How's the start?


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I can think of several weaknesses with the Roman Empire . For the size of the Roman Empire the army is too small and overpaid due to imperial power resting with the army. Romans have castles but they're mostly used for garrison's they have no castles or notifications protecting the interior of the Roman Empire. So should the legion fail then Rome will be open to attack. Having a powerful German state could revitalise regenerate the Roman Empire or lead it to destruction. Also I forgot to mention the Roman empires succession problem being a monarchy with republican characteristics. Also add as a final note Constantine the Great is classed as your Europe's first medieval monarch.
 
I can think of several weaknesses with the Roman Empire . For the size of the Roman Empire the army is too small and overpaid due to imperial power resting with the army. Romans have castles but they're mostly used for garrison's they have no castles or notifications protecting the interior of the Roman Empire. So should the legion fail then Rome will be open to attack. Having a powerful German state could revitalise regenerate the Roman Empire or lead it to destruction. Also I forgot to mention the Roman empires succession problem being a monarchy with republican characteristics. Also add as a final note Constantine the Great is classed as your Europe's first medieval monarch.
rome does have a lot of weaknesses yes, most of which are centered around succession
 
Speaking from Roman and Greek sources, the Roman and Greeks, literally depict the government that is formed in Germany as the 'Empire of the Germans' or the 'Government of the Germans' resulting in the name Germanos Imperium, which is the rough translation of the phrase(s). Of course the actual German name for the fledgling nation state is far different.
Still, "Germanos" in latin cannot mean "of the Germans". It translates as "the Germans" as direct object. I mean, you literally took inspiration from "Imperator Francorum", so really, the latin grammar is wrong. AFAIK, the termination in "-os" for the genitive plural was never used in Latin.
 
Still, "Germanos" in latin cannot mean "of the Germans". It translates as "the Germans" as direct object. I mean, you literally took inspiration from "Imperator Francorum", so really, the latin grammar is wrong. AFAIK, the termination in "-os" for the genitive plural was never used in Latin.
would Germanorum Imperatoris be correct for 'Emperor of the Germans'?
 
would Germanorum Imperatoris be correct for 'Emperor of the Germans'?
Imperator Germanorum (or Germanorum Imperator if you prefer) would do ("Imperatoris" is genitive and translates as "of the Emperor"), although there is the whole problem of the evolution of the term "Imperator". In Republican times, it was a military title, necessary to be awarded a triumph; since Augustus, it maintained this meaning, but it was generally awarded only to the Emperor, who used it as a praenomen, but sometimes some member of the imperial family could be called Imperator. It was Tiberius (14 A.D.) that formalized the assumption of the name Imperator as a formalization of the accession to power, but still in later years, the terms "princeps" and "Augustus" were preferred. AFAIK the proclamation of Majorian as "Imperator" and not "Augustus" by the troops was a subtle move to have him raised to power while still waiting for the formal approval by his Eastern colleague. The modern usage stems IIRC from the Carolingian Empire. Anyway, since in modern times we always say "Roman Emperors" and Emperor comes form Imperator, I think you can be safe with Imperator Germanorum :)
 
Imperator Germanorum (or Germanorum Imperator if you prefer) would do ("Imperatoris" is genitive and translates as "of the Emperor"), although there is the whole problem of the evolution of the term "Imperator". In Republican times, it was a military title, necessary to be awarded a triumph; since Augustus, it maintained this meaning, but it was generally awarded only to the Emperor, who used it as a praenomen, but sometimes some member of the imperial family could be called Imperator. It was Tiberius (14 A.D.) that formalized the assumption of the name Imperator as a formalization of the accession to power, but still in later years, the terms "princeps" and "Augustus" were preferred. AFAIK the proclamation of Majorian as "Imperator" and not "Augustus" by the troops was a subtle move to have him raised to power while still waiting for the formal approval by his Eastern colleague. The modern usage stems IIRC from the Carolingian Empire. Anyway, since in modern times we always say "Roman Emperors" and Emperor comes form Imperator, I think you can be safe with Imperator Germanorum :)
Thank you! Changed it.
 
Thank you hope you enjoy.

PS. Your TL is awesome

Thanks man! I really appreciate it, and really really need to get back to the writing (got kinda distracted with school, the pandemic, and a screenplay a friend and I are writing). But, your story here has a LOT of potential, and I'm super excited to see where you take it. I'm especially interested to see how you manage the internal politics of Germania - especially considering that it was Germans and German fears of a strong kingly figure that spelled doom for Arminius in OTL. His son's position seems to be a bit stronger, but that can easily change.

Also: I'm super excited to see what myths and legends may develop around him and his father in the ATL (because I totally would be! :D )
 
For the size of the Roman Empire the army is too small and overpaid due to imperial power resting with the army.
Roman legionaries were many things, but overpaid was definately not one of them. In Augustus' time a legionary earned 900 Sesterces a year, of which about a third to a half was deduced for paying off the equipment he was given upon enlistment, food and a funeral expenses insurance. The 450 to 600 Sesterces he was paid were the equivalent of about USD 2'250,-- to USD 3'000 in today's money.
 
Roman legionaries were many things, but overpaid was definately not one of them. In Augustus' time a legionary earned 900 Sesterces a year, of which about a third to a half was deduced for paying off the equipment he was given upon enlistment, food and a funeral expenses insurance. The 450 to 600 Sesterces he was paid were the equivalent of about USD 2'250,-- to USD 3'000 in today's money.
I believe it doubled and and tripled by the time I'm of diocletian and Constantine.
 
Speaking from Roman and Greek sources, the Roman and Greeks, literally depict the government that is formed in Germany as the 'Empire of the Germans' or the 'Government of the Germans' resulting in the name Germanos Imperium, which is the rough translation of the phrase(s). Of course the actual German name for the fledgling nation state is far different.

No, @Madhukar_Shah is right, you should translate with Imperium Germanorum if you want to say “Empire of the Germans” Germanos is accusative, you need the genitive “Germanorum” to express possession.
 
Chapter 2: Chieftain to Reformer to Traitor New
Chapter 2: Chieftain to Reformer to Traitor

***

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A Depiction of Gannascus.

“My Son-in-Law will lead to us to victory. Just like his father. Just wait and see.” – Gannascus, Leader of the Frisii.


***

From The House of Arminius: The Foundations

“Thumelicus entered the Germanic world at the age of 27 when he ascended to the position as Leader of the Cherusci in 797 AVC. He was militarily capable, and had distinguished himself in battle and war. His reputation in Rome had been clean during his entire life there. However, Themulicus’s reputation was a little too much like that of Arminius himself. As a result Claudius did not allow Thumelicus to be given the rank of Equite despite many in the higher government wanting to reward the young commander with the title, and Claudius did not allow Thusnelda, the mother of Thumelicus to accompany her son to Germanic lands. Thusnelda was to stay in Rome, to become a political prisoner until her death, so that Thumelicus got no idea of moving against Rome, lest his mother take the consequences for it.

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Emperor Claudius.

This is when the first cracks already appear between Rome and Thumelicus. Thumelicus was apparently extremely close to his mother, and he felt betrayed by the fact that Rome would not trust him with his own mother in his ancestral lands. Grudgingly perhaps, or in fear of his mother’s life, the new chieftain accepted this, and decided to turn his attention to his long lost family. His uncle Sesithank had led the Cherusci during the time that it took for Thumelicus to arrive in Cherusci lands near the Elbe river valley.

Thumelicus was unlike his father in many aspects when he took the mantle of leader of the Cherusci. Arminius had been a man of martial arts, and hadn’t a good grasp on the politics of the area. He saw himself a dictator like the Roman Emperors, when in fact Germanic Princes didn’t have such power. Most of the power in the Germanic tribes laid in the Thing. The Thing was theoretically an assembly of all Freemen in the tribe or kingdom, however all Freedmen were impossible to be represented in the assembly, so in reality the heads of freedmen families were the ones who were present in the Thing. The Thing had the ability to reject whatever ambitions their leaders or council of elders wanted, and were reluctant to give up all power to one man. Arminius, even until his death did not understand this in its full entirety and instead sought to bring about a Germanic confederation under his rule, through force if needed.

Thumelicus on the other hand seems to have understood that he could not go far in the Germanic world if he relied on martial skills alone, and seems to have known that he would have to combine martial ability, leadership and the Thing to become an effective ruler of a fiercely independent tribe. This understanding can be found first and foremost in the records of Herodorian when he writes…..

……The Germanic learned men say that a marriage was needed. A political marriage between the clan of the Cherusci and another powerful clan in the region. We do not know why, but the Son of Arminius told the Ting [1] to find a bride for him on their own and that he would not interfere……..

This tell us that Thumelicus was approached with the idea of political marriage by the Cherusci Thing and his uncle, who is said to have been the leader of the Thing during that time. Instead of gallivanting off on his own and stealing women as he pleased, like his father had done, Thumelicus designated the job of finding him a suitable spouse to the Thing, bowing down to their superior knowledge of the area, and the polities in the region.

Sesithank thus arranged for a marriage alliance between the Cherusci and Frisii, a powerful Germanic tribe who inhabited the coastal lands north of Batavia, and led by their ferocious warrior king, Gannascus. Gannascus at the time had a daughter, whose name is said to have been Rhamis. This is probably not her actual Germanic name, but in the absence of Germanic writing during this time period, the latinized names are the best etymology we can find regarding events and people during this era. Tacitus writes that Sesithank didn’t find it hard to make Thumelicus court the Frisii Princess. She was said to be moderately beautiful in her own right. But what attracted the young Son of Arminius to the princess, according to Tacitus and Herodorian, was her cunning, guile and wisdom.

Throughout 797 AVC and 798 AVC, Thumelicus courted the Frisii princess, and after extensive political negotiations, a small yet grand wedding ceremony is said to have taken place in Cherusci lands to celebrate their union. At the same time, Gannascus started to undertake raids into northern Gaul rallying both the Frisii and Chatii against the Romans. They also incited minor revolts among the Batavii against Roman rule, to aid them in their endeavor of pushing the Roman colossus backwards. This did not succeed. During this time, Roman counterattack led to Ganasscus being killed in battle, and a distant relative of his taking up the mantle as leader in the Frisii tribes. This is perhaps the second crack in the relations between Rome and Thumelicus. His wife Rhamis would have certainly influenced the way he thought, and the death and murder of her father would not have gone well with Rhamis.

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A statue of Rhamis, the Frisii wife of Thumelicus.

For the intervening two years between 798 AVC and 800 AVC, Thumelicus is recorded to have been a reformer, reforming the tribe, and trying to modernize the military strength of the Cherusci, trying to adapt it on Roman lines, much like the Marcomanni tribe in the east, who were known to have adopted Roman military tactics, and were fairly centralized in their own right. To do this, he needed money and wealth. Whilst he had inherited a good sum of money from his uncle Flavus and from his service in the Roman Army, if there was something that Thumelicus was weak at, it was in the fields of economics. His attempted economic reforms failed to garner the money that he wanted, however, the intervention of the Thing, and his own wife, Rhamis, who was adept at economic changes, managed to give him a suitable amount of increased revenue to further his reforms. Ironically, it was trade with the Roman Empire that allowed Rhamis and the Thing to facilitate the infrastructural and military reforms that their Cherusci leader had in mind.

Being a Germanic Leader with Roman training, Thumelicus seems to have wanted to merge the best of both worlds and their military tactics together to form something more dangerous and lethal in battle. He had also studied tactics in Rome, like that of the Battle of Carhhae where the Parthians had soundly defeated the Romans, utilizing their nimble light cavalry to their advantage. Being an experienced soldier, Thumelicus knew that the main weakness of the Germanic armies laid in their lack of organization and weakness in logistics. The latter was both a boon and a curse, however that will be expanded upon later.

The rudimentary organization and tactics that the Germanics used against the Romans fared poorly against the iron discipline of the Roman Legions, and the fierceness of the Germanic charge did not always win, in fact most of the time it seemed to have been a rash tactic, as most of the time the in-depth Roman formations allowed adjustments to be made, and the continual application of forwarding pressure made long-term combat a hazardous proposition for the Germans against the Romans. Flanking was possible, but it was not a surefire tactic, as was seen in the Battle of the Weiser River and the Battle of the Medway. Roman logistics also proved to be a trump card against the Germanics. Germanicus had defeated the Germanics during his campaigns in Germania by pretty much moving large quantities of supplies and reinforcements relatively close to the zone of battle, bypassing the dangerous land routes over sea and river routes. Fortified camps also provided the Romans a secure staging area for offensive, defensive and logistical operations, facilitating a large room to maneuver. Against this trump card, the Germanics had no counter of their own.

These problems were recognized by Thumelicus. And he sought to correct the problems, at least within the Cherusci tribe. According to Tacitus, in his Annals of History,

………..The tribe of Arminius faced many problems that were akin to that of the other barbarians. Militarily, they had no hope of matching the superior organization and quality of the Romans, and the Son of Arminius recognized this fact. He travelled across his lands, scouring the countryside, meeting with old veterans and generals that had fought alongside his father. After all that, the Son of Arminius devised the strategies that would allow him to win later on………

Like the Marcomanni, the Cherusci Prince was seemingly trying to reform the Cherusci military system to something similar to the Romans. Like the many tribes who had close ties with Rome, the Cherusci during this time were already semi-sedentary and many were settled down into small villages and towns. Thumelicus used this annual growth of settlement to recruit men to create a proper standing army. Like most Germanic armies at the time, the Cherusci had used the tactic of Men at Arms, with normal men taking up arms against the enemies during times of war, and reverting back to their agrarian and tribal lifestyle after the war was over. Thumelicus started to create a small, but professional standing army, paid directly from the Thing. It has been told by historians of this era, that the Thing was not at all happy with the creation of a standing army, small as it may have been. They believed that it would concentrate too much power in the hands of the Cherusci Prince. Something none of the independent Germanics liked to see. It is here, that Thumelicus’s political acumen is seen. He seems to have foreseen the Thing’s refusal to the creation of such a military, and he instead placed control of the small standing army in the hands of the Thing. This meant that the Thing, not Thumelicus, had power over the small military that Thumelicus was creating from scratch, with the aid of his wife Rhamis, who was looking into the economic aspects of funding an actual standing force.

1620187192849.png

a picture of the 1st Agaz during Thumelicus's time. The Roman inspiration is quite obvious.

This small force that Thumelicus was forming is said to have been around 3,000 to 5,000 strong according to Herodorian. And these men were trained to have the ferocity that the normal Germanic warriors had, the tenacity of the traditional Germanic warrior, but also the iron discipline that one may have expected from the Roman Legions. During battle, the force that Thumelicus formed, would not show any sense of insubordination. He named this burgeoning military, Agaz, which according to linguistic historians, means Dreadful, or fearful in proto-Germanic. It is perhaps been speculated that the name was given to the troops because they inspired dread in their enemies. That is one hypothesis anyway.

With organization as his main goal, the first Agaz, and the only one for many decades, was trained in formation training by Thumelicus as well. We know for sure that the six iconic Roman formations, The Wedge Formation, the Single Line Defense Formation, the Weak Center-Strong Flank Formation, the Maniple Channels Formation, the Strong Right Flank Formation and the Protected Flank Formation were learned by the first Agaz from Thumelicus, as the Agaz would use the formations to a great degree of success against both Rome and other tribal enemies.

1620187249572.png

The Roman tactics adopted by Thumelicus.

However these reforms cannot have been done easily by Thumelicus, who probably faced bitter enemies in the Thing for even creating a standing force, small as it was, and under the command of the Thing itself. Historians of the era write that Thumelicus’s maternal uncle, Sesithank was horrified at the reformation of the Cherusci force, and that in fear of his own life, and the life of his wife, and newborn son Blaz (born 799 AVC), he had them hidden away near the Roman border, so that they could flee to Rome easily if an insurrection happened against him. Thankfully and fortunately for the Son of Arminius, for some reason this didn’t happen, though historians widely speculate that Thumelicus bribed his uncle, and some of the more disgruntled elders and leaders. It also aided Thumelicus that he had the prestige of his father, who had died against the Romans as a hero of the Cherusci backing him up in order to convince the more disgruntled nobles of the Cherusci realm.

During 800 AVC, another conflict of interest rose up between Thumelicus and Rome. Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo led an army that is said to have been 25,000 strong and razed Frisii and Chatii settlements to the ground, in retaliation for the rebellion of Ganasscus. The fact that Thumelicus had already subdued the Chatii bringing them into line did not make Rome waver in their belief that they had to stamp the Chatii, and this lack of trust on part of Rome towards Thumelicus certainly aggravated tensions between the two sides even more. This aggravation and the rather incapability that the Chatii and Frisii had shown to properly defend themselves against superior Roman logistics gave Thumelicus the impetus to convince the Thing that a proper system of supplies had to be created incase Rome turned its vengeful eye to the Cherusci.

1620187296266.png

Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo

Bribed as they were by the Cherusci Prince, the Thing didn’t have many objections. With the permission granted, several small Cherusci settlements which were scattered throughout the tribal confederation of the Cherusci started to find themselves hiding secured wells and stored food, as well as extra weapons. These were to be strategic hidden in plain sight weapon and food storages, so that Cherusci Men at Arms, who still made up the overwhelming bulk of the armed forces that Thumelicus could muster, would be able to fight more effectively if the need arose.

During early 802 AVC, Thumelicus was informed that Emperor Claudius was going to undertake an invasion/raid into German territory against the Chauci and rebellious Chatii to liberate some of the Roman prisoners that they still held with them. Thumelicus and the Cherusci were asked to join the campaign by Claudius, in part because the Romans didn’t want to use their own manpower to deal with a Germanic problem, and also partially because Claudius wanted to gauge the loyalty of this seemingly quiet client tribe, which had been known to be extremely rebellious before. Thumelicus agreed to join the campaign, and joined up with Emperor Claudius in late 802 AVC, leading a force that is said to have been around 12,000 strong, with the first Agaz mixed in within the men at arms. Thumelicus’s own intentions for joining the campaign would most probably have been to seek out whether or not his Agaz would be able to fare well in actual warfare. Secondly, the Chatii and Chauci who were once traditional Cherusci allies were started to distrust the Cherusci, who under their Roman chieftain, seemed to be becoming more and more Roman according to them. Thumelicus needed a campaign to bring the two tribes to heel and send a message against any other ally of the Cherusci who may have been wavering.

Thumelicus and the Cherusci troops fought well, and took the bulk of the fighting against the Chatii and Chauci during this short one and a half year campaign. Chauci treasures were thoroughly looted by Thumelicus to enrich himself and gain more monetary resources to expand on in the future, and he managed to install a seemingly pro-Roman, but in reality pro-Cherusci chieftain named Akhtumer to become the new leader of the Chatii. Claudius got what he wanted as well, and managed to retrieve Roman prisoners, and sure of Thumelicus’s loyalty by that point, returned back to Rome after a successful campaign. But during this campaign, Tacitus writes that the Romans dealt several atrocities against Germanic settlements, with even more vigor than normal, probably eager to free their Roman prisoners from Germanic enslavement. Herodorian alleges that this was the penultimate fracture between Thumelicus and Rome, as Thumelicus could not bear seeing Germanics being treated as essentially sub-humans by the Romans.

The final rupture came in early 804 AVC, right after the campaign ended, when Thumelicus received news that his mother Thusnelda had died in Ravenna. Poisoning was alleged as the means of death. To Thumelicus that meant that a Roman had killed his mother. Always close to his mother, Thumelicus took this as the final betrayal and turned against Rome, much like his father before him.

He began to plot against the Romans. The Cherusci always had a simmering hatred against the Romans, due to their subjugation of their clans, and they were all the more happy to fan the flames of hatred in their leader. But it was the idea of gathering a new coalition in Germania against Rome that was the hard part. The Cheruscii could count on the aid of the Chatii and Chaucii, both of whom had been chastened and were no longer wavering allies, and the traditional allies of the Cherusci, the Angrivarii were all the more willing to fight against Rome one more time, with the humiliation of 771 AVC seared within their minds. Using his wife as an intermediary and stoking the flames of hatred in the Frisii, the Frisii were also brought into the fledgling coalition and finally the Angrivarii allies, the Bructerii and Marsii agreed to form an alliance as well. Other tribes such as the Longobardii and Semnones rejected an alliance with their traditional foes, but nonetheless, the coalition that Thumelicus managed to collect was a large one in its own right, as large as the one his father had made.

All that was now needed was a political crisis in Rome. And that came, when in early 807 AVC, Thumelicus received news that Emperor Claudius had died, and there accusations ringing out that his last wife, Agrippina, had been the one to poison him. With Rome in political and succession crisis between Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus [2] and Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus [3] over the title of Emperor, the coalition that Thumelicus had gathered started to move.”



---

[1] – Thing, the Germanic proto-legislative assemblies was called Ting by the Romans and Greeks.

[2] – Nero

[3] – Britannicus
 
Thanks man! I really appreciate it, and really really need to get back to the writing (got kinda distracted with school, the pandemic, and a screenplay a friend and I are writing). But, your story here has a LOT of potential, and I'm super excited to see where you take it. I'm especially interested to see how you manage the internal politics of Germania - especially considering that it was Germans and German fears of a strong kingly figure that spelled doom for Arminius in OTL. His son's position seems to be a bit stronger, but that can easily change.

Also: I'm super excited to see what myths and legends may develop around him and his father in the ATL (because I totally would be! :D )
Thanks!
The easy part is making an anti-Roman coalition by the Germanics. That happened a lot after Arminius. However the real challenge for Thumelicus would be making the coalition stick. Much like the Urartu who formed an identity in 70 years after Assyrian attacks, Thumelicus will need to form a Germanic identity based on anti-Roman views. That is going to be the real challenge.
 
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