Page 1036

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