The Ancient Battles Of The Battle In Toutenburg

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Ancient battles can make for dramatic, interesting parts of history. Archeologists expend countless resources finding the locations of these battles, excavating the remains, and validating the stories. For example, Herodotus tells of the Battle of Marathon where 192 hoplites died and were buried in a mound still visible today. When archeologists investigated the mound , they found 192 skeletons. Archeology is rarely this easy, as seen when looking into the history of the Battle in Toutenburg between Publius Quinctilius Varus and Arminius, a Germanic warrior. Even though the battle took place thousands of years ago, archeologists failed to come to an agreement on its location until 1987. Primary sources are one of the most reliable …show more content…
The concern among historians is not one of the sources was present at the battle. In an article by Jonna Lendering, she discusses the four authors, giving some insight and background to their versions. Velleius Paterculus, an officer in the Roman army, wrote an account but his relationship with Tiberius, the future leader, may have resulted in bias. Paterculus wrote Roman History Dedicated to Marcus Vinicius 20 years after the battle and allegedly talked to survivors. Cornelius Tacitus wrote another depiction. Lendering claims he may have written a “masterpiece,” but he most likely took his descriptions of the battle from Pliny’s History of the Germanic Wars. While the facts may be true, they are third-person accounts at best. Publius Ammius Florus wrote the third account, but he inserts his own opinions. Nonetheless, he does blame Augustus for the loss, so his writings are likely not just propaganda. Cassius Dio, the youngest of the authors, wrote what Lendering claims may be the most accurate description. While not the most exciting writer, Dio took great care to use accurate sources. When looking at the creative license, lack of eye-witness accounts, and potential bias found within the writings available, it becomes clear that these primary sources may serve as a guideline but not the sole sources of

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