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248
ARMINIUS.

perhaps, a portion of the rude rock idol yet remains, covered by the ornaments of the Gothic era."[1] Traces of the worship of Arminius are to be found among our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, after their settlement in this island. One of the four great highways was held to be under the protection of the deity, and was called the "Irmin street." The name Arminius is, of course, the mere Latinized form of "Herman," the name by which the hero and the deity were known by every man of Low German blood, on either side of the German sea. It means, etymologically, the "War-man," the "man of hosts." No other explanation of the worship of the "Irminsúl," and of the name of the "Irmin-street," is so satisfactory as that which connects them with the deified Arminius. We know for certain of the existence of other columns of an analogous character. Thus, there was the Roland-seule in North Germany; there was a Thor-seule in Sweden, and (what is more important) there was an Athelstan-seule in Saxon England.[2]

There is at the present moment a song respect-

  1. Palgrave on the "English Commonwealth," vol. ii. p. 140.
  2. See Lappenburg's "Anglo-Saxons," p. 376. For nearly all the philological and ethnographical facts respecting Anninius, I am indebted to my friend Dr. R. G. Latham.