Roman Battlefield Discovered in Germany

Check out this link for a neat article about a battlefield recently discovered in Lower Saxony, about 50 miles from Hannover, Germany, where German tribemen clashed with Roman legions, ca. the 3rd century AD.  

The late discoveries in Lower Saxony brought to mind a famous battle fought between Roman legions and Germans in the same general area about 9 AD.  This was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in which Arminius, “chief of the Cherusci, a Teutonic tribe inhabiting parts of what are now the states of Brunswick and Hannover, Germany,” defeated (actually, completely annihilated) three Roman legions led by Publius Quintilius Varus. 

The above quote describing Arminius is from Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, one of our elibrary resources and an excellent resource for historical topics like this.       

One of the reasons why this newly discovered battlefield is so important is because scholars had previously thought Arminius’ defeat of Varus had permanently established the northeastern boundary of  the Roman Empire as the Rhine River.  Now they have evidence that the Romans were still active east of the Rhine as much as 250 years after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.

You can read more about the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in this excellent article from Smithsonian Magazine.  And Tacitus’ Annals include much material about Arminius. 

Among the relics found at the newly located battlefield in Lower Saxony have been coins from the reign of the Roman emperor Commodus — whom movie fans will remember well from the film Gladiator

In an earlier post I mentioned another recent discovery, that of “the tomb of a Roman general named Marcus Nonius Macrinus, upon whom Russell Crowe’s character in the film Gladiator is very loosely based.”  This same post also includes a list of many of our more recent acquisitions/titles on archaeology.


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