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|List of Illustrations||9|
|List of Maps||11|
|2||Creation of the Legend||30|
|3||History and Archaeology of the Battle||37|
|4||Augustus: Rome's First Emperor||56|
|5||Varus and the Frontier||80|
|6||Arminius: The Native Hero||105|
|7||Warfare in Early Roman Europe: Prelude to the Battle||125|
|9||The Horror: Death on the Battlefield||177|
|10||The Victors' Celebrations||186|
|11||The Immediate Outcome||200|
|12||The Meaning of the Battle||213|
|App. 1||How an Archaeological Site Is Formed||221|
|App. 2||Roman Weapons Found at the Kalkriese Battle Site||222|
|App. 3||Museums, Roman Remains, and Archaeological Parks||223|
|Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading||227|
Posted October 26, 2004
Arminius was not a great general, and he never achieved a place of distinction amongst Rome¿s greatest adversaries such as Hannibal or Mithradates. However, what Arminius did manage to achieve was a grand deception: betraying general Varus and the Romans, who had been his benefactors, and inflicting upon them a crushing defeat that was not won by military strategy or bravery, but by subterfuge and duplicity. During a period of German nationalistic fervor, Ulrich von Hutten, in a drama which he wrote in the 1520s, agued that Arminius deserved to be regarded as the greatest general in history¿greater, he proclaimed, than even Alexander the Great. To elevate Arminius to this heroic status clearly points to a form of self-delusion that only a country desperate to seek a national hero could produce. This supposed ¿battle than stopped Rome,¿ which took place in the Teutoberg forest in the year 9 AD, did nothing more than lure unwitting Roman soldiers into a killing field where they were butchered like trapped animals. This was treachery, not generalship. Subsequent emperors continued Rome¿s expansionist policies, conquering England in 43 AD and Dacia during the early part of the second century AD. The failure of Rome to completely conquer Germany has less to do with its defeat at the hands of Arminius than with the realization that other lands (i.e., England, Dacia, and the eastern territories) held greater economic and political advantages by virtue of their vast resources. In addition, Rome was near its limit regarding the amount of land area it could effectively control, and did not view further expansion into the German hinterland as beneficial. Given the pragmatic nature of the Roman state, and the systematic way in which Rome conquered and maintained its territories, all of Germany, not just the lands west of the Rhine, would have ultimately succumbed to Roman might, just as many other countries had done, if Rome had deemed the acquisition of these lands necessary. Wells argues that the failure of Rome to conquer the vast land area of Germany east of the Rhine was due to the Romans¿ lack of understanding of the nature of the indigenous peoples and their way of life. This hardly seems the case, as contact between the two societies over the centuries would certainly have made the Romans familiar with German tribal culture. It was due rather to the lack of economic and political advantages that could be gained from the military conquest of the region that Rome ceased to pursue her military exploits east of the Rhine, and not because of Rome¿s ignorance of the northern Germanic tribes¿ social structure or the destruction of three legions brought about by the treachery of Arminius.
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Posted December 19, 2009
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Posted March 18, 2010
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