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OTD 2014 years ago, Varus royally trusted the WRONG German at The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest


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"The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, described as the Varian Disaster (Latin: Clades Variana) by Roman historians, was a major battle between Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire that took place at modern Kalkriese from September 8–11, 9 AD, when an alliance of Germanic peoples ambushed Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. The alliance was led by Arminius, a Germanic officer of Varus's auxilia. Arminius had acquired Roman citizenship and had received a Roman military education, which enabled him to deceive the Roman commander methodically and anticipate the Roman army's tactical responses. Teutoburg Forest is commonly seen as one of the most important defeats in Roman history, bringing the triumphant period of expansion under Augustus to an abrupt end. The outcome of this battle dissuaded the Romans from their ambition of conquering Germania, and is thus considered one of the most important events in European history. The provinces of Germania Superior and Germania Inferior, sometimes collectively referred to as Roman Germania, were subsequently established in northeast Roman Gaul, while territories beyond the Rhine remained independent of Roman control. Retaliatory campaigns were commanded by Tiberius and Germanicus and would enjoy success, but the Rhine would eventually become the border between the Roman Empire and the rest of Germania. The Roman Empire would launch no other major incursion into Germania until Marcus Aurelius (r. 161–180) during the Marcomannic Wars. Some of the descendants of the vassal kingdoms, like the Suebi (by suzerainty), that Augustus tried to create in Germania to expand the romanitas and the Empire would be the ones that invaded the Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries."


Cenotaph of Marcus Caelius, 1st centurion of XVIII, who "fell in the war of Varus" ('bello Variano').

Reconstructed inscription: "To Marcus Caelius, son of Titus, of the Lemonian tribe, from Bologna, first centurion of the eighteenth legion. 53+1⁄2 years old. He fell in the Varian War. His freedman's bones may be interred here. Publius Caelius, son of Titus, of the Lemonian tribe, his brother, erected (this monument)."

Here's a coin struck under Varus:

share7583978005720906388.png.7b6aa4782ab3443ce300d7855eb194fb.pngSELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Pseudo-autonomous issue. temp. Augustus, 27 BC-AD 14. Æ 20 mm 7.8 gr Trichalkon. Struck under P. Quinctillius Varus, Governor of Syria. Dated year 28 of the Actian Era (5/4 BC). O: Laureate head of Zeus right R: Tyche seated right on rocky outcropping, holding palm branch; at feet, river-god Orontes swimming right; ZK (date) in right field. Ex-@Herodotus CT pal

And other provincial coins of Augustus:


Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD). AR Denarius. Uncertain Spanish mint (Colonia Patricia?), c. 19 BC. Obv. Oak-wreathed head right. Rev. Shield. RIC I (2nd ed.) 36a. AR. 2.80 g. 20.00 mm. RRR. Broken and repaired, otherwise. VF. Purchased from Artemide Kunstauktionen Feb 2022 

share237564393831303174.png.b3a15c2e4cca97b515dc33706071d8c7.pngAugustus SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. 27 BC-AD 14. Æ As 24mm,. Struck circa 27-25 BC. Bare head right / AVGVSTVS within laurel wreath. McAlee 190; RPC I 4100. Good VF Former: fortunancient 


Augustus Ae Diobol, 24 MM 8.65 GR AE Diobol Year 41 = 11/12 AD, Egypt, City of Alexandria. Head R. Rs. LMA in the oak wreath. L. 

Thanks for taking a look and please share your coins of Varus, Augustus or those barbarians!

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One of the guys who did attack Germania above the Rhine and marched almost to the North Sea was Maximinus Thrax. The Historia Augusta mentions that he marched 300-400 Roman miles in order to punish the Germans and bring Roman arms to the far North in the region of Saxony. Subsequent historians had always considered this an exaggeration, especially due to the inaccurate nature (generally) of the source material; that is until the Harzhorn battlefield was discovered on a hill in 2008.

Ballista bolts in great quantities, other weapons, and coins from emperors Commodus to Severus Alexander were found at the site, meaning that the battle could not have been before the 230's, a time when Maximinus was a legionary commander, or when he was actually emperor. He preferred to campaign rather than dealing with civilians in Rome and in fact never visited the City. 

Battle at the Harzhorn | Military Wiki | Fandom



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Great post @Ryro — I’ve always had a fascination with this battle. I visited the area back during the last century when I was an art student. Of course back in the 80s, the location was rather uncertain. Imagine the fear and despair of the Roman citizens when they received the news.






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