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View Poll Results: Rome's Worst Defeat?
Cannae, 216 BC 8 33.33%
Teutoburg Forest, 9 AD 9 37.50%
Adrianople, 378 AD 7 29.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #41

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Re: Rome's Worst Defeat?


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I would however disagree that Germania was being pacified, and Teutoberg certainly shows that it was not.
The Romans were in the process of pacifying it though.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #42
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Re: Rome's Worst Defeat?


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The Romans were in the process of pacifying it though.
Well....that didn't work out too well. I think, to the credit of the Romans, they could see the effort ongoing was not going to be worth it.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #43

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Re: Rome's Worst Defeat?


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Well....that didn't work out too well. I think, to the credit of the Romans, they could see the effort ongoing was not going to be worth it.
I think it was a combination of things.

Augustus was devastated by the loss of three of his legions, that he never replaced them. Also the terrain was too mountainous and full of Forests, swamp, etc....

The Romans have shown to be very susceptible to ambush, and the risks of pacifying a wild country like that, were no longer worth the effort.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #44

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Re: Rome's Worst Defeat?


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Unlikely. It would have moved the boundary to the Elbe river perhaps, doesn't mean there weren't any "barbarian" tribes beyond that point. The problem wouldn't be solved, it would move up a bit in geography.
Certainly. There were always more barbarians behind the barbarians next-door, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. But in fact it was the Ostrogoths who founded Italy; the Visigoths, Spain; the Franks, France; and the Anglo-Saxons, England.

On the face of it, it looks like the Romans just didn't have enough guys. If I recall my reading correctly, Augustus' plan called for the XVII, XVIII, and XIX Legions and their auxiliaries to form the northern pincer which would attack the Cherusci, etc, in conjunction with an attack by another army from the south against the Marcomanni. However, a sort of revolt broke out among the "client-state" Thracian principalities along the right bank of the lower Danube(who saw which way the wind was blowing and decided they didn't want to become part of something called "Moesia") and the southern army had to be diverted to make a desert there and call it peace. Then Teutoberg Forest happened, and the whole pincer thing had to be called off.

So it was always something.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #45

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Re: Rome's Worst Defeat?


New soldiers can be recruited, cities can be retaken, a unfavorable strategic situation can be manouvered out of. However - a heavy blow to your most fundamental mindset can be more damaging in the long run than simply loosing troops and territory.

I think that the massacre at Teuterburgerwald were Romes greaterst defeat, not just because of the loss of three of Augustus most elite Legions (XVII, XVIII, XIX), but because it drastically changed the Roman view of the European frontier and the people inhapiting Germania.

The scars left by the massacre never really left the roman mind. The lands beyond the Rhine were no longer regared as lands that the Legions could simply walk take and institute roman order and taxation as they wiched. Germania were regarded as mystical and terrifying, and the Germans went from being just another people to be conquered to a ghost to haunt the roman mind throught the rest of its existence.

To make it simple - The romans were scared ****less of the Germans, and altough that fear might have been largely unfounded in the begining, the mere number of Legions stationed along the Rhine indicate just how paranoid the Romans were about the Germans. Emperor Augustus himself asked, in his testament, that the following Emperor would never try to go into Germania again.

As such - the heaviest blow towards the Romans were not against their armies or their territory, but against their minds and pride. As a direct consequence of this, not only were the German Tribes never incorporated into the roman empire, but the roman fear of the "Barbarians" started to seriously take root, a fear that would never stop lurking in the back of the roman mind, and in the end proved well founded.

Cheers!

- Desikratis
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