1036 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
In the times of Caesar, the Marcomanni constituted a part of the army of Ariovistus.
After the establishment of their kingdom on
the Danube, they became involved in wars
with the Cherusci, and soon confronted the
Roman legions on the Danubian border.
In the reign of the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, the Marcomanm headed a confederation of German tribes against the Romans.
Aurelius died while engaged in the attempt to
break up the Marcomannic league, and his
son Commodus was Constrained to purchase a
peace which he could not conquer from his
German adversaries. During the third and
fourth centuries the Danubian provinces
were several times overrun by the Marcomanm, but they did not succeed in laying the
foundations of a permanent state. In the fifth
and sixth centuries, the relative importance of
the nation grew less and less, until it finally
disappeared from history.
The Quadi were kinsmen of the Suevi,
having their original homes in Southeastern
Germany. One of their principal haunts was
the celebrated Hercynian Forest, of which so
graphic an account has been preserved in the
Sixth Book of Caesar's Gallic War. Their territories had joined those of the Pannonians
and the Marcomanm, with whom they were
generally in alliance. At the time of the establishment of the Roman Empire the Quadi
were among the most powerful of the German
nations. In the time of the Emperor Tiberius
their government was a monarchy, a certain
Vannius occupying the throne. During the
reign of Marcus Aurelius, the Quadi became
a member of the Germanic confederation,
which was organized against the Romans, and
it was they who, in the battle of A. D. 174,
were about to destroy the imperial legions,
when the fortunate occurrence of a storm
turned the tide and gave the victory to Rome.
During the years A. D. 357-359, the exposed provinces of the Empire were dreadfully
harrassed by this warlike people, who, in alliance with the Sarmatians, captured the frontier posts, and made it necessary for Constantius to exert himself to the utmost to stay
their ravages. They were, however, speedily
subdued, and the chiefs of the nation, even from beyond the Carpathian mountains, were
glad to save themselves by making their submission and giving hostages to the Emperor.
The nation maintained its independence until
near the close of the following century when
they were absorbed by the more powerful
Goths, and ceased to be a separate people.
The nation of the Heruli was destined to
establish the first barbarian kingdom in Italy.
These were the most migratory of all the German tribes, inasmuch that their original seats
have remained a matter of conjecture. At
different times they appeared on the Dniester
and the Rhine; in Greece and Italy; in Spain
and Scandinavia. In the third century of our
era, during the reigns of Claudius and Gallienus, the Heruli joined the Goths on their expedition against the countries of the Euxine.
In war they were among the bravest of the
brave, disdaining the use of defensive armor
and condemning the widows and infirm of the
tribe to perish because they were of no further
service to the nation. After uniting their forces
with those of the Goths in various invasions
of the Danubian provinces of the Empire,
they were conquered by their allies, and reduced to an inferior position. In the year
451, they joined Attila on his march into
Gaul, and after the death of that savage chieftain were united with the other German nations in the final expedition against Rome.
With the capture of the city, in the year 476,
Odoacer assumed the title of king of Italy,
and became the founder of the first kingdom
established by the invaders on the ruins of
Rome. About the same time the Heruli succeeded in establishing a second kingdom in
the central part of Hungary, where they
maintained themselves until they were overpowered by the Lombards.
The native haunts of the Gepidae appear
to have been on the Vistula, near the Baltic.
It is from this position that their first movements were directed against the civilized states
of the South, At the first they were associated with the Vandals, and were afterwards
leagued with the Goths of the Middle Danube.
At the time of the invasion of Attila they
were obliged to follow the standard of that
imperial savage, but after his death they