Ancient Warfare Special Issue 2009: The Varian Disaster

Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume III Issue 2: Alexander's Funeral GamesAncient Warfare Special Issue 2009: The Varian Disaster

This special issue of Ancient Warfare Magazine focuses on the destruction of a complete Roman army in Germany at the battle of the Teutoburg forest, published to mark the 2,000th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in European history.

The articles are well chosen, covering a wide range of topics relating to the battle. The examination of the four main written sources for the battle is useful, while the articles on the war before Varus and on Roman fortifications in Germany both help to place the battle in its context, making it clear that the Romans were actually rather better established across the Rhine than I had realised.

The next five articles focus on the two armies and their commanders. The brief biography of Varus was particularly interesting, making it clear that he was a rather more experienced and competent leader than he is often portrayed. The articles on the opposing armies are well supported by archaeological evidence,

The battle itself is well covered, with an article on the fighting itself and another on the search for the battlefield. The overall picture is completed with a look at the aftermath of the battle – the Roman quest for revenge and their eventually decision to stay west of the Rhine.

This is a good set of articles that present a well balanced view of the battle, the armies involved and its important in deciding the limits of the Roman Empire.

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The Source: Four Misrepresentations
Prelude: Bella Germaniae
Fortifications: Secrets from the soil
The Generals: Road to Destiny
The Opposing Armies: Augustan legionaries
The Opposing Armies: The legionary's equipment
The Opposing Armies: Warrior tactics
The Opposing Armies: Arming the warrior
The Battle: Arminius' masterstroke
Aftermath: After Varus
The Battlefield: Looking for Varus
The Battlefield: In Varus' footsteps

Pages: 74
Publisher: Ancient Warfare Magazine
Year: 2009

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