In September of the year 9 A.D., the three Roman legions under the command of Publius Quintilius Varus were engaged in battle by the forces of Armin, who was known to the Romans as Arminius. The result of this was that the three legions were wiped out to a man, other than those who were spared so that word of this major Roman defeat would be taken back to Rome. After the news of the defeat was taken to Rome, the emperor Tiberius recalled all Roman units from Germania and they did not return there.
After that time, Armin began to aim at becoming a king of the Germanic tribes who would at times associate and join together for defensive or offensive war for their common good. These tribes (over three hundred of them) were all fiercely independent and it was because of these fiercely independent attitudes that Armin was finally killed by the members of his own family.
Martin Luther thought that the name Arminius came about because of poor translation of the name Herman, but this has been proven to be incorrect by linguists. His name was Armin and when the Romans Latinized it, they did so by simply putting ius onto the end of his name.
Armin was survived by both his wife called Thusnelda and his son who was Thumelicus. It is thought that Thumelicus died at what may have been sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years of age and that he died as a gladiator. However, no-one really knows for sure due to the fact that the historical records about him are missing. some believe that these records were destroyed during the violent times of ancient Rome or the war and other events since then.
The book starts with the first gladiator’s contest of Thumelicus and then goes onto to describe the way of life of the ancient Germanic tribes and Romans. This is told by the ghost of a Germanic warrior.