Germans on Romans

The way pagan Germans in antiquity are told to have thought about Romans has a flavour that reminds strongly of the general idea of the life of knights in the Middle Ages, and of the protestant criticism of catholic religion in the 16th century AD.

Germans are told to mock the Roman habit of venerating mortal people like gods (Romans had temples and altars for the emperor, thought to be a god). Once christian ideas spread, Germans are quick to adopt Aryanism, which hold that Jesus was an ordinary man (rejection of the trinity Arianism and the "Son of God" thing. Willibrord and Bonifatius did not find pagan German tribes but christians ).

What strongly reminds of the knights of the Middle Ages is this story by Tacitus: Hermann ("Arminius") had abducted his wife from the reinforcement of his involuntary father in law. After she got pregnant, his father in law abducted her back.
Now  Herman's unborn child was again a candidate for becoming King in the German faction of its grandfather.
But Hermann went to war against his father in law. Though the latter called even for the help of the Romans, he lost. The Romans had, however, taken the opportunity to abduct Herman's abducted wife and her baby to Rome, to have something to offer in profitable negotiations with Herman, or his father in law, depending upon with whom negotiations would get on the agenda.
But neither Hermann nor his father in law had themselves announced in Rome.
It was a habit of the Romans in area's like Anatolia to abduct and "educate" a royal child and then "plant" him back as a king of his home country. But they knew this did not work with Germans.
That is because German kings were selected on force and other clearly empirically observable criteria (just as their gods were observables, like sun, moon and lightning).
In the Roman hierarchy, only inferiors need to show visible skills. Among Germanic tribes, Kings must show skills too.
This difference between North and South Europe has remained in weaker form until the present day, though nowadays in the North it is not anymore the issue how many blows you need to kill someone with bare hands and in how many degrees of frost you can still sleep outside.

More about Gauls and Germans in Caesar shaping Europe