Ghost of Teutoburg Forest massacre emerges after 2,000 years: Armour of Roman legionary who was ‘sacrificed’ by Germanic tribesmen and ‘cooked in a pot’ is found at site of battle where 20,000 soldiers from three legions where wiped out in 9 AD
- Archaeologists working in Kalkriese, Germany, have found a Roman cuirass
- It is believed to be the oldest and most complete find of its kind ever made
- The armour belonged to a soldier involved in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
A near-complete set of Roman armour has been discovered by archaeologists working in Germany.
Experts working at Kalkriese, Germany, unearthed an entire cuirass belonging to a Roman soldier who belonged to one of three legions wiped out by Germanic tribesmen in 9 AD.
A cuirass is a piece of armour that protects the front and back of the torso made up of a breast and back plate.
A near-complete set of Roman armour (pictured) has been discovered by archaeologists working in Kalkriese, Germany
The archaeological discovery is believed to be the oldest and most complete of its kind ever made
The armour dates back to 9AD and is believed to have belonged to a Roman soldier involved in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Full set: The complete Roman cuirass discovered in Germany by archaeologists
A cuirass is a piece of armour that protects the front and back of the torso made up of a breast and back plate
The Times reports that the director of the museum at Kalkriese, Stefan Burmeister, thinks the armour belonged to a Roman soldier who was sacrificed by German warriors after the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
He told the paper that the new find – which is the oldest and most complete Roman armour find ever – is both unique and tragic.
Near to the soldier’s shoulders a shrew’s fiddle was found which was used to lock a person’s wrists in an iron board around the neck.
Given the value of the Roman armour, experts were left wondering why the Germanic warriors didn’t loot any trophies, but Burmeister explained that the execution of the soldier may have been a sacred ritual.
He said: ‘Maybe we have a ritual context to the situation here. In that case the body and equipment would have been taboo.’
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest saw almost 15,000 Roman soldiers slaughtered at the hands of Germanic soldiers and is considered to be one of the two great military defeats in the Empire’s history.
As they travelled through the thick forest towards a winter fort, they were subjected to small hit-and-run attacks by Arminius, a warlord from the Cherusci tribe.
The Romans had been under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus, a general under the emperor Augustus when they were defeated.
Experts examining the discovery believe that the craftmanship is better than previously thought and that it showed how Roman design changed over the centuries.
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is one of the two great military humiliations in the glittered history of the Roman Empire.
15,000 Roman soldiers and their commanders, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus, a general under the emperor Augustus, were destroyed by Germanic warriors in a series of guerrilla-style attacks.
The soldiers were making their way through the Teutoburg Forest towards a winter fort when they were attacked by warriors led by Arminius, a warlord from the Cherusci tribe who would later be known as Herman.
Three Roman legions were completely destroyed and the few soldiers that survived the attacks were then enslaved by the Germanic warriors.
The Roman soldiers, who had stretched themselves too thinly, attempted to break away from the Germanic soldiers multiple times but fell into traps set by Arminius on each occasion.
Following the defeat of the Romans, the Germanic warriors attempted to sweep the Roman presence out of areas East of the Rhine.
The battle sparked a seven-year war which ended up deciding on the boundary of the Empire for the following 400 years.
15,000 Roman soldiers under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus were set upon in a series of guerrilla-style attacks launched by Arminius, a warlord from the Cherusci tribe who would later be known as Herman (pictured)
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