History of Germany

Rome encounters Germanic tribes
Marius as victor over the invading Cimbri. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
113 BCE Jan 1

Rome encounters Germanic tribes

Magdalensberg, Austria

According to some Roman accounts, sometime around 120–115 BCE, the Cimbri left their original lands around the North Sea due to flooding. They supposedly journeyed to the south-east and were soon joined by their neighbours and possible relatives the Teutones. Together they defeated the Scordisci, along with the Boii, many of whom apparently joined them. In 113 BCE they arrived on the Danube, in Noricum, home to the Roman-allied Taurisci. Unable to hold back these new, powerful invaders on their own, the Taurisci called on Rome for aid.

The Cimbrian or Cimbric War (113–101 BCE) was fought between the Roman Republic and the Germanic and Celtic tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons, Ambrones and Tigurini, who migrated from the Jutland peninsula into Roman controlled territory, and clashed with Rome and her allies. Rome was finally victorious, and its Germanic adversaries, who had inflicted on the Roman armies the heaviest losses that they had suffered since the Second Punic War, with victories at the battles of Arausio and Noreia, were left almost completely annihilated after Roman victories at Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae.

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Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024