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Today, 2113 ago, the migrations of the Cimbri, a Germanic (or possibly Celtic) people from Jutland ended after 15 years of meandering through Western Europe at the Battle of Vercellae in Northern Italy, roughly a hundred kilometres Southwest from Milan. Five years before, the Cimbri, together with the Teutones and  Ambrones, whole peoples on the march, annihilated a Roman army at Arausio, causing the Roman fear of the furor teutonicos, the Teutonic fury. However, with a reformed army, Gaius Marius first defeated the Teutons at Aquae Sextiae in 102 BCE and repeated his gory success in 101 - with small Roman losses, the Cimbri, according to Plutarch 200.000 men, women and children, were obliterated - 140.000 died in battle or killed themselves, 60.000 were sold into slavery. After his victories, Marius was awarded the title pater patriae, father of the fatherland and the course was set for the conflict between him and his cavalry commander at Vercellae, Felix Cornelius Sulla, that ended in the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BCE and, finally, the end of the republic. Descendants of the Cimbri captured on this day joined Spartacus' slave revolt 30 years later.

The racy picture below by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, a French Academic painter from the days when you had history pieces instead of smut from the internet, shows the climax of either Aquae Sextiae or Vercellae when the Romans drove the Germans back to the baggage trains where the womenfolk tried to defend them and often rather killed themselves and their children then surrendering into slavery.

More on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vercellae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arausio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimbri

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe_de_Neuville
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Stefano Kewan Lee's profile photoSandor Ragaly's profile photoMarko Bosscher's profile photoJohn Kampsen's profile photo
16 comments
 
...after Sulla dominating, the Triumvirate came, if I am right (Iulius Cesar, Pompeius, Crassus), and with Cesar's murder, the Republic formally ended.
 
Roman history of the 1st century BCE in a nutshell :-)
 
The actual location of the battle is not certain at all. The two more probable and best documented are Vercelli and Rovigo (way to the east, just south of Venice), but pretty much every other town in northern Italy claims to be the theatre of that battle :D. 
 
It's fascinating how such big events usually leave so little in terms of hard archeological evidence, when compared to what is found in burials and settlements.
 
I think it's the problem of finally discovering where the site of the battle was - if you think of "Teutoburg Forest", it took centuries - and the archaeological yield is actually quite rich. Besides that - settlements stood in their place usually for a long time instead of the day or two it took to slaughter each other on a battlefield. Enough space to get things buried in the ground - the same is true for burial sites. They are no hastily excavated mass graves.
 
That and the fact that weapons, armour and valuables were often taken from the dead before disposal, so there is generally little to be preserved.
 
Have you done any reading into the Cimbri being the descendants of the 10 northern tribes of Israel ? The lost Tribes disappeared from the historical record in about 721 B.C. There is some evidence to suggest that the Celts themselves are descended from the Northern Tribes.
 
+Dirk Puehl ~ Ich betone noch einmal - sollte in meiner Darstellung oben auch nur ein Detail nicht ausgefeilt genug enthalten sein, so will ich das, wenn man es mir nachweisen kann, nur allzu gern bekennen - ein Nachweis allerdings, der ein aussichtloses Unterfangen wäre! :-))))
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+Sandor Ragaly - nichs läge mir ferner ;-)

+John Kampsen - yes, I've heard about it. Reminded me of the Medieval historiography that equipped either the place or the ruler with Trojan or Biblical ancestors... and the theories of a German archaeologist from the 1950s - who did rather the argumentum e contrario - styling Sylt, an island off Jutland, as Atlantis and making  Dorians and especially the Philistines Northern refugees to the Eastern Med.
 
+Dirk Puehl Mmmh... not satisfying, as I have a Chrome G+ extension "Irony Detective" installed, and your comment was underlined in red by it!
 
A malfunction, obviously.
 
Again: underlined in red!
But perhaps it is like in War Games, you know the movie? 80s purely...
 
I'm still an abysmal chess player ;-)
 
Ha-haa, witty Dirkus Puehlanus! I am not abymsal! At least  in chess ;-) 
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