Posts Tagged ‘Varus’

Germania–with the emphasis on mania

Posted in General, On This Day on September 9th, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

September 9, 9:  Three Legions March into a German Forest; You Might Still Find the Body Fragments

Rome presumed that it controlled Germany from the Rhine to the Elbe, but the Germans were unaware of it. Their response to Roman tax collectors was to murder them. In A.D. 9, Rome sent three legions to crush German resistance. The Roman commander was Quinctilius Varus, whose chief qualification was being Augustus’ grandnephew-in-law. Varus did have talent for suppression. While governor of Syria, he taught Roman etiquette in Galilee, crucifying 2,000 unappreciative Jews, none of whom became celebrities.

Perhaps Varus expected an equal demand for crucifixions in Germany and wanted an ample supply of wood. He marched his legions into the Teutoburg Forest. They never came out. Actually, Varus’ head did, a momento from the German leader to Augustus. Rome launched punitive expeditions under more of Augustus’ in-laws. Fortunately, they were better generals and averted annihilation. When the Romans came upon the battle site of the Teutoburg Forest, even hardened legionaires were amazed at German etiquette. The captured Romans had been burned alive.  Setting the decor standards for Biedermeier, Roman skulls were nailed to the trees.  However, the most impressive expression of the German personality was that the Roman horses had been hanged! Rome decided that the Rhine was a satisfactory border for the Empire.

So, the Romans did not subdue Germany. Otherwise, Munich now would be called Monaco, and Wagner’s operas would be three hours shorter and far more melodious.

p.s.  For more information on Germania–or whatever it is called:  http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2006/10/02/a-mystery-of-the-map/

p.p.s.  And if your memory is as bad as the Scottish army was in 1513, here is another anniversary: http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2008/09/09/on-this-day-in-1513/