Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-kpmwg Total loading time: 0.715 Render date: 2021-12-09T03:15:18.089Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

2 - Conquering Germania

A Province Too Far

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2012

Williamson Murray
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Peter R. Mansoor
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Get access

Summary

A small German tribe rose in revolt and in immediate reaction three legions marched. Their commander, Varus, was well schooled in the Roman method of stifling insurrections: React rapidly and massively at the first sign of trouble. Following the Roman playbook, which he had implemented to good effect in the Eastern Empire, Varus led his legions through recently “pacified” Germania, demonstrating for all to behold the might of Rome. The Romans knew from experience that, left to fester, uprisings grew worse and more expensive in blood and treasure the longer they delayed action. At the onset of rebellion, the preferred Roman method was a rapid march with all troops available; followed by a short, bloody, decisive engagement; and concluded with a flurry of swift trials and slow executions. Unfortunately for Varus, his opponent, Arminius, was Roman educated and trained and therefore intimately familiar with the Roman playbook.

The legions marched as if they had few concerns. Spread out over almost 10 miles, the formation became ragged. Many of the legionnaires walked unarmed among the baggage and camp followers. At no place did Varus maintain the tactical integrity of the legions. Worse, the German auxiliary force, commanded by Varus’ “trusted” adviser, Arminius, had received permission to ride off and ensure the route ahead was clear of obstructions or threats. Believing that Arminius would alert him to any trouble in sufficient time to form his legions, Varus marched unprepared.

Type
Chapter
Information
Hybrid Warfare
Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present
, pp. 18 - 44
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Murdoch, AdrianRome's Greatest DefeatLondon 2006Google Scholar
Wells, Peter S.The Battle that Stopped RomeNew York 2003Google Scholar
1989
Ober, JosiahHistoria: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 31 1982
Brunt, P. A.Roman Imperial ThemesOxford 1990Google Scholar
Cooley, AlisonRes Gestae divi AugustiCambridge 2009Google Scholar
Mann, J. C.Power, Force, and the Frontiers of the EmpireThe Journal of Roman Studies 69 1979 179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wells, C. M.The German Policy of Augustus: An Examination of the Archaeological EvidenceOxford 1972Google Scholar
Womersley, David P.The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1New York 1996 1Google Scholar
Luttwak, EdwardThe Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the ThirdBaltimore 1979Google Scholar
Kagan, KimberlyRedefining Roman Grand StrategyThe Journal of Military History 70 2006 333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mann, J. C.Power, Force, and the Frontiers of the EmpireThe Journal of Roman Studies 69 1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whittaker, C. R.Rome and its Frontiers: The Dynamics of EmpireNew York 2004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wheeler, Everett L.The Methodological Limits and the Mirage of Roman Grand Strategy: Part IThe Journal of Military History 57 1993 7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wheeler, Everett L.The Methodological Limits and the Mirage of Roman Grand Strategy: Part IIThe Journal of Military History 57 1993Google Scholar
Todd, MalcolmThe Northern Barbarians, 100 BC–AD 300New York 1987Google Scholar
Whittaker, C. R.Frontiers of the Roman Empire: A Social and Economic StudyBaltimore, MD 1997Google Scholar
Burns, Thomas S.Rome and the BarbariansBaltimore, MD 2003Google Scholar
Wells, Peter S.The Barbarians Speak: How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman EuropePrinceton, NJ 2001Google Scholar
Tacitus, The Agricola and GermaniaLondonMacmillan 1877Google Scholar
Garnsey, PeterSaller, Richard P.The Roman Empire: Economy, Society, and CultureBerkley 1987 43Google Scholar
Duncan-Jones, RichardMoney and Government in the Roman EmpireCambridge 1998Google Scholar
Rostovtzeff, M.The Social and Economic History of the Roman EmpireLondon 1957Google Scholar
Hammond, MasonEconomic Stagnation in the Early Roman EmpireThe Journal of Economic History 6 1946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Syme, RonaldThe Cambridge Ancient History: The Augustan Empire 10 1963 361
Murdoch, AdrianRome's Greatest DefeatLondon 2006
Williams, DerekRomans and BarbariansNew York 1998 91Google Scholar
Goldsworthy, AdrianIn the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman EmpireLondon 2003 248Google Scholar
Webster, GrahamThe Roman Imperial Army: Of the First and Second CenturiesOklahoma 1998Google Scholar
Goldsworthy, AdrianThe Complete Roman ArmyLondon 2003Google Scholar
Campbell, BrianThe Roman Army, 31 BC–AD 337: A SourcebookNew York 1994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
1
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×