Roman 'disaster' that shaped Europe

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Did the Varian Disaster, which took place exactly 2,000 years ago and stunned the Roman Empire into a temporary paralysis, mark a turning point in its all-conquering mindset? Does the slaughter in the Teutoburger Forest still affect us today?

Adrian Murdoch believes it was a decisive moment in the development of the West.

The importance of the battle to modern Germany is such that the anniversary has been marked by three separate exhibitions on the battle, opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Randll Reese Besch - 10/4/2009

If the Roman empire had won at Totenburg would that have substantially changed the empire? Would the influx of Germans learning the ways of the metropolitan Romans altered their behavior in the coming centuries? Would it have strengthened Rome or weakened it or done nothing substantial too it?

Gordon badham - 10/2/2009

The Varian disaster changed Imperial policy on the Rhine and other frontiers; Augustus 'froze' the Imperial boundaries. The failure to 'Romanise' the Germanic peoples ultimately doesn't matter.

Given the systemic failure of its governance, taxation, currency and agriculture nothing could save the Western Empire. Salamis is another story.