Open Battles at Last
Contributed by David Verne
Instead of marching all the way into the heart of Germania, Germanicus has used 1,000 ships to ferry 74,000 soldiers from Gaul to the mouth of the Rhine and traveled up the river. Arminius decided he had to respond and tried to lure the legions into a battle where they would be outnumbered. The battle lasted an entire day and ended with a decisive Roman victory, but Arminius managed to escape with several followers. He regrouped and received reinforcements at the Angrivar barrier, a large earthen wall built between a river and marshland. Germanicus was determined to finish the job and after bombarding the wall with catapults, personally led the attack. The battle lasted several hours and ended with another crushing Roman victory, but Arminius escaped again. During a raid later in the summer, the legions recovered another eagle from the destroyed legions.
My Take by David Verne
Everyone loved Germanicus at this point. The Senate was giving him honor after honor, his soldiers loved him, and the Roman people saw him as a hero. Tiberius was becoming increasingly nervous about his nephew's fame and recalled him to Rome. This will continue to be a theme throughout Roman history, where rulers become paranoid of their skilled generals and end up not letting them do their job. Most of the time the generals are loyal but end up having to become as skilled in political strategy as military strategy.
Epistulae ex Ponto is published
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
This year, Ovid's book of poetry is published. Epistulae ex Ponto means "Letters from the Black Sea", and is poetry from during his time in exhile. While most of what he wrote about was pleading for his exhile to be ended, today it is one only sources of information about Scythia Minor, parts of current day Bulgaria and Romania, during that era.
My Take by Southpaw Ben
This book goes to show how even an insignificant thing we do today can have huge ramifications in the future that we'd never expect. When Ovid wrote this poetry, he would never have imagined it being the main source of information on the area he was in at the time, he was simply bemoaning his fate and trying to convince the ruler to overturn his punishment. Throughout history we see many examples of insignificant, at least at the time of their creation, writings becoming massively important to our knowledge and understanding of the past, often being analyzed way more than the author ever intended. It also serves to remind us that the writings that we base some of our historical knowledge on today could easily have been the equivalents of a Karl Marx or Adolf Hitler, and we'd never know that it was an extremely fringe interpretation of events skewed towards a specific world view, because it's the only first person record we have of that area and time.
Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press.