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Chronology of warfare between the Romans and Germanic tribes
This is a chronology of warfare between the
Romans and various Germanic tribes between 113 BC and 596 AD. The nature of these wars varied through time between Roman conquest, Germanic uprisings and later Germanic invasions in the Roman Empire that started in the late 2nd century BC. The series of conflicts, which began in the 5th century under the Western Roman Emperor Honorius, was one of many factors which led to the ultimate downfall of the Western Roman Empire.
List of campaigns
2nd century BC
113–101 BC, Germanic Collision with the Roman Republic, Cimbrian War, Begin of Germanic Wars.
Battle of Noreia, Suicide of Consul  Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. 107 BC,
Helvetii defeat the Romans in the Battle of Agen, Consul  Lucius Cassius Longinus dies in battle, General  Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus dies in battle. (Battle against Allies of the  Cimbri) 105 BC,
Battle of Arausio, Execution of Roman General Marcus Aurelius Scaurus, Proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio and Consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus exiled. 102 BC, Consul
Gaius Marius defeats the Scirii and Teutons in the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, Capture of King Teutobod, Extermination of the Teutons, Cimbri defeat Consul Quintus Lutatius Catulus in the Adige Valley.  101 BC, Roman consuls Gaius Marius and Manius Aquillius defeat the Cimbri in the Battle of Vercellae, King  Boiorix dies in battle, Extermination of the  Cimbri. 
1st century BC
Vercingetorix Throws Down His Arms at the Feet of Julius Caesar
Lionel Noel Royer
58–51 BC, Conquest of
Celtic Gaul to the Rhine by Julius Caesar, Gallic Wars.
 58 BC,
Caesar decisively defeats the Helvetii in the Battle of the Arar and the Battle of Bibracte, Caesar decisively defeats the Suevi, led by Ariovistus, in the Battle of Vosges.   57 BC,
Battle of the Sabis. 55 BC, Caesar's intervention against
Tencteri and Usipetes, Caesar defeats a Germanic army then massacres the women and children, totalling 430,000 people, somewhere near the Meuse and Rhine rivers, Caesar's first crossing of the Rhine against the Suevi, Caesar's invasions of Britain. 54 BCE, Destruction of the legion
Legio XIV Gemina by the Eburones led by Cativolcus and Ambiorix,   Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta dies in battle, Quintus Titurius Sabinus dies in battle. 53 BC,
Caesar's retaliation against the Eburones second crossing of the Rhine, Extermination of the Eburones. 52 BC, Fall of Celtic Gaul, Gaul becomes a Roman province. 46 BC, Execution of
Vercingetorix the Celt.  30–29 BC, Rebellion of the
Morini and Treveri with aid of the Suebi crushed by proconsuls Gaius Carrinas and Gaius Cornelius Gallus.  20 BC,
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Construction of military roads and especially the military road Lugdunum-- Divodurum-- Treverorum-- Agrippinensium (from Lyon to Cologne). 16 BC,
, clades Lolliana Destruction of the legion  Legio V Alaudae by Sicambri and their allies, Fall of the Kingdom of Noricum. 16–13 BC, Emperor Augustus on the
Rhine, Reorganization of the Three Gauls (capital Trier), Decision to fortify the left bank of the Rhine and conquest of Germania to the Elbe, Rome pays tribute to the Frisii, Begin of invasions east of the Rhine by Rome, Construction of the modern city of Mainz begins. 12–9 BC,
Invasions of Drusus I up the Elbe from the North Sea, the Lippe and Main, Battle of the Lupia River, Cherusci, Marsi and Sicambri subdued,  Chatti, Mattiaci, Tencteri and Usipetes are overrun, Frisii and other the Germans along the lower Rhine defeated,  Canal of Drusus constructed, Establishment of new forts by Rome of  Haltern am See, Xanten, Haltern, Oberaden, Holsterhausen, Anreppen and Beckinghausen.  9 BC, Creation of
Magna Germania (capital Cologne), Pacification campaigns against the Germanic tribes by the Roman Empire, Marcomanni defeated and forced to flee into the territory of the Boii.  8-7 BC, Construction of military forts on both sides of the
Weser, Deportation of 40,000 Sicambri and Suebi west of the Rhine.    6–2 BC, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus leads a Roman army across the Elbe. Construction of military roads, called the pontes longi, amid the vast swamps between the Rhine and the Ems.  Hermunduri subdued and forced to flee into the territory of the Marcomanni. 
The Varus battle by Otto Albert Koch, 1909
1–4 AD, Rise of the
Chatti  and  Bructeri ( immensum bellum) suppressed by  Tiberius, who reaches the Elbe. Canninefates, Chattuarii, Cherusci are again subdued. Lombards, Semnones, Chauci and other tribes who dwelt on both sides of the Elbe are subjugated.  5, The Roman navy reaches the
Cimbrian peninsula for the first time. Cimbri, Charudes, Semnones and other Germanic tribes who inhabit the region declare themselves friends of the Roman people.   6–9,
Uprising in Illyricum, which cancels the major Roman project of war against Suevic Marcomanni. Romans forced to move eight of eleven legions present in Magna Germania to crush the rebellion in the Balkans and Pannonia.  6,
Varus succeeds Saturninus as governor of Germania with the mission of peacekeeping and the implementation of tax and judicial administration. 9,
, Destruction of the legions clades Variana XVII, XVIII and XIX by Arminius in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Suicide of Administrator Varus, Loss of military camps east of the Rhine.,   Roman Empire is forced to strategically withdraw from  Germania. Pro-Roman Germanic coalition led by Maroboduus and Segestes turns against Arminius. The resistance of the Roman garrison of Aliso and the arrival of Roman reinforcements on the Rhine prevent Arminius from invading  Gaul.  10–13, Military command of Tiberius in Germania and interventions in the valley of the Lippe, replaced by
Germanicus, Construction of begins. Limes Germanicus 14, Mutiny of the legions of Germania.
14–16, Roman retaliation against Cherusci, Chatti, Bructeri and Marsi, capture of Thusnelda, recovery of two legionary standards lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
Campaigns of Tiberius and Germanicus in the years
CE. In pink the anti-Roman Germanic coalition led by Arminius. In dark green, territories still directly held by the Romans, in yellow the Roman client states
17, Cessation of military offensives east of the
Rhine by Tiberius, Civil war between pro-Roman and anti-Roman Germanic tribes ends in a stalemate.   19, Death of
Germanicus. 21, Assassination of
Arminius. 28, Revolt of the
Frisii, Tax collectors hanged, Romans defeated in the Battle of Baduhenna Wood. 41, Raid against the
Chauci under Emperor Claudius, Recovery of third legionary standard lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. 47,
Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo crosses the Rhine, defeats the Frisii and Chauci and occupies their territory.   50, Raid against the
Chatti under Emperor Claudius, Liberation of Roman prisoners.  54, Under Emperor
Nero, Frisian raid repulsed.  69–70,
Revolt of the Batavi, Destruction of 2 Roman legions by the Batavi, Rebellion crushed by Quintus Petillius Cerialis.  72, Under Emperor
Vespasian, Romans occupy and settle the Agri Decumates. 82–83,
Campaign against the Chatti under Emperor Domitian, Roman armies conquer the territory of Chatti with the help of Mattiaci, Hermunduri and Cherusci, Triboci and Nemetes subdued, Establishment of new Roman forts of Ladenburg, Neuenheim, Ladenburg, Sulz, Geislingen, Rottenburg an der Laaber, Burladingen, Gomadingen, Donnstetten, Urspring, Günzburg.     89, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax revolt against Rome with aid of the Chatti. 
3rd century 213–214, Emperor
Caracalla's successful campaign against the Alamanni, fortifications of Raetia and Germania Superior strengthened.  235–284,
Crisis of the Third Century.
Battle at the Harzhorn. 238, Gothic raid on
Istria,  248–249, Raid in
Marcianopolis by Goths.  250, Roman victory at the
Battle of Nicopolis ad Istrum. Gothic victory at the Battle of Beroe. Siege and sack of Philippopolis by Goths led by Cniva.  251, Three Roman legions defeated by Goths at the
Battle of Abritus, Emperor Decius dies in battle, Co-Emperor Herennius Etruscus dies in battle. 254, successful Graeco-Roman defense of Thessalonica at the
Siege of Thessalonica. Successful Graeco-Roman defense of Achaea at the Battle of Thermopylae. 259, 300,000 Alemanni die in the Battle of Mediolanum (Milan).
259–260, Evacuation of the agrarian area
Agri Decumates by the Roman Empire, Roman Empire retreats behind the Rhine. 260–274, Usurper
Postumus, of possible Batavian origin, declares himself Emperor of the  Gallic Empire including Roman Gaul, Roman Britain, Roman Spain and Germania. He assumed the title Germanicus Maximus after successfully campaigning against Franks and Alamanni.  c. 267–269,
Invasion of the Goths, Gothic attacks on Marcianopolis and Chrysopolis, Sack of Byzantium. 268, Siege of Mainz,
Battle of Lake Benacus, assassination of Gallic Emperor Postumus. 269,
Battle of Naissus, end of Gothic Invasion.  271,
Battle of Placentia, Battle of Fano, Battle of Pavia, Destruction of Alemannic army, Emperor Aurelian repelled another Gothic invasion but abandoned the province of Dacia north of Danube forever, Construction of the  Aurelian Wall begins. 277–278, Emperor Probus's successful campaigns against Goths, Alamanni, Longiones, Franks and Burgundians.  286, Campaign against the Alamanni, Burgundians,
Heruli and Chaibones under Emperor Maximian. 287-288,
Salian Franks, Chamavi and Frisii surrender and become subjects of the Roman Empire. Maximian move them to Germania Inferior to provide manpower and prevent the settlement of other Germanic tribes.   292,
Constantius defeat the Franks who had settled at the mouth of the Rhineand and deport them to the nearby region of Toxandria providing a buffer along the northern Rhine and reducing his need to garrison the region.  296,
Frisians deported into Roman territory as laeti.  298,
Battle of Lingones. 298, Battle of Vindonissa.
Constantine the Great drives the Franks back beyond the Rhine and captures two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The prisoners are fed to the beasts of Trier's amphitheater in the (arrival) celebrations that followed. adventus Constantine crosses the Rhine in 308 and 310, devastating the lands of the Franks and the Bructeri.   332, Roman invasion north of the Danube under Emperor Constantine the Great. Capture of Gothic Prince Ariaricus. Nearly one hundred thousand Goths die before submitting to Rome.
      306-337, After
thirty years of military campaigns Constantine regains control over a good part of the territories which had been abandoned by Gallienus and Aurelian. This included the Agri decumates from the Alemanni, the plain south of the Tisza ( Banat) from the Sarmatians and Oltenia & Wallachia from the Goths.    c. 350, Infiltration of
Germania Inferior by Franks. 354–355, Roman double victory over
Alamanni under Emperor Constantius II.   356, Recapture of Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) by Julian the Apostate, Siege of Senonae by Alamanni, Siege of Autun by Alemanni, Battle of Reims, Battle of Brumath.
The northern and eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire in the time of Constantine, with the territories acquired in the course of the thirty years of military campaigns between 306 and 337.
357, Roman invasion of Alemannic territory led by general
Barbatio and Emperor Julian the Apostate, Attack of Lugdunum (Lyon) by Laeti, End of coordinated operation against the Alemanni, Battle of Argentoratum, Capture of Alemannic King Chnodomarius, Emperor Julian crosses the Rhine at Moguntiacum and forces three Alamannic kingdoms to submit, Franks expelled from the basin of the Meuse.  358, Raid in the province of
Raetia by Alemannic Juthungi, Destruction of Castra Regina (Regensburg) by Alemanni, Emperor Julian forces the Salian Franks into submission and expel the Chamavi back to Hamaland. 359, Execution of Roman General
Barbatio, Recapture of Moguntiacum by Julian the Apostate, Emperor Constantius II crosses the Danube at Brigetio ( Komárom) and devastates the Quadian lands.  365–366, Invasion of
Roman Gaul by Alemanni, Alemanni pushed out of Roman Gaul. 367, Sack of
Moguntiacum by Alemanni, Battle of Solicinium, Roman army led by Eastern Emperor Valens defeats Gothic Greuthungi and captures their king Ermanaric.  367–368,
Great Barbarian Conspiracy against Roman Britain and Roman Gaul by Saxons and Franks, Death of Nectaridus. 367–369, Attack on
Gothic Thervingi under Eastern Emperor Valens.   368, Invasion of Alemannic territory under Emperor
Valentinian the Great, Crossing of the Rhine by the Roman Empire. 369, Destruction of a
fortress near Heidelberg by Alemanni. 370, Invasion of
Roman Gaul by Saxons, Death of all invading Saxons, Invasion of Alemannic territory by Valentinian the Great, Rome captures thousands of Alemannic Bucinobantes, Deposition of Alemannic King Macrian, Hunnic raids on Gothic Greuthungi.       374, Assassination of Quadic King
Gabinius, Invasion of former Illyricum by Quadi and Sarmatians. 375, Pillaging of Quadi lands by the Roman Empire, Western Emperor Valentinian the Great dies during peace negotiations.
Invasion of the Huns, Hunnic war against Visigoths and Ostrogoths, Suicide of Gothic King Ermanaric, Gothic King Vithimer dies in battle.   376–382, Hunnic raids on Gothic
Thervingi ( Visigoths),       Gothic War,       Plundering and destruction throughout the Balkans by Goths.
 377–378, Invasion of
Thrace and Moesia by Gothic Greuthungi led by chieftain Alatheus. 378, Invasion of
Alsace by Alemanni, Battle of Argentovaria, Extermination of Alemannic Lentienses, Alemannic King Priarius dies in battle. 380,
Battle of Thessalonica, Death of Gothic chieftain Fritigern, Begin of naval raids by Saxons, Begin of the Migration of the Saxons. 382, Peace between Rome and the Goths, Large Gothic contingents of
Thervingi, Taifali and Victohali settle along the southern Danube frontier in the province of Thrace. 383, Failed raid in the province of
Raetia by Alemannic Juthungi. 387, Failed Invasion of
Thrace and Moesia by Gothic Greuthungi led by chieftain Alatheus, Greuthungi chieftain Alatheus dies in battle. 390,
Massacre of Thessalonica. 392, Emperor
Valentinian II is hanged, Frankish General Arbogast names Eugenius to be Western Emperor. 394, 20,000 Gothic mercenaries support Eastern Emperor
Theodosius the Great in the Battle of the Frigidus, Suicide of Frankish General Arbogast, Execution of puppet Western Emperor Eugenius. 395, Assassination of Consul Rufinus by Gothic mercenaries.
For the timeline of events in Britannia after its abandonment by Emperor Valentinian III, see
Timeline of conflict in Anglo-Saxon Britain.
401–402, Raid in
Raetia by Vandals. 401–403, Invasion of Italy by
Visigoths under Alaric I, Gothic War.
405–406, Siege of
Florentina,  Battle of Faesulae, Execution of Gothic King  Radagaisus, 12,000 Gothic higher-status fighters are drafted into the Roman army.    406, War between
Frankish federates and Vandals, Battle of Moguntiacum, Vandal King Godigisel dies in battle, Alans under King Respendial rescue the Vandals, Invasion of Gaul by Vandals, Suebi, Burgundians and Alans, Fall of Roman Gaul. 408, Failed invasion of Moesia by Huns and Germanic mercenaries led by Uldin the Hun, Capture of thousands of Germanic mercenaries, Execution of Roman General Stilicho, Slaughter of wives and children of barbarian , Siege of Rome by Visigoths, Attacks on foederati Roman Britain by Saxons.
409, 2nd Siege of Rome by Visigoths, Invasion of
Roman Spain by Vandals, Suebi ( Marcomanni, Quadi, Buri) and Alans. 410,
Sack of Rome by Visigoths, Begin of attacks on Vandals by Visigoths, Begin of Barbarian raids by Picts, Scoti and Irish Celts, End of Roman rule in Britain, . Suevi establish a Kingdom in Galicia 411,
Jovinus declares himself Western Roman Emperor with aid of the Burgundians, Franks and Alans, Burgundians establish a Kingdom left of the Rhine under King Gundahar. 413, Capture of
Narbonne and Toulouse by Visigoths led by King Ataulf, Usurper Jovinus is executed, Sack of Trier by Franks. 421, Sack of
Trier by Franks. 422, Capture and Execution of Frankish King
Theudemeres by Romans, Attack on Vandals by Romans. 426–436, Campaigns against the
Visigoths in southern Gaul under Western Emperor Valentinian III, Battle of Narbonne, Capture of Visigothic chieftain Anaolsus. 428, Invasion of Northern Gaul by
Salian Franks led by King Chlodio. 428–431, Failed Roman campaigns against Salian Franks, Alemannic Juthungi on the Rhine and Danube, Germanus of Auxerre leads Romano-Britons to a victory against Saxon raiders. 
During his four-year reign Majorian reconquered most of Hispania and southern Gaul, meanwhile reducing the Visigoths, Burgundians and Suevi to federate status.
429–439, Invasion of
Africa by Vandals led by Vandal King Genseric, Siege of Hippo Regius, Capture of Carthage by Vandals, Capture of Roman navy by Vandals, Pillaging of Sicily, Begin of pirate raids by Vandals. 431, Invasion to the
Somme River by Salian Franks. 436–437, Invasion of
Burgundian Rhineland by Hun mercenaries controlled by Rome, Burgundian King Gundahar dies in battle. c. 443, Britain plunges into civil war,
Groans of the Britons, Britain is abandoned by Western Emperor Valentinian III. 448, Defeat of the
Salian Franks in the Battle of Vicus Helena by Roman General Aëtius, Frankish King Chlodio dies in battle. 451, Invasion of
Gaul by the Huns with Frankish, Gothic and Burgundian mercenaries led by Attila the Hun, Sack of Trier, Attack on Metz, Siege of Orléans, Coalition of Romans, Franks and Visigoths led by General Aëtius stop the Huns in the Battle of Châlons, Visigothic King Theodoric I dies in battle. 452, Invasion of northern Italy under
Attila the Hun: Sack of Aquileia, Vicetia, Verona, Brixia, Bergamum and Milan. 453, Hunnic and Germanic attacks on
Constantinople, Attila the Hun dies during heavy drinking. 454, Assassination of Roman General
Aëtius, Gepids establish a kingdom in Pannonia. 455,
Sack of Rome by Vandals, Capture of Empress Licinia Eudoxia by Vandals. 456,
Visigoths defeat the Suebic Kingdom of Galicia in the Battle of Órbigo. 458, Emperor Majorian leads the Roman army to a victory over the Vandals near Sinuessa, Roman victory over the  Visigoths in southern Gaul in the Battle of Arelate.
Europe in the late 5th century (476-486).
459, Seizure of
Trier by Franks, Roman reconquest of southern Gaul and most of Hispania under Emperor Majorian. 460, Roman victory over the Suebi at
Lucus Augusti, Roman fleet is destroyed by traitors paid by the Vandals, Attack on the kingdom of the Vandals cancelled. 461, Seventeen Vandal ships destroy forty Roman ships in
a surprise attack. 463,
Battle of Orleans. 465,
Ostrogothic King Valamir dies in battle. 468, Invasion of the
Vandal Kingdom by the Byzantine Empire, Defeat of the Byzantine Empire by the Vandals in the Battle of Cape Bon. 469,
Ostrogoths decisively defeat an alliance of pro-Roman Germanic forces in the Battle of Bolia, Fall of the  Hunnic Empire, Visigoths thwarted an attack by an alliance of Bretons and Romans in the Battle of Déols. 472, Revolt in
Thrace by Ostrogoths led by chieftain Theodoric Strabo. 476, Revolt of
Heruli, Scirii and Turcilingi mercenaries, Battle of Ravenna, Germanic Heruli chieftain Odoacer becomes King of Italy, Deposition of Romulus Augustulus, the last de facto Western Roman Emperor, Fall of the Western Roman Empire. 480, Assassination of
Julius Nepos, the last de jure Western Roman Emperor. 486,
Franks under Merovingian King Clovis I defeat the Kingdom of Soissons in the Battle of Soissons, Fall of the Kingdom of Soissons. 489, Theodoric the Great defeats Odoacer in the Battle of Isonzo, Battle of Verona.
526, Raid against Gothic
Gepidae by Byzantine General Belisarius. 533–534, Invasion of
North Africa by the Byzantine Empire, Vandalic War.
535–554, Invasion of Italy by the Byzantine Empire,  Ostrogothic War.
535, Capture of Sicily by Byzantine General
Belisarius. 536, Capture of
Naples and Rome by Byzantine General Belisarius. 537–538,
Siege of Rome by Ostrogoths. 540, Capture of
Mediolanum and the Ostrogothic capital Ravenna by Byzantine General Belisarius, Capture of Ostrogothic King Witiges. 541–542,
Bubonic plague wipes out most of the farming community of the former Roman Empire and leaving dead an estimated 25 million people across the world, Begin of territorial decline until the 9th century. 541–544, Recapture of Northern Italy by
Sack of Rome by Ostrogoths. c. 548, Recapture of Rome by the
Byzantine Empire. 549–550,
Siege and Capture of Rome by Ostrogoths. 551,
Battle of Sena Gallica, Capture of Ostrogothic chieftain Gibal, Demoralization of Gothic army. 552, Byzantine Empire with aid of the
Heruli and Lombards defeat the Ostrogoths in the Battle of Taginae, Ostrogothic King Totila dies on the run, Defeat of Gothic Gepids in the Battle of Asfeld against Lombards (Longbeards), Gepid King Thurisind dies in battle. 552–553, Capture of Rome and Siege of Cumae by Byzantine General Narses, Battle of Mons Lactarius, Ostrogothic king Teia dies in battle, Fall of the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
552, Justinian sends a force of 2,000 men, led by
Liberius, against the Visigoths in Hispania. Conquest of Cartagena and other cities on the southeastern coast and foundation of the new province of Spania.  554, Byzantine General
Narses defeats the Franks and Alemanni in the Battle of the Volturnus.  c. 558–561, Failed Uprising of the Ostrogoth
Widin.  567,
Lombards decisively defeat the Gepids, Gepid King Cunimund dies in battle, Fall of the Kingdom of the Gepidae. 568–c. 572, Invasion of Italy by a confederation of Lombards, Bavarians, Gepids, Suebi, Heruls, Thuringians, Saxons, Ostrogoths and Rugii. Longbeards (Lombards) establish kingdoms in Northern Italy (  Langobardia Major) and in Southern Italy ( Langobardia Minor).
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