One of the most primitive and genuine elements of Roman religion was the feeling that some mysterious power haunted the dark wood. Germany was pre-eminently the land of dark woods in which the practical-minded Roman faltered and lost his way. There were the woods along the banks of the Rhine, in which we sometimes walked in our student days at the University of Bonn. There was the wooded Taunus range, where we visited the reconstructed Saalburg, a fort belonging to the limes or line of entrenchments constructed to protect the Roman territory in south-west Germany. There was Abnoba, the Black Forest; there was the Hercynian Forest; a vague term applied to the vast range of wooded hills stretching a thousand miles from the Rhine along the Danube and around Bohemia to the Carpathians; there was the Saltus Teutoburgiensis, where in A.d. 9 Quintilius Varus and his three legions had been wiped out by the Cherusci under their leader Arminius in a battle which had turned the tide of history; there was the unknown island wood where our grim ancestors, the Anglii and the Saxones, performed the gloomy rites of the goddess Nerthus from which none of the slave ministrants was allowed to come away alive. Beyond lay even wilder regions and more savage peoples: the Aestii or Esthonians, who wore boars' heads and lived on the Baltic shore, from which they gathered amber and were astonished to receive a price for it from the traders; the nomadic Sarmatae of central and southern Russia, who lived in wagons and ate horse-flesh; the ferocious Fenni, or Finns, who had no home at all, but slept on the ground and lived on herbs and any animals they could shoot with their bone-tipped arrows, hunting with the bow being the life of both the man and the woman, while the babies were left with no protection against weather and wild creatures except a sort of hovel made out of interlaced branches; and further still the Hellusii and the Oxiones, who had the faces of men and the bodies of animals; to the north the dead seas of the midnight sun, the frozen Arctic Ocean, where every morning could be heard the noise of the sun rising from the waters, and the horses drawing his chariot could be seen.