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Return to the Forest

Contributed by David Verne

After Augustus' death last year, mutinies broke out in several legions over matters of service length and pay. On the banks of the Rhine, Germanicus decided that the main issue was boredom and decided to give them something to do. He launched a surprise raid on Germania and continued small assualts throughout the winter while preparing for spring. Once spring arrived, he marched into Germania with 100,000 soldiers and made straight for the man responsible for the German resistance, Arminius. Germanicus captured Arminius' wife but was unable to capture the chieftain himself. He was able to accomplish several important goals. Guided by some of the few survivors from the battle, the legions came across the site of the disaster of the Teutoburg Forest several years earlier. There they preformed the task of burying the countless bones strewn across the battlefield. After laying their dead to rest, the legions had a stroke of luck and recovered the sacred golden eagle of the 19th legion. Arminius tried to repeat his sucess and launch another ambush, but he was defeated and the legions made it to the Rhine to wait out the winter. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Even though Germanicus failed to capture Arminius, his campaigns did a lot towards erasing the memory of the Teutoburg disaster. Whenever a major defeat like that happens, people wonder whether it is a one time slip-up or the beginning of a trend. Germanicus was becoming very popular in Rome, and his uncle, Emperor Tiberius, began to worry about a possible coup.

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References

  1. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 

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