Cornelius Tacitus - The Annals
(Book 2, 30)
The Death of Arminius
I received word from writers and senators of those days that a letter (coming) from the Chattian chieftain Adgandestrius was read holding out the prospect of Arminius' death, if poison would be sent to commit the murder; and that the answer was that the Roman people does not take revenge on their enemies by fraud nor insidiously, but openly and in arms. By this glorious act Tiberius emulated the ancient leaders who had forbidden the poisoning of king Pyrrhus and had revealed the traitors.
Besides, when Arminius - with the Romans retreating and Maroboduus having been defeated - strived for autocracy, he confronted the liberty of his compatriots; attacked by arms he fought with ambiguous luck, (and) was killed treacherously by relatives. No doubt, he was the liberator of Germania and he did not scourge the beginnings of the Roman people, like other kings and rulers, but the most flourishing empire, teetering in battles, (but) undefeated in war. He lived thirty-seven years, fulfilled twelve (years) of ruling, (and) even now he is celebrated in songs among the barbarian peoples, though unknown to the annals of the Greek, who admire only their own, (and) not too famous to the Roman (historians), since we praise the past but are careless about more recent times.
Reperio apud scriptores senatoresque eorundem temporum Adgandestrii principis Chattorum lectas in senatu litteras, quibus mortem Arminii promittebat si patrandae neci venenum mitteretur, responsumque esse non fraude neque occultis, sed palam et armatum populum Romanum hostis suos ulcisci. qua gloria aequabat se Tiberius priscis imperatoribus qui venenum in Pyrrum regem vetuerant prodiderantque.
Ceterum Arminius abscedentibus Romanis et pulso Maroboduo regnum adfectans libertatem popularium adversam habuit, petitusque armis cum varia fortuna certaret, dolo propinquorum cecidit: liberator haud dubie Germaniae et qui non primordia populi Romani, sicut alii reges ducesque, sed florentissimum imperium lacessierit, proeliis ambiguus, bello non victus. septem et triginta annos vitae, duodecim potentiae explevit, caniturque adhuc barbaras apud gentis, Graecorum annalibus ignotus, qui sua tantum mirantur, Romanis haud perinde celebris, dun vetera extollimus recentium incuriosi.
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