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Veleda (c. 70 AD)


Veleda was a prophetess among the ancient Germanics of whom the historian Tacitus spoke, "She exercises a great authority, for women have been held here from ancient times to be prophetic, and, by excessive superstition, divine. The fame of Veleda stood on the highest elevation, for she foretold to the Germans a prosperous issue, but to the legions their destruction! Veleda dwelt upon a high tower, whence messengers were dispatched bearing her oracular counsels to those who sought them; but she herself was rarely seen, and none was allowed to approach her. Cercalis is said to have secretly begged her to let the Romans have better success in the war. In the reign of Emperor Vespasian she was honored as a goddess."

Veleda predicted the success of Claudius Civilis in the Batavian Revolt (69-70 AD) and the fall of the Roman Empire. A.G.H.


Source: 9, 1769.