“In order to depict a battle, there is required one of those powerful painters who have chaos in their brushes” — Victor Hugo
“Inconceivable!” — From The Princess Bride
A little over 2,000 years ago, Rome was a well-oiled war machine crushing everything in its path. At that time, the Roman legions were the most deadly military force in the Western world, and possibly in the whole world. Every year, they conquered new peoples and pushed the boundaries of their empire. Rape and pillage was the name of the game, and they were masters at it. But in the year 9 CE, something happened in the forests of Germany that was going to have a profound impact on the destiny of the world. Some historians go so far as to suggest that both the German and English languages may not exist as we know them, had things gone differently. News arriving from Germany, along with a severed head delivered by courier, threw Emperor Augustus in a deep depression.
In this second and final part of the series (for the first part you can check Episode 47)about the clash between Rome’s power with Germanic tribesmen, we’ll consider topics such as how suicide post-defeat in battle was a family tradition for one of the key characters in our story, when Varus ordered 2,000 people crucified, the training of the Roman army, Arminius’ skill at playing the long con, the battle that changed history, having to cut your friends’ throat out of kindness, the German passion for human sacrifice, Roman vengeance, how these events may be tied to the creation of the English language, and much more.
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