The Cimbrian War was the first time since the Second Punic War that Italia and Rome itself had been seriously threatened. The timing of the war had an effect on the internal politics of Rome. The war contributed greatly to the career of Gaius Marius, whose consulships and political conflicts challenged many of the Roman republics political institutions. The Cimbrian threat, along with the Jugurthine War, inspired the landmark Marian reforms of the Roman legions, some of the surviving captives are reported to have been among the rebelling Gladiators in the Third Servile War. For reasons unknown, sometime around 120–115 BC, the Cimbri left their lands around the Baltic sea in the Jutland peninsula. They journeyed to the southeast and were joined by their neighbors. Together they defeated the Scordisci, along with the Boii, many of whom apparently joined them, in 113 BC they arrived on the Danube, in Noricum, home to the Roman-allied Taurisci. Unable to hold back these new, powerful invaders on their own, the Cimbri initially set about complying peacefully with Romes demands, but soon discovered that Carbo had laid an ambush against them.
Infuriated by this treachery, they attacked and, at the Battle of Noreia, annihilated Carbos army, Italy was now open to invasion, yet for some reason, the Cimbri and their allies moved west over the Alps and into Gaul. In 109 BC, they invaded the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis and that same year, they defeated another Roman army at the Battle of Burdigala and killed its commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravalla. In 107 BC, the Romans were defeated again, this time by the Tigurini, the force consisted of over 80,000 men, along with tens of thousands of support personnel and camp followers in two armies, one led by each consul. The overconfident Caepio foolishly attacked without support from Maximus, his legions were wiped out, the now isolated and demoralized troops of Maximus were easily defeated. Thousands more were slain trying desperately to rally and defend his poorly positioned camp, only Caepio, and a few hundred Romans escaped with their lives across the carnage-choked river.
The Battle of Arausio was the costliest defeat Rome had suffered since Cannae and, in fact, for the Cimbri and Teutones it was a great triumph. Instead of immediately gathering their allies and marching on Rome, the Cimbri proceeded to Hispania, why they again failed to invade Italy remains a mystery. They were not destitute of cavalry, but the Romans were superior to them in that arm, following the devastation of the Arausio, fear shook the Roman Republic to its foundations. The terror cimbricus became a watchword, as Rome expected the Cimbri at its gates at any time, in this atmosphere of panic and desperation, an emergency was declared. The constitution was ignored and Gaius Marius, the victor over Jugurtha of Numidia was elected consul for an unprecedented, and arguably illegal, five years in a row, starting in 104 BC
The Marcomannic Wars were a series of wars lasting over a dozen years from about 166 until 180 AD. During the years succeeding the rule of Antoninus Pius, the Roman Empire began to be attacked on all sides, a war with Parthia lasted from 161 to 166 and, although it ended successfully, its unforeseen consequences for the Empire were great. The returning troops brought with them a plague, which would kill an estimated 5 million people. As a result, Germanic tribes and other nomadic peoples launched raids south and west across Romes northern border, particularly into Gaul, beginning in 162 and continuing until 165, an invasion of Chatti and Chauci in the provinces of Raetia and Germania Superior was repulsed. In late 166 or early 167, a force of 6,000 Langobardi and this invasion was defeated by local forces with relative ease, but they marked the beginning of what was to come. In their aftermath, the governor of Pannonia, Marcus Iallius Bassus. In these negotiations, the Marcomannic king Ballomar, a Roman client, in the event, a truce was agreed upon and the tribes withdrew from Roman territory, but no permanent agreement was reached.
In the same year and the Sarmatian Iazyges invaded Dacia, to counter them, Legio V Macedonica, a veteran of the Parthian campaign, was moved from Moesia Inferior to Dacia Superior, closer to the enemy. During that time, as plague was ravaging the empire, Marcus Aurelius was unable to do more, in the spring of that year, Marcus Aurelius, together with Lucius Verus set forth from Rome, and established their headquarters at Aquileia. The two emperors supervised a reorganization of the defences of Italy and the Illyricum, raised two new legions, Legio II Italica and Legio III Italica, and crossed the Alps into Pannonia. The two emperors returned to Aquileia for the winter, but on the way, in January 169, Marcus returned to Rome to oversee his co-emperors funeral. In the autumn of 169, Marcus set out from Rome, together with his son-in-law Claudius Pompeianus, the Romans had gathered their forces and intended to subdue the independent tribes, who lived between the Danube and the Roman province of Dacia.
The Iazyges defeated and killed Claudius Fronto, Roman governor of Lower Moesia, while the Roman army was entangled in this campaign, making little headway, several tribes used the opportunity to cross the frontier and raid Roman territory. To the east, the Costoboci crossed the Danube, ravaged Thrace and descended into the Balkans, reaching Eleusis, near Athens, the most important and dangerous invasion, was that of the Marcomanni in the west. Their leader, had formed a coalition of Germanic tribes and they crossed the Danube and won a decisive victory over a force of 20,000 Roman soldiers near Carnuntum. Ballomar led the larger part of his host southwards towards Italy, the Marcomanni razed Opitergium and besieged Aquileia. This was the first time hostile forces had entered Italy since 101 BC. The army of praetorian prefect Furius Victorinus tried to relieve the city, there is no consensus amongst scholars as to the year that the great Gemanic invasion towards Aquileia took place
Revolt of the Batavi
The Revolt of the Batavi took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior between AD69 and 70. After these initial successes, a massive Roman army led by the Roman general Quintus Petillius Cerialis eventually defeated the rebels. Following peace talks, the Batavi submitted again to Roman rule, but were forced to accept humiliating terms and a legion stationed permanently on their territory, at Noviomagus. The Batavi were a sub-tribe of the Germanic Chatti tribal group who had migrated to the region between the Old Rhine and Waal rivers in what became the Roman province of Germania Inferior. Their land, though potentially fertile alluvial deposits, was largely uncultivable, thus the Batavi population it could support was tiny, not more than 35,000 at this time. They were a people, skilled horsemen and swimmers. In return for the privilege of exemption from tributum, they supplied a disproportionate number of recruits to the Julio-Claudian auxilia. They provided most of the emperor Augustus elite regiment of German Bodyguards, the Batavi auxilia amounted to about 5,000 men, implying that for the entire Julio-Claudian period, over 50% of all Batavi males reaching military age may have enlisted in the auxilia.
Thus the Batavi, although just about 0. 05% of the population of the empire in AD23. They were regarded by the Romans as the best and bravest of their auxiliary, in Roman service, they had perfected a unique technique for swimming across rivers wearing full armour and weapons. Gaius Julius Civilis was a prince of the Batavi and the prefect of a Batavi cohort. By 69, Civilis, the Batavi regiments and the Batavi people had become disaffected from Rome. After the Batavi regiments were withdrawn from Britain in 66, Civilis and his brother were arrested by the governor of Germania Inferior on false accusations of treason, the governor ordered the brothers execution, and sent Civilis to Rome in chains for judgement by the Roman emperor Nero. While Civilis was in prison awaiting trial, Nero was overthrown in AD68 by an army led into Italy by the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, Nero committed suicide, ending the rule of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, founded a century earlier by Augustus. He acquitted Civilis of the charge and allowed him to return home.
Meanwhile, Galba disbanded the German Bodyguards Regiment, which he distrusted due to the loyalty they had given to Nero in the final days. This alienated several hundred crack Batavi troops, and indeed the whole Batavi nation, at the same time, relations collapsed between the 8 Batavi cohorts and their parent-legion XIV Gemina, to which they had been attached since the invasion of Britain 25 years earlier. The seething hatred between the Roman legionaries and their German auxiliaries erupted in serious fighting on at least two occasions, at this juncture, the Roman empire was convulsed by its first major civil war for a century, the Year of the Four Emperors
Umayyad invasion of Gaul
The Umayyad invasion of Gaul followed the Umayyad conquest of Hispania spearheaded by the North African commander Tariq ibn Ziyad in 711. During the 8th century, Muslim Umayyad armies conquered the region of Septimania, the Umayyad advance was stopped at the Battle of Toulouse in 721, but they sporadically raided Southern Gaul as far as Avignon and Autun. After being replaced by al-Samh, Arab-Berber forces seized Barcelona and the Septimanian city of Narbonne in 719 despite local resistance, a sizable number of the town defenders and inhabitants were killed in the aftermath by the victorious Umayyad forces. From 720 on, Narbonne became the city of Muslim Septimania. A mosque was established in Narbonne, inside the church of Sainte-Rustique, the Umayyad tide was temporarily halted in the large-scale Battle of Toulouse, when Emir al-Samh was killed by Odo of Aquitaine. Nimes and all the other main Septimanian cities fell too under the sway of the Umayyads, sometime during this period, the Berber commander Uthman ibn Naissa became governor of the Cerdanya.
By that time, resentment against Arab rulers was growing within the Berber troops, by 725, all of Septimania was under Umayyad rule. Uthman ibn Naissa, the Pyrenean Berber lord ruler of the eastern Pyrenees, detached from Cordova, the Berber leader allied with the Aquitanian duke Odo, who was eager to stabilize his borders, and is reported to have married his daughter to Odo. Uthman ibn Naissa went on to kill Nambaudus, the bishop of Urgell, emboldened by his success, he attacked Uthman ibn Naissas Aquitanian ally Duke Odo, who had just encountered Charles Martels devastating offensive on Bourges and northern Aquitaine. The Aquitanian leader was beaten at the Battle of the River Garonne in 732, the Umayyad force moved north to invade Poitou in order to plunder the Basilica of Saint-Martin-de-Tours. Odo still found the opportunity to save his grip on Aquitaine by warning the rising Frankish commander Charles of the impending danger against the Frankish sacred city of Tours. Umayyad forces were defeated in the Battle of Tours in 732, with the death of Odo in 735 and after putting down the Aquitanian detachment attempt led by duke Hunald, Charles Martel went on to deal with Burgundy and the Mediterranean south of Gaul.
Charles faced the opposition of various regional actors, to begin with the Gothic and Gallo-Roman nobility of the region, who feared his aggressive and overbearing policy. Charles decided to ally with the Lombard King Liutprand in order to repel the Umayyads and he underwent the hostility of the dukes of Aquitaine, who jeopardized Charles and his successor Pepins rearguard during their military operations in Septimania and Provence. The dukes of Aquitaine in turn relied on the strength of the Basque troops. In 737, Charles captured and reduced Avignon to rubble, besides destroying the Umayyad fleet, the brother of Charles, Childebrand failed however in the siege of Narbonne. Charles attacked several cities which had collaborated with the Umayyads. Before his return to the northern Francia, Charles had managed to crush all opposition in Provence, count Maurontus of Marseille fled to the Alps
In all, eighteen battles were fought in what is now northwestern Germany. They resulted in the incorporation of Saxony into the Frankish realm, despite repeated setbacks, the Saxons resisted steadfastly, returning to raid Charlemagnes domains as soon as he turned his attention elsewhere. This agreement saved the Saxons leaders exceptional rights in their homeland, Widukind was baptized in 785 and buried in the only Germanic church without a spire. The Saxons were divided into four subgroups in four regions, nearest to the ancient Frankish kingdom of Austrasia was Westphalia, and farthest away was Eastphalia. In between these two kingdoms was that of Engria and north of three, at the base of the Jutland peninsula, was Nordalbingia. In mid-January 772, the sacking and burning of the church of Deventer by a Saxon expedition was the Casus belli for the first war waged by Charlemagne to the Saxons. It began with a Frankish invasion of Saxon territory and the subjugation of the Engrians, Irminsul may have been a hollow tree trunk, presumably representing the pillar supporting the skies—similar to the Nordic tree Yggdrasil and apparently a common belief among the Germanic peoples.
Charlemagnes campaign led all the way to the Weser River and destroyed several major Saxon strongholds, armed confrontations continued unabated for years. Charlemagnes second campaign came in the year 775, he marched through Westphalia, conquering the fort of Sigiburg, and crossed Engria, where he defeated the Saxons again. Finally, in Eastphalia, he defeated them, and their leader Hessi converted to Christianity and he returned through Westphalia, leaving encampments at Sigiburg and Eresburg. All of Saxony, except for Nordalbingia was under his control, after warring in Italy, he returned very rapidly to Saxony for the third time in 776, when a rebellion destroyed his fortress at Eresburg. The Saxons were once brought to heel, though Widukind fled to the Danes. Charlemagne built a new camp at Karlstadt, in 777, he called a national diet at Paderborn to integrate Saxony fully into the Frankish kingdom. The chief purpose of the diet was to bring Saxony closer to Christianity, mainly Anglo-Saxons from England, were recruited to carry out this task.
Charlemagne issued a number of decrees designed to break Saxon resistance, in summer 779, Charlemagne again went into Saxony and conquered Eastphalia and Westphalia. At a diet near Lippspringe, he divided the land into missionary districts and he himself assisted in several mass baptisms. He returned to Italy, and there was no Saxon revolt, from 780 to 782, the land had peace. Charlemagne returned in 782 to Saxony and instituted a code of law and appointed counts, the laws were severe on religious issues, namely the native paganism of the Saxons
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the ruler of the Roman Republic. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, as a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt. When the Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Metellus Celer, died unexpectedly, Caesars governorships were extended to a five-year period, a new idea at the time. Caesar had initially four veteran legions under his command, Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana. As he had been Governor of Hispania Ulterior in 61 BC and had campaigned successfully with them against the Lusitanians, Caesar had the legal authority to levy additional legions and auxiliary units as he saw fit.
His ambition was to conquer and plunder some territories to get out of debt. It is more likely that he was planning a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia, the countries of Gaul were civilized and wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some, particularly those that were governed by such as the Aedui. The Romans respected and feared the Gallic tribes, only fifty years before, in 109 BC, Italy had been invaded from the north and saved only after several bloody and costly battles by Gaius Marius. Around 62 BC, when a Roman client state, the Arverni, conspired with the Sequani and the Suebi nations east of the Rhine, to attack the Aedui, the Sequani and Arverni sought Ariovistus’ aid and defeated the Aedui in 63 BC at the Battle of Magetobriga. The Sequani rewarded Ariovistus with land following his victory, Ariovistus settled the land with 120,000 of his people. When 24,000 Harudes joined his cause, Ariovistus demanded that the Sequani give him land to accommodate the Harudes people.
This demand concerned Rome because if the Sequani conceded, Ariovistus would be in a position to all of the Sequani land. They did not appear to be concerned about a conflict between non-client and allied states, by the end of the campaign, the non-client Suebi under the leadership of the belligerent Ariovistus, stood triumphant over both the Aedui and their coconspirators. Fearing another mass migration akin to the devastating Cimbrian War, the Helvetii was a confederation of about five related Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau, hemmed in by the mountains, and the Rhine and Rhone rivers. They began to come under increased pressure from German tribes to the north, by 58 BC, the Helvetii were well on their way in the planning and provisioning for a mass migration under the leadership of Orgetorix
The Germanic Wars is a name given to a series of wars between the Romans and various Germanic tribes between 113 BC and 596 AD. The nature of these wars varied through time between Roman conquest, Germanic uprisings and Germanic invasions in the Roman Empire that started in the late 2nd century BC. The series of conflicts, which began in the 5th century under the Western Roman Emperor Honorius,112 BC, Battle of Noreia, Suicide of Consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. 107 BC, Helvetii defeat the Romans in the Battle of Agen, Consul Lucius Cassius Longinus dies in battle,105 BC, Battle of Arausio, Execution of Roman General Marcus Aurelius Scaurus, Proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio and Consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus exiled. 101 BC, Roman consuls Gaius Marius and Manius Aquillius defeat the Cimbri in the Battle of Vercellae, King Boiorix dies in battle,57 BC, Battle of the Sabis. 54 BCE, Destruction of the legion Legio XIV Gemina by the Eburones led by Cativolcus and Ambiorix, Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta dies in battle,53 BC, Caesars retaliation against the Eburones second crossing of the Rhine, Extermination of the Eburones.
52 BC, Fall of Celtic Gaul, Gaul becomes a Roman province,46 BC, Execution of Vercingetorix the Celt. 20 BC, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Construction of military roads,16 BC, clades Lolliana, Destruction of the legion Legio V Alaudae by Sicambri and their allies, Fall of the Kingdom of Noricum. 9 BC, Creation of Magna Germania, Pacification campaigns against the Germanic tribes by the Roman Empire, 6–2 BC, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus invasions to the Elbe. 1–4 AD, Rise of the Chatti and Bructeri suppressed by Tiberius, 6–9, Uprising in Illyricum, which cancels the major Roman project of war against Suevic Marcomanni. 6, Varus succeeds Saturninus as governor of Germania with the mission of peacekeeping,9, clades Variana, Destruction of the legions XVII, XVIII and XIX by Arminius in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Suicide of Administrator Varus, Loss of military camps east of the Rhine. Roman Empire is forced to withdraw from Germania. 10–13, Military command of Tiberius in Germania and interventions in the valley of the Lippe, replaced by Germanicus,14, Mutiny of the legions of Germania.
14–16, Roman retaliation against Cherusci, Chatti and Marsi,17, Cessation of military offensives east of the Rhine by Tiberius, Civil war between Germanic tribes. 28, Revolt of the Frisii, Tax collectors hanged, Romans defeated in the Battle of Baduhenna Wood,41, Raid against the Chauci under Emperor Claudius, Recovery of third legionary standard lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. 50, Raid against the Chatti under Emperor Claudius, Liberation of Roman prisoners, 69–70, Revolt of the Batavi, Destruction of 2 Roman legions by the Batavi. 82–83, Raids against the Chatti under Emperor Domitian,89, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax revolt against Rome with aid of the Chatti. 165, Invasion of Pannonia by Lombards and Ubii, 166–180, Germanic tribes invade the frontiers of the Roman Empire, specifically the provinces of Raetia and Moesia, Marcomannic Wars
German and Sarmatian campaigns of Constantine
Having defeated the usurper Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, all Italia passed under Constantines control and he thus became the sole Augustus of the West. In February 313, Constantine formed an alliance with the Emperor of the East, reinforced by Licinius marriage to Constantines sister, this alliance survived for only a few years, before the two Augusti came into conflict in 316. Constantine defeated Licinius, who was forced to cede Illyricum to Constantine, Constantine advanced ever further east with his territorial acquisitions, now having to defend the important strategic region of the limes sarmaticus. At this time Constantine demonstrated an active military bent. From 320 he appointed his eldest son, Praetorian prefect, even in this period, Constantine continued to have his preferred Imperial residences at Serdica and Thessalonica, rather than Diocletians Nicomedia. This entailed the division of responsibility for the defence of the frontier from Germanic. His election was in accordance with a principle rather than the meritocratic system of the Tetrarchy created by Diocletain.
Only Lactantius maintains that Constantine was named Augustus by his father on his deathbed, Galerius was displeased by this act and offered the son of his deceased colleague the title of Caesar, which Constantine accepted, allowing Flavius Severus to succeed his father Constantius instead. In fact, we know that, with Diocletians Tetrarchy reforms, Constantines accession to the throne and the return of a dynastic monarchy brought about the final increase of the number of Roman legions to 62 or 64 around the year 330. Along the Rhine limes the Franks and Saxons in particular pressed on Gaul, the Alemanni made some incursions in these regions, but the main goal of their attacks at this time was Northern Italy via Pannonia. The major clashes occurred along the Lower Danube in the Roman provinces of the Balkan region and he found his father at Gesoriacum about to cross the English Channel to Britannia and joined him in a successful military campaign against the Picts and Scotti to the north of Hadrians wall.
When his father died during the summer, Constantine was proclaimed Augustus of the West by his fathers loyal troops at Eboracum on 25 July, the young tetrarch however needed his election to the Imperial office to be recognised, particularly by Galerius, the most senior of the Augusti. Gelerius preferred his friend and comrade in arms, Licinius, to Constantine, Constantine voluntarily accepted this and in Autumn of the same year he returned to Augusta Treverorum whence he could more easily monitor the Gallic frontier, which was being menaced by the Franks. 307 At the beginning of spring, Constantine planned a new campaign in German territory and he found it necessary to confront the Franks, Bructeri and Alemanni. In the course of the operations, he achieved important successes. Many of the Franks were killed, captured or enslaved - some of these were employed as gladiators, all their livestock was seized and their villages were burnt to the ground. As a result of successes, Constantine was awarded the cognomen Germanicus Maximus at the end of the year.
308 Further successes were achieved by Constantine against the Bructeri over the whole year, at the end of this new military campaign against the Franks, Constantine built the important bridgehead of Divitia in German territory opposite Colonia Agrippina
Third Servile War
The concentrated military effort of a single commander, Marcus Licinius Crassus, finally crushed the rebellion, though the war continued to have indirect effects on Roman politics for years to come. The Third Servile War had significance in the history of ancient Rome in its effect on the careers of Pompey. Their actions as Consuls greatly furthered the subversion of Roman political institutions, to varying degrees throughout Roman history, the existence of a pool of inexpensive labor in the form of slaves was an important factor in the economy. Slaves were acquired for the Roman workforce through a variety of means, including purchase from foreign merchants and the enslavement of foreign populations through military conquest. While there was limited use for slaves as servants, for the most part, slaves were treated harshly and oppressively during the Roman republican period. Under Republican law, a slave was not considered a person, owners could abuse, injure or even kill their own slaves without legal consequence.
While there were many grades and types of slaves, the lowest—and most numerous—grades who worked in the fields and this high concentration and oppressive treatment of the slave population led to rebellions. While these were considered serious civil disturbances by the Roman Senate, taking years and direct intervention to quell. The Roman heartland had never seen a slave uprising, nor had ever been seen as a potential threat to the city of Rome. This would all change with the Third Servile War, in the Roman Republic of the 1st century, gladiatorial games were one of the more popular forms of entertainment. In order to supply gladiators for the contests, several training schools, in these schools, prisoners of war and condemned criminals—who were considered slaves—were taught the skills required to fight in gladiatorial games. In 73 BC, a group of some 200 gladiators in the Capuan school owned by Lentulus Batiatus plotted an escape. When their plot was betrayed, a force of about 70 men seized kitchen implements, fought their way free from the school, and seized several wagons of gladiatorial weapons and armor.
These escaped slaves were able to defeat a force of troops sent after them from Capua. They initially viewed the revolt as more a major crime wave than an armed rebellion, that year, Rome dispatched a military force under praetorian authority to put down the rebellion. Glabers forces besieged the slaves on Mount Vesuvius, blocking the only way down the mountain. With the slaves thus contained, Glaber was content to wait until starvation forced the slaves to surrender and they moved around the base of Vesuvius, outflanked the army, and annihilated Glabers men. A second expedition, under the praetor Publius Varinius, was dispatched against Spartacus