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IDISTAVISUS CAMPUS the famous battle-field where Germanicus, in A.D. 16, defeated Arminius. The name is mentioned only by Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 2.16), who describes it as a “campus medius inter Visurgim et colles,” and further says of it, that “ut ripae fluminis cedunt aut prominentia montium resistunt, inaequaliter sinuatur. Pone tergum insurgebat silva, editis in altum ramis et pura humo inter arborum truncos.” This plain between the river Weser and the hills has been the subject of much discussion among the modern historians of Germany, and various places have been at different times pointed out as answering the description of Tacitus' Idistavisus. It was formerly believed that it was the plain near Vegesack, below Bremen; more recent writers are pretty unanimous in believing that Germanicus went up the river Weser to a point beyond the modern town of Minden, and crossed it in the neighbourhood of Hausberge, whence the battle probably took place between Hlausberge and Rinteln, not farfrom the Porta Vestphalica. (Ledebur, Land u. Volk der Bructerer, p. 288.) As to the name of the place, it used to be believed that it had arisen out of a Roman asking a German what the place was, and the German answering, “It is a wiese” (it is a meadow); but Grimm (Deutsche Mythol. p. 372. 2nd edit.) has shown that the plain was probably called Idisiaviso, that is, “the maiden's meadow” (from idisi, a maiden).


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    • Tacitus, Annales, 2.16
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