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Germanicus is Dead

Contributed by David Verne

Germanicus has been in command of the legions in the east for the past two years and has been in a feud with Gnaeus Piso, the governor of Syria. Germanicus will fall ill and accuses Piso of poisoning him; he will die on October 10th. Historians do consider Piso a suspect, but there are two others who are also suspected, Tiberius, and Tiberius' chief adviser, Sejanus. Two years later in 21 AD, Arminius will also be dead. He was killed by his followers after they realized that he was trying to create a German kingdom with them as his subjects. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Germanicus was one of the last Roman generals to lead a serious campaign into Germania. The Romans will still have great influence over the tribes, installing puppet chiefs and giving foreign aid, but Germania was never worth the time and resources needed to conquer it. Augustus realized that the Roman Empire had reached its limits. Future generations wouldn't conquer new lands; they would defend the current borders, but Germania was supposed to be the last province Rome would ever need. Its loss was like the slave standing next to a general during a Triumph, forever reminding the Roman Empire that they were mortal.
My Take by Southpaw Ben
At this time,there was no real way to test for poisoning, which allowed it to be used as an untraceable way to kill someone. It also meant it was hard to get someone convicted of poisoning someone if they weren't caught in the act. (Based on assumption of an unbribed jury or judge. Which almost never happened, especially in cases where either or both sides had money. And both sides probably had gobs money when it came to political assassinations) Poisoning was usually suspected when someone healthy suddenly died.

See Also


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

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