The Roman Empire fell, corrupted from within by the poison of Christianity, and now in the Kali Yuga our tangible strength is FAR from that monolithic appearance. In this Dark Age, we might much more readily empathize with some of Rome’s frontier foes! Poor where Rome was rich, crude where Rome was sophisticated, fractious where Rome was institutionalized – do I have to keep going? In this modern rubbish-heap of a former civilization, do we not have much more in common with so many scattered, desperate, hunted, impoverished Celts or Germans? Well – if Our Will is strong, we can!
Yes, the barbarians were outmatched, though their courage and skill at arms can be doubted by none. But – am I hitting close to home yet? – for all their valour, these were scattered and uncoordinated tribes and warbands against a truly organized force with all the resources of a powerful state behind it. What does one do, against such hopeless odds?
In all likelihood? Be defeated.
You heard me.
I mean, seriously? Stand up against an enemy like that, and expect to just waltz through the whole thing unscathed? Really?! That’s how to get the shit kicked out of you, to be perfectly realistic.
These are the lessons of Rome herself. Rome was defeated by the other Italic tribes before learning how to lay the whole peninsula bare to their manœuvers. Rome was defeated by the Gauls under Brennvs before learning to lure the Celts hither and thither looting and celebrating, only to be attacked and slaughtered piecemeal. When they found in Πύρρος an uncommon tactical mastermind, the Romans made a whole strategy of defeats leading Πύρρος further and further from his supplies and reinforcements, learning to negate his greatest strengths and whittle away here and there until the Greek commander realized that it was time to sail home. When first fighting odious Carthage the hardened infantry were helpless at sea, so the cunning wolves devised the corvvs to turn sea battles into floating land battles – and capturing enough Phœnician-spawn to lend extra speed to the galleys’ oars. At the Trebia, at Trasiménvs, and then at Cannae, Hannibal and his hordes defeated the Romans so terrible that they looked around afterwards wondering who was still left to even attempt a resistance! And yet Rome did not waver in its determination, slacken in fighting spirit, surrender – or even accept generous peace terms! No. Rome became stronger, because Rome’s Will was strong! AT NO POINT did Rome back down, bend the knee, or even turn to one side from danger or hardship or challenge before the infection of Christianity was administered specifically to undermine and corrode this Will. Not because Rome was undefeated – but because when defeated, Rome had the unbending Will to persevere and triumph!
This is what made Rome great, and what built the Roman legions from defeat after defeat into one of the most hardened and canny fighting forces the world has ever seen! Against these reddened slaughterers, well might any and all despair!
And against these implacable killers, some did dare to stand: in a rare few cases (like Rome herself in her fledgling days), even after a serious defeat.
Arminivs knew defeat. His father, the Teutonic chieftain Segimervs, had been forced to deliver him to Rome as a hostage to ensure cooperation, and his whole early life was marked out according to the enemy’s terms. His tribe’s enemy even attempted to write over his own identity and make him one of them; and in the conceit that had grown distant from the Will of those early Roman struggles, they fancied that they had succeeded.
Arminivs had a fine Roman education, and this meant of course a military education. He learned their ways, their secrets of success, their far-reaching stratagems, their emphasis on organization. And he kept his Will both strong and sharp! Through the years Arminivs cultivated the wisdom that a strong Will can distil even from defeat, until it was no longer defeat that waited in the Destiny he had set forth to win.
When the next movement of troops in the occupation of Germánia prepared to march, it was Arminivs who was best qualified to be their guide, and he guided them exactly where he wanted them. Arminivs knew who he was dealing with, he knew how they thought, how they reacted, what they were and weren’t prepared for – and he met with five different Germanic tribes to teach those hard-won, defeat-instigated lessons about Roman warfare and most importantly organization that the tribes had thus far lacked.
When all was ready, Arminivs guided the Romans into the ancient and shadowed Teutoburg Forest, where one of the most perfect ambushes in recorded history awaited. It was flawless. It was as if the wrathful Teutons knew exactly what the Romans would do, where they would attempt to reform, what unnerved them the most – and they did.
Three whole legions were wiped out in that forest where Roman rule abruptly stopped short. Three aquilae, the sacred standards of a legion’s personal spirit and honour, were captured. The captives and slain were hung from hundreds of ancient trees in tribute to the most sacrificially wisdom-winning god of all, and the only Roman response for some time was of simple numb disbelief.
‘But – the Germans had already been defeated!’ And so they had. But their Will had not!
And See With Your Eye!