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The Pannonian Revolt Begins

Contributed by David Verne

Following Tiberius' withdrawal of the majority of Roman troops in Pannonia and Dalmatia for a campaign in Germany, the discontent from Roman rule has flared into a revolt. The rebel generals, Pennes and two unrelated men both named Bato, have a reported 200,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry between them, although ancient historians tend to exaggerate numbers. The rebel army quickly overwhelms the auxiliaries and the few legionaries in the province, but several fortified towns remain under Roman control. By the end of the summer, the rebels have seized almost the entire province, sent raiding parties into Macedonia and Greece, and have begun to plan an invasion of Italy. Italy is in a panic due to so much territory so close to Italy held by an enemy. All veterans in Italy are called back into service, emergency levies are held, and wealthy families have to provide freedmen as soldiers. Tiberius is ordered to return from Germany and take command of the army to crush the revolt. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Rome had not ordered wealthy families to supply freedman since the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC. Around 75,000 Romans were killed during the battle, and Hannibal had a clear path to Rome. The Empire wasn't quite that desperate during this revolt, but the legions were completely out of place to deal with it. Rome always tried to put down revolts as soon as possible, during this period they were still consolidating their rule over many recently conquered areas and worried that a successful revolt would encourage others.

Contributed by Southpaw Ben Sorry, no segment from me today due to work.

See Also


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

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