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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

He made an expedition into the land of the Sicambrians


The

next year, 11 B. C., he made an expedition into the land of the Sicambrians, during which his situation was often hazardous; but he succeeded in penetrating rather more than a hundred miles to the eastward of the Rhine, and establishing--not far from where the city of Paderborn now stands--a fortress called Aliso, which became a base for later operations against the German tribes. He next set about building a series of fortresses, fifty in number, along the western bank of the Rhine. Around the most important of these, towns immediately sprang up, and thus were laid the foundations of the cities of Strasburg, Mayence, Coblenz, Cologne, and many smaller places.

[Sidenote: 9 B. C.]

In the year 9 B. C. Drusus marched again into Germany. He defeated the Chatti in several bloody battles, crossed the passes of the Thuringian Forest, and forced his way through the land of the Cherusci (the Hartz region) to the Elbe. The legend says that he there encountered a German prophetess, who threatened him with coming evil, whereupon he turned about and retraced his way towards the Rhine. He died, however, during the march, and his dejected army had great difficulty in reaching the safe line of their fortresses.

Tiberius succeeded to the command left vacant by the death of his brother Drusus. Less daring, but of a more cautious and scheming nature, he began by taking possession of the land

of the Sicambrians and colonizing a part of the tribe on the west bank of the Rhine. He then gradually extended his power, and in the course of two years brought nearly the whole country between the Rhine and Weser under the rule of Rome. His successor, Domitius AEnobarbus, built military roads through Westphalia and the low, marshy plains towards the sea. These roads, which were called "long bridges," were probably made of logs, like the "corduroy" roads of our Western States, but they were of great service during the later Roman campaigns.

After the lapse of ten years, however, the subjugated tribes between the Rhine and the Weser rose in revolt. The struggle lasted for three years more, without being decided; and then Augustus sent Tiberius a second time to Germany. The latter was as successful as at first: he crushed some of the rebellious tribes, accepted the submission of others, and, supported by a fleet which reached the Elbe and ascended that river to meet him, secured, as he supposed, the sway of Rome over nearly the whole of _Germania Magna_. This was in the fifth year of the Christian Era. Of the German tribes who still remained independent, there were the Semnones, Saxons and Angles, east of the Elbe, and the Burgundians, Vandals and Goths along the shore of the Baltic, together with one powerful tribe in Bohemia. The latter, the Marcomanni, who seem to have left their original home in Baden and Wuertemberg on account of the approach of the Romans, now felt that their independence was a second time seriously threatened. Their first measure of defence, therefore, was to strengthen themselves by alliances with kindred tribes.


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