Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Teutoburg – The Prequel

It’s instructive to take a look that the events leading up to the Teutoburg debacle as a part of the bigger picture of Rome and the German tribes. Ultimately, we’ll get to the question of the impact of Teutoburg on Roman strategy and the longer term effects on Europe, but any conclusions drawn from our review depend on placing the event in the proper context.

Caesar took Gaul in the 50s B.C. and fought with the Germans at various times when they crossed the Rhine. The Germans were tough, tougher than the Gauls, and many tribes refused to be ruled. Other tribes saw the benefit of a Roman alliance and were content to operate under treaties.

At the beginning of Augustus’ reign, Gaul consisted of Cisalpine Gaul, Narbonese Gaul (also called Transalpine Gaul), and the three parts resulting from conquests by Caesar -- Aquitaine, Lugdunensis (central Gaul) and Belgica. Geographically speaking Cisalpine Gaul refers to Gaul “on this side of the Alps” while Transalpine Gaul was Gaul “on the other side of the Alps”.

More at Ancient History Blog