long survive this second war of independence, which be successfully waged for his country. He was assassinated in the thirty-seventh year of his age, by some of his own kinsmen, who conspired against him. Tacitus says that this happened while he was engaged in a civil war, which had been caused by his attempts to make himself king over his countrymen. It is far more probable (as one of the best biographers has observed), that Tacitus misunderstood an attempt of Arminius to extend his influence as elective war-chieftain of the Cherusci, and other tribes, for an attempt to obtain the royal dignity.[1] When we remember that his father-in-law and his brother were renegades, we can well understand that a party among his kinsmen may have been bitterly hostile to him, and have opposed his authority with the tribe by open violences, and when that seemed ineffectual, by secret assassination.

Arminius left a name, which the historians of the nation against which he combated so long and so gloriously, have delighted to honour. It is from the most indisputable source, from the line

  1. Dr. Plate, in "Biographical Dictionary," commenced by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.