Tuesday, January 06, 2009

German battlefield yields Roman surprises

I came across ancient history in the news today. CNN has an article titled German battlefield yields Roman surprises. The unsigned article covers the finding of relics from a 3rd century battle between Romans and barbarians in Northern Germany.

Why is this important? Lutz Stratmann, science minister for the German state of Lower Saxon, says in the article, ""We have to write our history books new, because what we thought was that the activities of the Romans ended at nine or 10 (years) after Christ. Now we know that it must be 200 or 250 after that."

The Romans were fighting in Southern Germany at the time trying to protect their borders. Marcus Aurelius himself led Roman troops into battle. However, they were fighting in Northern Germany too.

From the site:

Researchers say the evidence suggests the tribesmen lured the Romans into the forest to keep them from making full use of those long-range weapons and draw them into hand-to-hand combat, outside of the formations the imperial troops had mastered. However, they believe the Romans ultimately prevailed.

Other relics include coins depicting the late second-century Roman emperor Commodus, depicted in the Oscar-winning Hollywood epic "Gladiator" -- a film that opens with a scene of battle against a barbarian horde that scientists say appears to be largely accurate. And Loenne said her team may have only begun to scratch the surface of the forest.

1 comment:

Our Founding Truth said...

Mat: Other relics include coins depicting the late second-century Roman emperor Commodus, depicted in the Oscar-winning Hollywood epic "Gladiator" -- a film that opens with a scene of battle against a barbarian horde that scientists say appears to be largely accurate. And Loenne said her team may have only begun to scratch the surface of the forest.

Great article, and even greater movie. It seems the researchers believed the Romans weren't there in the second century? So the makers of Gladiator were lucky?