Chronology of warfare between the Romans and Germanic tribes

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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 was one of many factors which led to the ultimate downfall of the Western Roman Empire.

List of campaigns[edit]


2nd century BC[edit]

The Defeat of the Cimbri by Alexandre Gabriel Décamps

1st century BC[edit]

Vercingetorix Throws Down His Arms at the Feet of Julius Caesar by Lionel Noel Royer, 1899

1st century[edit]

The Varus battle by Otto Albert Koch, 1909
Campaigns of Tiberius and Germanicus in the years 10/11-13 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

2nd century[edit]

3rd century[edit]

  • 213–214, Emperor Caracalla's successful campaign against the Alamanni, fortifications of Raetia and Germania Superior strengthened.[49]
  • 235–284, Crisis of the Third Century.
  • The area (Agri Decumates) between Main and Rhine was evacuated in 259 AD, dozens of Roman camps were abandoned.

    4th century[edit]

    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.
    Empire of the Huns, pushing the Germanic tribes over the Limes into the Roman Empire.

    5th century[edit]

    For the timeline of events in Britannia after its abandonment by Emperor Valentinian III, see Timeline of conflict in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

    Kingdom of the Vandals (yellow) and their allies the Sarmatian Alans before the Invasion of Roman Africa, c. 418
    During his four-year reign Majorian reconquered most of Hispania and southern Gaul, meanwhile reducing the Visigoths, Burgundians and Suevi to federate status.
    Europe in the late 5th century (476–486).

    6th century[edit]

    Kingdom of the Visigoths (orange), Kingdom of the Suebi (green), Kingdom of the Burgundians, Kingdom of the Franks (purple), Kingdom of the Vandals (yellow), c. 490.
    The Byzantine Empire at the End of the Antiquity in 555 AD.
    • 585 king Autari, led the Byzantines to ask, for the first time since the Lombards had entered Italy, for a truce. The territories which remained under Byzantine control were called "Romania" (today's Italian region of Romagna) in northeastern Italy and had its stronghold in the Exarchate of Ravenna, including Rome.

    8th century[edit]

    • 751 The Lombards conquest Ravenna, but Pope Stephen II controlled the territories of Rome, Sicily, Sardinia and others.
    • 751–756 Just when it seemed Aistulf was able to defeat all opposition on Italian soil, Pepin the Short, the old enemy of the usurpers of Liutprand's family, finally managed to overthrow the Merovingian dynasty in Gaul, deposing Childeric III and becoming king de jure as well as de facto. The support Pepin enjoyed from the papacy was decisive. Because of the threat this move represented for the new king of the Franks, an agreement between Pepin and Stephen II settled, in exchange for the formal royal anointing, the descent of the Franks in Italy.
    • In 754, the Lombard army, deployed in defence of the Locks in Val di Susa, was defeated by the Franks. Aistulf, perched in Pavia, had to accept a treaty that required the delivery of hostages and territorial concessions, but two years later resumed the war against the pope, who in turn called on the Franks. Defeated again, Aistulf had to accept much harsher conditions: Ravenna was returned not to the Byzantines, but to the pope, increasing the core area of the Patrimony of St. Peter; Aistulf had to accept a sort of Frankish protectorate, the loss of territorial continuity of his domains, and payment of substantial compensation. The duchies of Spoleto and Benevento were quick to ally themselves with the victors. Aistulf died in 756, shortly after this severe humiliation.
    • In 772 CE The Roman pope Adrian I, of the opposite party of Desiderius, reversed the delicate game of alliances, demanding the surrender of the area never ceded by Desiderius and thus causing him to resume the war against the cities of Romagna.[109] Charlemagne, though he had just begun his campaign against the Saxons, came to the aid of the pope. He feared the capture of Rome by the Lombards and the consequent loss of prestige that would follow.
    • Between 773 and 774 Charlemagne invaded Italy. Once again the defence of the Locks was ineffective, the fault of the divisions among the Lombards.[109] Charlemagne, having prevailed against a tough resistance, captured the capital of the kingdom, Pavia. Charles then called himself Gratia Dei rex Francorum et Langobardorum ("By the grace of God king of the Franks and the Lombards"), realizing a personal union of the two kingdoms. Thus ended the Lombard Kingdom in Latin Italy, led by the Roman Pope Adrian I.

    See also[edit]


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    Further reading[edit]