Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes
The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, or ORL, is a 550-kilometre-long section of the former external frontier of the Roman Empire between the rivers Rhine and Danube. It runs from Rheinbrohl to Eining on the Danube; the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is an archaeological site and, since 2005, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with the Lower Germanic Limes it forms part of the Limes Germanicus; the term limes meant "border path" or "swathe" in Latin. In Germany, "Limes" refers to the Rhaetian Limes and Upper Germanic Limes, collectively referred to as the Limes Germanicus. Both sections of limes are named after the adjacent Roman provinces of Germania Superior. In the Roman limites we have, for the first time in history defined territorial borders of a sovereign state that were visible on the ground to friend and foe alike. Most of the Upper German-Rhaetian Limes did not follow rivers or mountain ranges, which would have formed natural boundaries for the Roman Empire, it includes the longest land border in the European section of the limes, interrupted for only a few kilometres, by a section that follows the River Main between Großkrotzenburg and Miltenberg.
By contrast, elsewhere in Europe, the limes is defined by the rivers Rhine and Danube. The function of the Roman military frontiers has been discussed for some time; the latest research tends to view at least the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes not as a military demarcation line, but rather a monitored economic boundary for the non-Roman lands. The limes, it is argued, was not suitable for fending off systematic external attacks. Thanks to a skillful economic policy, the Roman Empire extended its influence far to the northeast, beyond the frontier. Evidence of this are the many border crossings which, although guarded by Roman soldiers, would have enabled a brisk trade, the numerous Roman finds in "Free Germania". Attempts were also made, to settle Roman legions beyond the limes or, more to recruit auxiliaries; as a result, the Romanization of the population extended beyond the limes. Interest in the limes as the remains of a site dating to the Roman period was rekindled in Germany at the time of the Renaissance and Renaissance humanism.
This was bolstered by the rediscovery of the Germania and Annales of Tacitus in monastic libraries in the 15th and early 16th centuries. Scholars like Simon Studion researched discovered forts. Studion led archaeological excavations of the Roman camp of Benningen on the Neckar section of the Neckar-Odenwald Limes. Local limes commissions were established but were confined to small areas, for example, in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or Grand Duchy of Baden, due to the political situation. Johann Alexander Döderlein was the first person to record the course of the limes in the Eichstätt region. In 1723, he was the first to interpret the meaning of the limes and published the first scholarly treatise about it in 1731. Only after the foundation of the German Empire could archaeologists begin to study more the route of the limes, about which there had only been a rudimentary knowledge; as a result, they were able to make the first systematic excavations in the second half of the 19th century. In 1892, the Imperial Limes Commission was established for this purpose in Berlin, under the direction of the ancient historian, Theodor Mommsen.
The work of this commission is considered pioneering for reworking of Roman provincial history. Productive were the first ten years of research, which worked out the course of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes and named the camps along the border; the research reports on the excavations were published from 1894 to the dissolution of the Commission in 1937. The individual reports went under the title of The Upper Rhaetian Limes of the Roman Empire, published in fifteen volumes, of which seven cover the route of the limes and eight cover the various camps and forts; the documents of the Imperial Limes Commission are now in the custody of the Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute. The RLK numbered the sections of the route, the forts and the watchtowers on the individual sections. In the course of this work the 550-kilometre-long route of the limes was surveyed, divided into sections and described; this division followed the administrative boundaries in 19th-century Germany and not that of ancient Rome: Section 1: Rheinbrohl – Bad Ems Section 2: Bad Ems – Adolfseck near Bad Schwalbach Section 3: Adolfseck near Bad Schwalbach – Taunus – Köpperner Tal Section 4: Köpperner Tal – Wetterau – Marköbel Section 5: Marköbel – Großkrotzenburg am Main Section 6a: Hainstadt – Wörth am Main Section 6b: Trennfurt – Miltenberg Section 7: Miltenberg – Walldürn – Buchen-Hettingen Section 8: Buchen-Hettingen – Osterburken – Jagsthausen Section 9: Jagsthausen – Öhringen – Mainhardt – Welzheim – Alfdorf-Pfahlbronn Section 10: Wörth am Main – Bad Wimpfen Section 11: Bad Wimpfen – Köngen Section 12: Alfdorf-Pfahlbronn – Lorch – Rotenbachtal near Schwäbisch Gmünd – Aalen – Stödtlen Section 13: Mönchsroth – Weiltingen-Ruffenhofen - Gunzenhausen Section 14: Gunzenhausen – Weißenburg – Kipfenberg Section 15: Kipfenberg – Eining Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes in general Dietwulf Baatz: Der römische Limes.
Archäologische Ausflüge zwischen Rhein und Donau. 4th edn. Gebrüder Mann, Berlin, 2000, ISBN 3-7861-1701-2. Thomas Becker
The Danube–Iller–Rhine Limes or DIRL was a large-scale defensive system of the Roman Empire, built after the project for the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes in the late 3rd century AD. In a narrower sense the term refers only to the fortifications between Lake Constance and the River Danube; the Alamannic raids around the middle of the 3rd century AD, necessitated a new military security plan for the northwestern borders of the Roman Empire. The Upper German-Rhaetian Limes had never been thought of as a military defensive system and was therefore abandoned after 260; the frontier troops were withdrawn to positions behind the more controlled rivers of the Rhine and Iller. Around 290, the systematic expansion of the new military border defences began; the defensive facilities there, as illustrated by the large number of small fortresses, were not intended to ward off major attacks, but to ensure an unobstructed surveillance of the limes and deter plundering. Up to 378, the Romans invariably invaded the settlements of the Germanii living beyond the limes to punish the tribes living there and intimidate them so that they refrained from attacks on the Empire.
So late-Roman frontier defence was based, on the one hand, on the fortified belt of the Danube–Iller–Rhine Limes and, on the other hand, on offensive operations and preventive strikes in the tribal areas, as well as on alliances with Germanic princes. When around 400, these punitive expeditions were discontinued, the security situation deteriorated rapidly. Limes Burns, Thomas S. Barbarians Within the Gates of Rome: A Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, ca. 375-425 AD, Bloomington: IUP, 1994. Jochen Garbsch: Der spätrömische Donau-Iller-Rhein-Limes. Stuttgart, 1970. Norbert Hasler, Jörg Heiligmann, Markus Höneisen, Urs Leutzinger, Helmut Swozilek: Im Schutze mächtiger Mauern. Spätrömische Kastelle im Bodenseeraum. Publ. by the Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg, Frauenfeld, 2005, ISBN 3-9522941-1-X. Michael Mackensen: Raetia: late Roman fortifications and building programmes. In: J. D. Creighton und R. J. A. Wilson: Roman Germany. Studies in Cultural Interaction, Portsmouth, 1999, pp. 199–244.
Walter Drack, Rudolf Fellmann: Die Römer in der Schweiz, Stuttgart, 1988, pp. 64–71, ISBN 3-8062-0420-9. Erwin Kellner: Die Germanenpolitik Roms im bayerischen Anteil der Raetia secunda während des 4. Und 5. Jahrhunderts. In: E. Zacherl: Die Römer in den Alpen. Historikertagung in Salzburg, Convegno Storico di Salisburgo, 13–15 November 1986, Bozen, 1989, pp. 205–211, ISBN 88-7014-511-5 Michaela Konrad, Christian Witschel: Spätantike Legionslager in den Rhein- und Donauprovinzen des Imperium Romanum. In: M. Konrad, C. Witschel: Römische Legionslager in den Rhein- und Donauprovinzen, Munich, 2011, pp. 3–44. Sebastian Matz: Die ›Barbarenfurcht‹ und die Grenzsicherung des spätrömischen Reiches. Eine vergleichende Studie zu den limites an Rhein, Iller und Donau, in Syrien und Tripolitanien mit einem Fundstellenkatalog zum spätrömischen Rhein-Iller-Donau-Limes, Jena, 2014. Jördis Fuchs: Spätantike militärische horrea an Rhein und Donau. Eine Untersuchung der römischen Militäranlagen in den Provinzen Maxima Sequanorum, Raetia I, Raetia II, Noricum Ripense und Valeria.
Diplomarbeit, Vienna, 2011. Antikefan - Donau-Iller-Rhein-Limes
Servius Sulpicius Galba was Roman emperor from 68 to 69, the first emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors. He was known as Lucius Livius Galba Ocella prior to taking the throne as a result of his adoption by his stepmother, Livia Ocellina; the governor of Hispania at the time of the rebellion of Gaius Julius Vindex in Gaul, he seized the throne following Nero's suicide. Born into a wealthy family, Galba held at various times the offices of praetor and governor of the provinces Aquitania, Upper Germany, Africa during the first half of the first century AD, he retired during the latter part of Claudius' reign but Nero granted him the governorship of Hispania. Taking advantage of the defeat of Vindex's rebellion and Nero's suicide, he became emperor with the support of the Praetorian Guard, his physical weakness and general apathy led to his being dominated by favorites. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, Galba was murdered by Otho, who became emperor.
Galba was not related to any of the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, but he was a member of a distinguished noble family. The origin of the cognomen Galba is uncertain. Suetonius offers a number of possible explanations. One of Galba's ancestors had been consul in 200 BC, another of his ancestors was consul in 144 BC. Galba's grandfather was a historian and his son was a barrister whose first marriage was to Mummia Achaica, granddaughter of Quintus Lutatius Catulus and great-granddaughter of Lucius Mummius Achaicus. According to Suetonius, he fabricated a genealogy of paternal descent from the god Jupiter and maternal descent from the legendary Pasiphaë, wife of Minos. Servius Sulpicius Galba was born near Terracina on 24 December 3 BC, his elder brother Gaius fled from Rome and committed suicide because the emperor Tiberius would not allow him to control a Roman province. Livia Ocellina became the second wife of Galba's father, whom she may have married because of his wealth. Ocellina adopted Galba, he took the name Lucius Livius Galba Ocella.
Galba had a sexual appetite for males. He married a woman named Aemilia Lepida and had two sons. Aemilia and their sons died during the early years of the reign of Claudius. Galba would remain a widower for the rest of his life. Galba became praetor in about 30 governor of Aquitania for about a year consul in 33. In 39 the emperor Caligula learned of a plot against himself in which Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, the general of the Upper German legions, was an important figure; as commander of the legions of Upper Germany, Galba gained a reputation as a disciplinarian. Suetonius writes that Galba was advised to take the throne following the assassination of Caligula in 41, but loyally served Caligula's uncle and successor Claudius. Galba was appointed as governor of Africa in 44 or 45, he retired at an uncertain time during the reign of Claudius in 49. He was recalled in 60 by the emperor Nero to govern Hispania. A rebellion against Nero was orchestrated by Gaius Julius Vindex in Gaul on the anniversary of the death of Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, in 68.
Shortly afterwards Galba, in rebellion against Nero, rejected the title "General of Caesar" in favor of "General of the Senate and People of Rome". He was supported by the imperial official Tigellinus. On 8 June 68 another imperial official, Nymphidius Sabinus, falsely announced to the Praetorian Guard that Nero had fled to Egypt, the Senate proclaimed Galba emperor. Nero committed assisted suicide with help from his secretary. Upon becoming emperor Galba was faced by the rebellion of Nymphidius, who had his own aspirations for the imperial throne. However, he was killed by the Praetorians. While Galba was arriving to Rome with the Lusitanian governor Marcus Salvius Otho, his army was attacked by a legion, organized by Nero. Galba, who suffered from chronic gout by the time he came to the throne, was advised by a corrupt group which included the Spanish general Titus Vinius, the praetorian prefect Cornelius Laco, Icelus, a freedman of Galba. Galba seized the property of Roman citizens, disbanded the German legions, did not pay the Praetorians and the soldiers who fought against Vindex.
These actions caused him to become unpopular. On 1 January 69, the day Galba and Vinius took the office of consul, the fourth and twenty-second legions of Upper Germany refused to swear loyalty to Galba, they toppled his statues. On the following day, the soldiers of Lower Germany refused to swear their loyalty and proclaimed the governor of the province, Aulus Vitellius, as emperor. Galba tried to ensure his authority as emperor was recognized by adopting the nobleman Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus as his successor. Galba was killed by the Praetorians on 15 January, followed shortly by Vinius and Piso, their heads were placed on poles and Otho was acclaimed as emperor. Sulpicia Galba Donahue, Jo
In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp. Castrum was the term used for different sizes of camps including a large legionary fortress, smaller auxiliary forts, temporary encampments, "marching" forts; the diminutive form castellum was used for fortlets occupied by a detachment of a cohort or a century. In English, the terms Roman fortress, Roman fort, Roman camp are used for castrum. However, scholastic convention tends toward the use of the words camp, marching camp, fortress as a translation of castrum. For a list of known castra see List of castra. Castrum appears in Oscan and Umbrian, two other Italic languages, suggests an origin at least as old as Proto-Italic language. Julius Pokorny traces a probable derivation from * k̂es -, schneiden in * k̂es - tro-m; these Italic reflexes based on * kastrom include Umbrian castruo, kastruvuf. They have the same meaning, says Pokorny, as Latin fundus, an estate, or tract of land.
This is not any land, but is a prepared or cultivated tract, such as a farm enclosed by a fence or a wooden or stone wall of some kind. Cornelius Nepos uses Latin castrum in that sense: when Alcibiades deserts to the Persians, Pharnabazus gives him an estate worth 500 talents in tax revenues; this is a change of meaning from the reflexes in other languages, which still mean some sort of knife, axe, or spear. Pokorny explains it as ’Lager’ als ‘abgeschnittenes Stück Land’, “a lager, as a cut-off piece of land.” If this is the civilian interpretation, the military version must be “military reservation,” a piece of land cut off from the common land around it and modified for military use. All castra must be defended by works no more than a stockade, for which the soldiers carried stakes, a ditch; the castra could be prepared under attack behind a battle line. Considering that the earliest military shelters were tents made of hide or cloth, all but the most permanent bases housed the men in tents placed in quadrangles and separated by numbered streets, one castrum may well have acquired the connotation of tent.
The commonest Latin syntagmata for the term castra are: castra stativa Permanent camp/fortresses castra aestiva Summer camp/fortresses castra hiberna Winter camp/fortresses castra navalia or castra nautica Navy camp/fortressesIn Latin the term castrum is much more used as a proper name for geographical locations: e.g. Castrum Album, Castrum Inui, Castrum Novum, Castrum Truentinum, Castrum Vergium; the plural was used as a place name, as Castra Cornelia, from this come the Welsh place name prefix caer- and English suffixes -caster and -chester. Castrorum Filius, "son of the camps," was one of the names used by the emperor Caligula and also by other emperors. Castro derived from Castrum, is a common Spanish family name as well as toponym in Italy, the Balkans and Spain and other Hispanophone countries, either by itself or in various compounds such as the World Heritage Site of Gjirokastër; the terms stratopedon and phrourion were used by Greek language authors to translate castrum and castellum, respectively.
A castrum was designed to house and protect the soldiers, their equipment and supplies when they were not fighting or marching. This most detailed description that survives about Roman military camps is De Munitionibus Castrorum, a manuscript of 11 pages that dates most from the late 1st to early 2nd century AD. Regulations required a major unit in the field to retire to a properly constructed camp every day. "… as soon as they have marched into an enemy's land, they do not begin to fight until they have walled their camp about. To this end a marching column ported the equipment needed to build and stock the camp in a baggage train of wagons and on the backs of the soldiers. Camps were the responsibility of engineering units to which specialists of many types belonged, officered by architecti, "chief engineers", who requisitioned manual labor from the soldiers at large as required, they could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. Judging from the names, they used a repertory of camp plans, selecting the one appropriate to the length of time a legion would spend in it: tertia castra, quarta castra, etc..
More permanent camps were castra stativa. The least permanent of these were castra aestiva or aestivalia, "summer camps", in which the soldiers were housed sub pellibus or sub tentoriis, "under tents". Summer was the campaign season. For the winter the soldiers retired to castra hiberna containing barracks and other buildings of more solid materials, with timber construction being replaced by stone; the camp supplied army in the field. Neither the Celtic nor Germanic armies had this capability: they found it necessary to disperse after only a few days; the largest castra were legionary fortresses built as bases for one or more whole legions. From the time of Augustus more permanent castra with wooden or stone buildings and walls were introduced as the distant and hard-won boundaries of the expanding empire required permanent garrisons to control local and external threats
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Structural history of the Roman military
The structural history of the Roman military concerns the major transformations in the organization and constitution of ancient Rome's armed forces, "the most effective and long-lived military institution known to history." From its origins around 800 BC to its final dissolution in AD 476 with the demise of the Western Roman Empire, Rome's military organization underwent substantial structural change. At the highest level of structure, the forces were split into the Roman army and the Roman navy, although these two branches were less distinct than in many modern national defense forces. Within the top levels of both army and navy, structural changes occurred as a result of both positive military reform and organic structural evolution; these changes can be divided into four distinct phases. Phase I The army was derived from obligatory annual military service levied on the citizenry, as part of their duty to the state. During this period, the Roman army would wage seasonal campaigns against local adversaries.
Phase II As the extent of the territories falling under Roman control expanded and the size of the forces increased, the soldiery became salaried professionals. As a consequence, military service at the lower levels became progressively longer-term. Roman military units of the period were homogeneous and regulated; the army consisted of units of citizen infantry known as legions as well as non-legionary allied troops known as auxilia. The latter were most called upon to provide light infantry, logistical, or cavalry support. Phase III At the height of the Roman Empire's power, forces were tasked with manning and securing the borders of the vast provinces, brought under Roman control. Serious strategic threats were less common in this period and emphasis was placed on preserving gained territory; the army underwent changes in response to these new needs and became more dependent on fixed garrisons than on march-camps and continuous field operations. Phase IV As Rome began to struggle to keep control over its sprawling territories, military service continued to be salaried and professional for Rome's regular troops.
However, the trend of employing allied or mercenary elements was expanded to such an extent that these troops came to represent a substantial proportion of the armed forces. At the same time, the uniformity of structure found in Rome's earlier military disappeared. Soldiery of the era ranged from armed mounted archers to heavy infantry, in regiments of varying size and quality; this was accompanied by a trend in the late empire of an increasing predominance of cavalry rather than infantry troops, as well as a requirement for more mobile operations. In this period there was more focus on smaller units of independently-operating troops, engaging less in set-piece battles and more in low-intensity, guerilla actions. According to the historians Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, writing at a far date, the earliest Roman army existed in the 8th century BC. During this period Rome itself was little more than a fortified hilltop settlement and its army a small force, whose activities were limited "mainly raiding and cattle rustling with the occasional skirmish-like battle".
Historian Theodor Mommsen referred to it as Rome's curiate army, named for its presumed subdivision along the boundaries of Rome's three founding tribes, the Ramnians and Luceres. This army's exact structure is not known, but it is probable that it loosely resembled a warrior band or group of bodyguards led by a chieftain or king. Mommsen believes that Roman military organization of this period was regimented by the "Laws of King Italus" but these laws, though referred to by Aristotle, have been lost; the army consisted, according to Livy, of 3,000 infantry and 300 horsemen, one third from each of Rome's three founding tribes. Warriors served under six "leaders of division" who in turn served under a general in the person of the reigning King. Mommsen uses philological arguments and references from Livy and others to suggest that the greater mass of foot-soldiers consisted of pilumni, with a smaller number serving as arquites; the cavalry was far smaller in number and consisted of the town's richest citizens.
The army may have contained the earliest form of chariots, hinted at by references to the flexuntes. By the beginning of the 7th century BC, the Iron-Age Etruscan civilization was dominant in the region. Like most of the other peoples in the region, the Romans warred against the Etruscans. By the close of the century, the Romans had lost their struggle for independence, the Etruscans had conquered Rome, establishing a military dictatorship, or kingdom, in the city. Although several Roman sources including Livy and Polybius talk extensively about the Roman army of the Roman Kingdom period that followed the Etruscan capture of the city, no contemporary accounts survive. Polybius, for example, was writing some 300 years after the events in question, Livy some 500 years later. Additionally, what records were kept by the Romans at this time were destroyed when the city was sacked; the sources for this period cannot therefore be seen as reliable, as they can be for military history, e.g. from the First Punic War onwards.
According to our surviving narratives, the three kings of Rome during the Etruscan occupation were Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, Tarquinius Superbus. During this period the army underwent a reformation into a centurial army based on socio-economic class; this reformation is traditionally attributed to Servius Tullius
The Limes Germanicus was a line of frontier fortifications that bounded the ancient Roman provinces of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior and Raetia, dividing the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes from the years 83 to about 260 AD. At its height, the limes stretched from the North Sea outlet of the Rhine to near Regensburg on the Danube; those two major rivers afforded natural protection from mass incursions into imperial territory, with the exception of a gap stretching from Mogontiacum on the Rhine to Castra Regina. The Limes Germanicus was divided into: The Lower Germanic Limes, which extended from the North Sea at Katwijk in the Netherlands along the main Lower Rhine branches The Upper Germanic Limes started from the Rhine at Rheinbrohl across the Taunus mountains to the river Main along the Main to Miltenberg, from Osterburken south to Lorch in a nearly perfect straight line of more than 70 km; the total length was 568 km. It included 900 watchtowers; the weakest, hence most guarded, part of the Limes was the aforementioned gap between the westward bend of the Rhine at modern-day Mainz and the main flow of the Danube at Regensburg.
This 300-km wide land corridor between the two great rivers permitted movement of large groups of people without the need for water transport, hence the heavy concentration of forts and towers there, arranged in depth and in multiple layers along waterways, fords and hilltops. Roman border defences have become much better known through systematic excavations financed by Germany and through other research connected to them. In 2005, the remnants of the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes were inscribed on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as Frontiers of the Roman Empire, with lower Limes being placed on the tentative list in 2011, aiming to extend the world heritage site to the whole limes; the Saalburg is a reconstructed museum of the Limes near Frankfurt. The first emperor who began to build fortifications along the border was Augustus, shortly after the devastating Roman defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. There were numerous Limes walls, which were connected to form the Upper Germanic Limes along the Rhine and the Rhaetian Limes along the Danube.
These two walls were linked to form a common borderline. From the death of Augustus until after 70 AD, Rome accepted as her Germanic frontier the water-boundary of the Rhine and upper Danube. Beyond these rivers she held only the fertile plain of Frankfurt, opposite the Roman border fortress of Moguntiacum, the southernmost slopes of the Black Forest and a few scattered bridge-heads; the northern section of this frontier, where the Rhine is deep and broad, remained the Roman boundary until the empire fell. The southern part was different; the upper Rhine and upper Danube are crossed. The frontier which they form is inconveniently long, enclosing an acute-angled wedge of foreign territory between the modern Baden and Württemberg; the Germanic populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, Roman subjects from the modern Alsace-Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards. The motives alike of geographical convenience and of the advantages to be gained by recognising these movements of Roman subjects combined to urge a forward policy at Rome, when the vigorous Vespasian had succeeded Nero, a series of advances began which closed up the acute angle, or at least rendered it obtuse.
The first advance came about 74 AD, when what is now Baden was invaded and annexed and a road carried from the Roman base on the upper Rhine, Straßburg, to the Danube just above Ulm. The point of the angle was broken off; the second advance was made by Domitian about 83 AD. He pushed out from Moguntiacum, extended the Roman territory east of it and enclosed the whole within a systematically delimited and defended frontier with numerous blockhouses along it and larger forts in the rear. Among the blockhouses was one which by various enlargements and refoundations grew into the well-known Saalburg fort on the Taunus near Bad Homburg; this advance necessitated a third movement, the construction of a frontier connecting the annexations of AD 74 and AD 83. We know the line of this frontier which ran from the Main across the upland Odenwald to the upper waters of the Neckar and was defended by a chain of forts. We do not, know its date, save that, if not Domitian's work, it was carried out soon after his death, the whole frontier thus constituted was reorganised by Hadrian, with a continuous wooden palisade reaching from Rhine to Danube.
The angle between the rivers was now full. But there remained further fortification. Either Hadrian or, more his successor Antoninus Pius pushed out from the Odenwald and the Danube, marked out a new frontier parallel to, but in advance of these two lines, though sometimes, as on the Taunus, coinciding with the older line; this is the frontier, now visible and visited by the curious. It consists, as we see it today, of two distinct frontier works, known as the Pfahlgraben, is a palisade of stakes with a ditch and earthen mound behind it, best seen in the neighbourhood of the Saalburg but once extending from the Rhine southwards into southern Germany; the other, which begins where the earthwork stops, is a wall, though not a formidable wall, of stone, the Teufelsmauer.