Secret History The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)]

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Name:Secret History The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)]

Total Size: 373.57 MB

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Secret History The Lost Legions of Varus

Production Company : Granada Television
Country : Great Britain
Company : Channel Four
Transmission date : 23/08/2001

This copy obtained from repeat showing on the History Channel

[img=Secret History   The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)] preview 0]

Documentary looking at the massacre of three Roman legions (numbering about twenty thousand men) in the forests of Northern Germany in 9 AD. The programme considers events leading up to the massacre and the deception and ambush that occurred and the impact it had on the Romans and Roman society.

Also considers the legacy of this event on both Roman expansionism and German nationalism.

Director : Tony BULLEY
Executive Producer : Bill LYONS
Narrator : Jim Carter

Dr. Frank Berger
Major Tony Clunn
Birgit Grosskopf
Professor Malcolm Todd
Professor Siegmar von Schnurbein
Dr. Susanne Wilbers-Rost
Derek Williams


Publius Quinctilius Varus 46 BC–AD 9 (Roman politician and general under emperor Augustus), is mainly remembered for having lost three Roman legions and his own life when attacked by Germanic leader Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in the year Ad 9.(probably from September 9 to September 11) when an alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius the son of Segimer of the Cherusci ambushed and destroyed three Roman legions led by Publius Quinctilius Varus.

[img=Secret History   The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)] preview 1]

The battle began a seven-year war which established the Rhine as the boundary of the Roman Empire for the next four hundred years, The Roman Empire made no further concerted attempts to conquer Germania beyond the Rhine.

While Varus was on his way from his summer camp somewhere west of the Weser river he heard reports of a local rebellion from Arminius. Varus decided to quell this uprising immediately and take a detour through territory completely unfamiliar to the Romans.

Segestes, the father of Arminius' wife, and like Arminius a Cheruscan nobleman, warned Varus allegedly even suggesting that Varus apprehend Arminius along with several Germanic leaders whom he identified as covert participants in the planned uprising.

But this warning was dismissed as the result of a personal feud. Arminius then left camp under the pretext of drumming up Germanic forces to support the Roman campaign, but instead led his troops, who must have been waiting in the vicinity, in attacks on surrounding Roman garrisons.

[img=Secret History   The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)] preview 2]

Varus's commanded three legions (Legio XVII Legio XVIII and Legio XIX), together with six cohorts of auxiliary troops (non-Roman allies) and three squadrons of cavalry. But due to the impenetrable forest just northeast of Osnabrück the Roman forces were not marching in combat formation, and were interspersed with large numbers of camp-followers. Varus also neglected to send out advance reconnaissance parties.

Arminius knew Roman tactics very well directed his troops to counter them using locally superior numbers against the spread-out Roman legions. The Romans managed to set up a fortified night camp, and the next morning broke out into the open country north of the Wiehen mountains, near the modern town of Osterkappeln.

[img=Secret History   The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)] preview 3]

The break-out cost them heavy losses, as did a further attempt to escape by marching through another forested area, with the torrential rains continuing, preventing them from using their bows, and rendering them virtually defenseless, as their shields too became waterlogged. They then undertook a night march to escape, but marched straight into another trap that Arminius had set, at the foot of Kalkriese Hill (near Osnabrück).

There, the sandy, open strip on which the Romans could march easily was constricted by the hill, so that there was a gap of only about 100 m between the woods and the swampland at the edge of the Great Bog. Moreover, the road was blocked by a trench, and, towards the forest, an earthen wall had been built along the roadside, permitting the Germanic tribesmen to attack the Romans from cover.

[img=Secret History   The Lost Legions of Varus (23rd August 2001) [TVRrip (DivX)] preview 4]

The Romans made a desperate attempt to storm the wall, but failed, and the highest-ranking officer next to Varus, Numonius Vala, abandoned the troops by riding off with the cavalry; however, he too was overtaken by the Germanic cavalry and killed,

Around 15,000–20,000 Roman soldiers must have died; not only Varus, but also many of his officers are said to have taken their own lives by falling on their swords in the approved manner.

Tacitus wrote that many officers were sacrificed by the Germanic forces as part of their indigenous religious ceremonies. However, others were ransomed, and the common soldiers appear to have been enslaved.

The victory over the legions was followed by a clean sweep of all Roman forts, garrisons and cities — of which there were at least two — east of the Rhine; the remaining two Roman legions, commanded by Varus' nephew Lucius Nonius Asprenas, were content to try to hold that river. One fort (or possibly city), Aliso, fended off the Germanic tribes for many weeks, perhaps a few months, before the garrison, which included survivors of the Teutoburg Forest, successfully broke out under their commander, Lucius Caeditius and reached the Rhine.

The Romans immediately began a slow, systematic process of preparing for the reconquest of the country.

In 14 AD just after Augustus' death and the accession of his heir and stepson Tiberius, a massive raid was conducted by the new emperor's nephew Germanicus, followed the next year by two major campaigns with a large army estimated at 70,000 men, backed by naval forces.

He was able to devastate large areas and eliminate any form of active resistance, but the majority of the Germanic tribes fled at the sight of the Roman army into remote forests. The raids were considered a success since the major goal of destroying any rebel alliance networks was completed. After initial successes, including the capture of Arminius' wife Thusnelda, the army visited the site of the first battle. According to Tacitus, they found heaps of bleached bones and severed skulls nailed to trees, which they buried, "looking on all as kinsfolk and of their own blood". Burial pits with remains fitting this description have been found at Kalkriese Hill.

In spite of doubts on the part of his uncle, Emperor Tiberius, Germanicus managed to raise another huge army and invaded Germania again the next year, in 16 AD. He forced a crossing of the Weser near modern Minden, suffering heavy losses, and then met Arminius' army at Idistoviso, further up the Weser, near modern Rinteln, in an engagement often called the Battle of the Weser River. Germanicus's leadership and command qualities were shown in full at the battle as his superior tactics and better trained and equipped legions inflicted huge casualties on the Germanic armies with only minor losses.

One final battle was fought at the Angivarian Wall west of modern Hanover, repeating the pattern of high Germanic fatalities forcing them to flee. With his main objectives reached and with winter approaching Germanicus ordered his army back to their winter camps, with the fleet occasioning some damage by a storm in the North Sea. Although only a small number of soldiers died it was still a bad ending for a brilliantly fought campaign. After a few more raids across the Rhine, which resulted in the recovery of two of the three legions' eagles lost in 9 A.D., Germanicus was recalled to Rome,

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Technical details
Name.........: Secret History – The Lost Legions of Varus
Filesize.....: 373 MB (or 382,536 KB or 391,716,864 bytes)
Runtime......: 00:47:04 (70,604 fr)
Video Codec..: DivX
Video Bitrate: 783 kb/s
Audio Codec..: 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 320 kb/s (160/ch, stereo) CBR
frame Size...: 720x576 (1.25:1) [=5:4]


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