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The Battle That Stopped Rome: Emperor Augustus, Arminius, and the Slaughter of the Legions in the Teutoburg Forest
Synopses & Reviews
The story of the horrific destruction of the Roman army by German barbarians, forever ending the expansion of the Roman Empire. IN A.D. 9, a Roman traitor led an army of barbarians who trapped and then slaughtered three entire Roman legions: 20,000 men, half the Roman army in Europe. If not for this battle, the Roman Empire would surely have expanded to the Elbe River, and probably eastward into present-day Russia. But after this defeat, the shocked Romans ended all efforts to expand beyond the Rhine, which became the fixed border between Rome and Germania for the next 400 years, and which remains the cultural border between Latin western Europe and Germanic central and eastern Europe today. This fascinating narrative introduces us to the key protagonists: the emperor Augustus, the most powerful of the Caesars; his general Varus, who was the wrong man in the wrong place; and the barbarian leader Arminius, later celebrated as the first German hero. In graphic detail, based on recent archaeological finds, the author leads the reader through the mud, blood, and decimation that was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.
Book News Annotation:
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic warriors, led by Arminius (Hermann) defeated the Roman army, killing some 20,000 Roman soldiers, led to the halting of Emperor Augustus's expansionism and the establishment of the Roman frontier along the Rhine for the next four centuries, argues Wells (anthropology, U. of Minnesota). Combining textual and archaeological sources (the actual site of the battle was located in 1987) reconstructs the events and impact of the battle, as well as information about the political structures, technology, and social systems of the Germanic tribes that were able to defeat the Roman Imperial forces, much to their shock and surprise.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Wells pens the story of the horrific destruction of the Roman army by German barbarians, forever ending the expansion of the Roman Empire.
In AD 9, a Roman traitor led an army of barbarians who trapped and slaughtered three entire Roman legions. This narrative introduces the key protagonists and leads the reader through the mud, blood and decimation that was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 227-238) and index.
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