Skip to comments.German battlefield yields Roman surprises
Posted on 05/13/2013 6:09:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Archaeologists have found more than 600 relics from a huge battle between a Roman army and Barbarians in the third century, long after historians believed Rome had given up control of northern Germany.
"We have to write our history books new, because what we thought was that the activities of the Romans ended at nine or 10 (years) after Christ," said Lutz Stratmann, science minister for the German state of Lower Saxony. "Now we know that it must be 200 or 250 after that."
For weeks, archeologist Petra Loenne and her team have been searching this area with metal detectors, pulling hundreds of ancient Roman weapons out of the ground. They paint a picture of a highly organized, technologically superior Roman army beset by Germanic tribes in a forest about 80 km (50 miles) south of the modern city of Hanover.
The hillside battlefield was discovered by relic-hunters illegally searching for souvenirs of more recent wars near the town of Kalefeld-Oldenrode. One of them brought some of the items he found to Loenne, who works for the local government...
"We believe the Germans ambushed the Romans here, but the legions quickly fired back with catapults and archers -- and then it came to a massive man-on-man onslaught," Loenne said.
The items unearthed so far include an axe, still sharp after nearly 1,800 years; horseshoes; shovels; spearheads; and dozens of arrowheads for a Scorpio, a cross between a catapult and a crossbow -- the ancient equivalent of artillery...
Researchers say the evidence suggests the tribesmen lured the Romans into the forest to keep them from making full use of those long-range weapons and draw them into hand-to-hand combat, outside of the formations the imperial troops had mastered. However, they believe the Romans ultimately prevailed...
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Some of the artifacts are so well preserved that the scientists can already retrace some of the battle lines.
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The red dot on the map shows the location.
‘an axe, still sharp after nearly 1,800 years”
The consequences of the Varian disaster have been terribly exaggerated in the past 150-200 years to serve German nationalism.
lotta good thats done them
You must be thinking about the blade Narsil.
When you consider the loses the Romans just shrugged off during the 1st and 2nd Punic Wars, losing 2 or 3 legions does kind of pale in comparison.
Thanks, I’ll try that. I need a soundtrack at work, and music is sometimes distracting, or the dynamics rise and fall too much to be convenient.
send link to Joe
This vexes me. I am very vexed.
niiiice sitting there at work with some fantasy playing in your head
The Roman force was on the move with all its baggage and households (and camp followers), which is weird behavior. Perhaps the objective was to winter over in a less remote or more defensible location.
The adversary Arminius was from the Roman auxiliaries and had served Rome, but turned coat. He understood his enemy very well, and of course it was a surprise attack.
The punitive expedition to hunt him down along with his followers ran into an ambush, but discipline and formation held; Arminius thought he was on the verge of a second great victory (and massacre), and shouted taunts at the Roman commander. He wound up having to flee for his life, and his forces were either slaughtered or scattered.
A few years later, in hiding deep in barbarian territory, he was murdered by members of his own family, probably at the behest of Rome, and for cash.
Meanwhile, the Romans reoccupied the lost territory — it was hardly “The Battle That Stopped Rome” as the recent-years book claims. The modern understanding of the full extent of Roman occupation has continually been expanded to the east and north, during the postwar period, likely as a result of the changing needs of modern politics.
Heh, the same kind of use has been made of Boudicca by the UK — she was a bloodthirsty, mass-murdering nutjob who led 70,000 Celts from dozens of British tribes into an abatoir, and yet is held up as an anachronistic nationalist hero. Ridiculous.
France, under Napoleon III, conducted an investigation of one of the purported sites of the massive Battle of Alesia, which was the huge, final defeat for the Gallic tribes under Vercingetorix — but again, used as an anachronistic nationalist symbol.
WWII was made possible by the relative low losses of German soldiery in WWI. Had their losses in WWI been anything like is *still* churned out of British textbooks, Germany would never have been able to start, much less sustain, WWII.
Okay, yeah, that paragraph only makes sense in my overall milieu.
They lied to me in Germania. If they lie to me, they don’t respect me.
Thanks for that link!
Canal of Drusus:
gee i wonder how it wouldve turned out if some 6th century goat screwing pedophile claimed to be a prophet from god...
How dare you show your back to me! Slave, you will remove your helmet and tell me who you are!