- Feb 2012
I've wondered why Rome invaded Germany (east of the Rhine) in the first place. Did they have prescient ideas about the advantages of a border on the Vistula? In post 75 I discussed an alternative history if Rome had conquered Germania Magna and were able to rely on the Germans to help fight the Huns, Alans etc on the Vistula frontier. The Empire might have survived much longer. There would have been no Germans fleeing the Huns and invading Roman territory. Attila was later defeated by a Roman-German coalition.
Recent archaeology has shown the advanced stage of colonisation of the two Germanian regions described by Augustus, all of which was abandoned when the 17th, 18th, and 19th legions were annihilated in ad9. Although Rome never made any great inroads to Germania afterward, they made use of inter-tribal diplomacy and punitive expeditions to maintain security, though as time wore the empire became less manipulative and more defensive, allied to increasing tribal cooperation and familiarity with Roman warfare, and not least, awareness of Roman prosperity.