In Our Time: History

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the great Roman military disaster of 9 AD when Germanic tribes under Arminius ambushed and destroyed three legions under Varus. According to Suetonius, emperor Augustus hit his head against the wall when he heard the news, calling on Varus to give him back his legions. The defeat ended Roman expansion east of the Rhine. Victory changed the development of the Germanic peoples, both in the centuries that followed and in the nineteenth century when Arminius, by then known as Herman, became a rallying point for German nationalism.

With

Peter Heather

Professor of Medieval History at King’s College London

Ellen O'Gorman

Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol

And

Matthew Nicholls

Fellow and Senior Tutor at St John’s College, Oxford

Producer: Simon Tillotson

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