In 271, Juthungi invaded Italy. They defeated Aurelian's army at the Battle of Placentia but, on their way against the defenseless Rome, they were repulsed by the imperial army at the Battle of Fano. Juthungi then asked for peace but Aurelian rejected their demand for safe passage. Trying to force way to their homelands, they headed to the north using the Via Aemilia. On the other side, Aurelian wanted a decisive victory in order to restore his damaged reputation after the loss at Placentia as well as to recover the plunder Juthungi were carrying. Therefore he went in pursuit of the invaders, waiting for the best moment to attack.
Aurelian attacked the Juthungi while they were entering the open plains near Ticinum (Pavia). He was able to destroy their entire force but a column that escaped through the Alps. However, even this remnant of the invading force was finally caught by Aurelian in Raetia and was eliminated.
For the victory, Aurelian assumed the title of honour Germanicus Maximus. His victories ended the Juthungi invasion, but the Roman citizenry were shocked by the great threat that Rome itself had faced after the loss near Placentia. In response, Aurelianus decided to build new fortifications around Rome.