Europe 9 AD: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Believing Germania to be pacified, Augustus appointed Publius Quinctilius Varus as imperial governor in 7 AD. Varus’ brutal methods antagonized many of the local tribes, who were persuaded to secretly unite under the leadership of Varus’ Germanic advisor Arminius. In 9 AD Arminius ambushed and destroyed all three of Varus’ legions in the Teutoburg Forest, killing Varus and breaking the Roman hold over Germania.
7–Sep 9 AD Campaign of Varus▲
Following Tiberius’ pacification of the Germanic tribes, Augustus appointed Publius Quinctilius Varus as the first governor of the new province of Germania in 7 AD. Varus—who had established a reputation for ruthlessness during his governorship of Syria (7/6–4 BC)—was placed in command of the XVII, XVIII, and XIX legions; these were the only ones available as eight legions had been sent from Germania to deal with the Great Illyrian Revolt. Varus’ cruelty and aggressive attempts at Romanization antagonized many of the Germanic tribes, who secretly united under Varus’ German advisor Arminius.
9?–40? AD Reign of Cunobeline▲
In around 9 AD Cunobeline (Shakespeare’s Cymbeline) became king of the Catuvellauni—a Celtic tribe centered around what is now St Albans in Great Britain. Possibly taking advantage of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, the Catuvellauni gained control over the Roman client kingdom of the Trinovantes at about the same time. Although he seems to have maintained good relations with the Romans, Cunobeline continued to extend Catuvellauni power over the kingdoms of southern Britain until his death c.40 AD.
Sep 9 AD Battle of the Teutoburg Forest▲
As advisor to the Roman commander Varus, Arminius fabricated reports of a local Germanic uprising while Varus and his legions were traveling to their winter headquarters near the Rhine. Varus immediately led his armies to tackle the rebellion, but were instead ambushed by Arminius and his allies in the Teutoburg Forest, on the Weser River. In the ensuing battle, Varus was killed and his three legions all but obliterated. The Germanic victory was followed by a clean sweep of all Roman forts and settlements east of the Rhine and forced the Romans to scurry to defend Gaul.