Veleda (ca. 70 C.E.)
A prophetess among the ancient Germans, of whom the historian
Tacitus stated
‘‘She exercises a great authority, for women have been held
here from the most ancient times to be prophetic, and, by excessive
superstition, as divine. The fame of Veleda stood on the
very 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 war. In the reign of the Emperor Vespasian
she was honored as a goddess.’’
Veleda predicted the success of Claudius Civilis in the Batavian
revolt against Rome (69–70 C.E.) and the fall of the Roman

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