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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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