The Forgotten Roman Battle at Harzhorn Hill
A Spectacular Archaeological Discovery
Winter 234/235: Emperor Alexander Severus is eating breakfast in his grand tent in Mainz when a troop of soldiers storm in and slaughter him. The person behind the coup is the Roman officer Maximinus Thrax. The new imperial leader – the first in the long line of the so-called soldier emperors – sets out on a military campaign to the east.
There it comes down to a large battle against Germanic alliances. When almost 1700 years later traces of this battle are discovered, it will go down in history as the Battle of Harzhorn. Günther Moosbauer tells the story of the Germanic Wars since the 2nd century AD in order to provide historical context leading up to the events at Harzhorn. He also illuminates just how much the geostrategic relations and pressures affected the Roman defense system along its borders, because troops had to be repeatedly moved from there to the southeast of Europe or the Middle East. In the long run, the Empire could not survive this overstretching of its powers. Thus, the Battle of the Harzhorn serves as a prelude to the epic decline of the Western Roman Empire.
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