Coincraft's 'Telling History with Money' - The Battle of Teutoburg Forest

The battle of Teutoburg Forest took place during the Autumn of A.D. 9, and it pitted three Roman Legions against the Barbarian tribes of Germany. The Germanic leader, Arminius, organised a series of ambushes on a column of three Roman legions headed by Publius Quinctilius Varus.

The story of Arminius is a curious one, he was taken as a hostage by the Romans while still a child, and at an early age was drafted into the Roman military. He later became a citizen of Rome and a Roman Knight, an Eques. Arminius was instrumental in the defeat of the Roman Empire at the hands of the Germanic tribes, as he originally was sent to aid Varus, but instead secretly plotted the Germanic revolt.

Augustus Denerius

Diameter: 19.80 mm approx.

This Augustus silver Denarius is toned a wonderful red from an old velvet coin case. This was made around the time of the disaster.

According to the Roman historian Suetonius in The Twelve Caesars the Emperor Augustus, upon hearing of the defeat, was so shocked that he stood hitting his head against the walls of his palace, repeatedly shouting:

Quintili Vare, legiones redde! ("Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!" Though some people translate Legion as Eagle).

This battle halted the period of triumphant Roman expansion under Augustus. His stepson Tiberius (later emperor himself) took the Legions II Augusta, XX Valeria Victrix, and XIII Gemina to the Rhine to replace the lost legions. He campaigned in Germany from A.D. 10-12 for vengeance rather than conquest.

Tiberisu Denarisu

Diameter: 25.00 mm approx.

This Tiberius bronze As is in a superior grade for these types and is from the rare altar of Lugdunum series. It was made just after Tiberius exacted vengeance

Many historians consider Arminius' victory as one of the biggest defeats ever inflicted on the mighty Roman Empire. According to them, it prevented the Romanization of the Germanic tribes east of the Rhine. For this reason, many also consider this battle a turning point in history.

If you would like to start a roman coin collection, but don't know where to begin, our Roman Emperors Starter Collection provides a good starting point - I hope you like it.

If you have a minute, have a look at my most recent ancient coin picks. I think it's also worth pointing out that I only have one of each coin available...

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