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05 October 2009

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Tim O'Neill

Not a bad article, but it had some dubious bits:

"Marching south at the end of the summer fighting season he was led into unfamiliar territory by a trusted native lieutenant, Arminius."

The troops in Varus' army had been stationed in Germania for over 20 years, so the idea that the Kalkriese area would have been "unfamiliar territory" is a bit hard to take seriously.

"But Dr Coulston feels that while the battle was significant, its long term effects have been overplayed. .... "But we have to recognise the Romans came back hard. They smashed the German armies soon after, regaining the ground and driving Arminius to his death."

How did the campaigns of Germanicus (which I assume is what Coulston is referring to here) "drive Arminius to his death"? They were ultimately failures, however much Tacitus tries to put a positive spin on them. Arminius then turned around and kicked Maroboduus' butt and dominated western Germania for years until his *success* led to his assassination.

It seems that people still can't help but talk up the Romans and downplay the achievements of Arminius. Roman fanboys uber alles.

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