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The Battle of Arausio - Romans and Cimbri

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Imperator Invictus View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Battle of Arausio - Romans and Cimbri
    Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 01:47
With Cannae in the discussions recently, I thought it might be fun to bring up another of the great defeats of the Roman Republic, often forgotten and rarely talked about these days.

In 105 BC, two Roman armies totaling 80 thousand Legionairres were reported to have been killed by barbarian Germanic tribes, far greater than the loss of Varus' legions.

In the 110s, the Cimbri tribe migrated south and attacked local barbarians of the region. They defeated two Roman armies dispatch to deal with the migration, until finally arriving at southern France to meet two Roman armies commanded by Caepio and Maximus. The friction and non-cooperation between the Roman commanders would doom the day. Eager for personal glory Caepio launched an all out assault against the Cimbri camp, which poorly planned, ended in a virtual slaughter of the Romans. The Cimbri then procceeded against Maximus, routing the remaining portion of the Roman forces. Livy wrote:

...according to Valerius Antias, 80,000 soldiers and 40,000 servants and camp followers were killed near Arausio. Caepio, who had caused the defeat by his rashness, was convicted; his possessions were confiscated (for the first time since king Tarquinius) and his powers abrogated.

The leader of the Cimbri did not proceed into Roman territory, and his tribe were eventually defeated after wandering through Spain, and thus this battle is sometimes forgotten. However, it was far from a minor one, for it shook the foundations of the Republic and allowed men like Marius to rise to power.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 11:47

 Wow ive never heard of this battle before, I dont understand why this so heavy a defeat is not put alongside the likes of Adrianople and Cannae as one of the worst defeats Rome ever suffered.

 A quick wiki search has given me more info on this battle, its odd that's its so ignored.

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 12:14
One should mention, that the Cimbri didn't come alone all the way from Jutland. They brought the Teutons with them, and together they beat the Romans at Arausio.

After that they went seperate ways, which turned out to be not such a good idea. The Cimbri were defeated and the whole tribe, men and mice, annihilated by Marius near Milan in 101 BC, after the Teutons had suffered the same fate in the battle of Aquae Sextiae (South of France) in 102 BC.

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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 12:21
Wow, I have never even heard of this battle. This is even greater than Teutoburg Forest or Adrianople, sad howmost historians don't talk about this battle.

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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 13:27
I have never heard of this battle either. It is amazing how the Romans were able to emerge from such losses strong as ever. Well, at least until the end of Pax Romana.
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 14:00
I think it's due to the lack of sources on this battle. Many great battles have probably been "lost" due to no documentation.

After that they went seperate ways, which turned out to be not such a good idea. The Cimbri were defeated and the whole tribe, men and mice, annihilated by Marius near Milan in 101 BC, after the Teutons had suffered the same fate in the battle of Aquae Sextiae (South of France) in 102 BC.


Yeah if the wiki map is accurate, it looks like they went in circles - talk about getting dizzy.






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  Quote Cent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 14:07
Really interesting, and thanks for sharing it with us Imperator Invictus.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 14:27
 Rome was extremely fortunate to have such a large population in Italy from which it could replace its losses, like during the Punic wars when casualties were horrendous Rome always had men to replace the fallen, even if eventually they were stretched in terms of manpower.
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