Romans conquer Germania

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Romans conquer Germania

Post by Wend on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:23 am

What would have happen if Romans conquered Germania? Let's say that the new Roman borders would be: Cimbrian peninsula in the North, Vistula river on the east, and Danube.

Would the Roman Empire be able to survive, or would it collapse even faster? How would the new Germano-Roman culture look like?

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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by TrueCommunistDoggo on Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:22 am

It could go either way but I think the empire would just collapse faster due to the fact that it would just be spreading the Roman ranks thinner than they already were putting them in an even weaker situation. However, I'm not very knowledgeable about the Romans at the end of their power in Europe so feel free to disagree with me.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Nishanth128 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:42 pm

TrueCommunistDoggo wrote:It could go either way but I think the empire would just collapse faster due to the fact that it would just be spreading the Roman ranks thinner than they already were putting them in an even weaker situation. However, I'm not very knowledgeable about the Romans at the end of their power in Europe so feel free to disagree with me.  
I'd agree with you. The decisive blows for the Empire came because the Germans understood the Roman military strategies much better after Rome allowed a few of them into their ranks. They didn't let the Germanic tribe leaders climb the ladder that much though. That was one of the reasons for Alaric sacking Rome. He was part of the Roman army but was not treated as one. He was different. His people were not treated well. I don't think this treatment of the Germanic tribes would change if they outright conquered them. But in order to maintain that land, they would also have to start taking in more soldiers from there. In the end, it all plays out the same way, except at a different time. It was inevitable, given how the Romans treated them and how much they had on their plates.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Sol Invictus XVI on Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:00 pm

I disagree to an extent. One of the problems with Germania was that the Romans had a long border to guard against a hostile enemy who didn't want them on their border. If Germania was subdued the border would have been much smaller so the Romans could concentrate their forces better. That idea was the motivation behind the Romans advancing from Hadrian's Wall to Antonine Wall briefly in Britannia because Antonine Wall was on a more narrow bottleneck than Hadrian's Wall was. Also to mention was that Germania would have been brought under direct Roman rule which might have brought Romanizing measures in the same way that Romans Romanized Britannia, Hispania, and Gaul. We could be looking at a Germany which a much more Latinized German language with the possibility of German being in the same Romance language group as Italian, French, and Spanish. This would have also drastically changed English as well because English was heavily influenced by both Germanic and Romance languages
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:55 am

If they held Germany they could keep expanding east with easy border patrols due to how rivers are in Europe. The main thing would be how they'd incorporate Germania.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by djrdan6 on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:07 pm

EmperorTigerstar wrote:If they held Germany they could keep expanding east with easy border patrols due to how rivers are in Europe. The main thing would be how they'd incorporate Germania.

Agreed. Also, when groups invaded the empire, it would have given the Romans an option of falling back to the Danube/Rhine to regroup. This means they may have been able to absorb the blow and potentially even push back.

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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Heraclius Augustus on Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:31 pm

My question is, how would they be able to conquer Germania in the first place? Even if they win the Battle of Teutobourg Forest their chances are pretty slim. There's a reason the Romans never tried invading Germania Magna after Augustus and that's because of the terrain. Roman battle tactics are not well suited for the dense forests of Germania and the Germans could easily exploit ambush and guerilla tactics as they're more familiar with the land.

On top of that the land isn't very economically productive and would just be a giant white elephant in the Roman economy. It's not close to any important trade routes, doesn't have any resources the Romans didn't already have and infrastructure/communication would be costly due to the terrain as mentioned.

Germania Magna seems like more of a burden than a net-gain for Rome to hold onto, even if I suspend my disbelief and imagine all the factors going against them somehow worked out.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:37 pm

Believe it or not, National Geographic did a huge article on this very question a few years ago... within the past 5 years since I got that issue at my new house. I might look it up some time and present what they said.

Basically, Germania wasn't that indomitable. The population was small compared to that of the Empire. A lot of Germania was sliced off, a piece at a time, and incorporated into the Empire.

A huge point I never knew about was that the Romans tended to position their borders not so much for defense, as for generating revenue. Look at Cologne, Germany. Under the Romans it was a huge and prosperous city because it was the gateway for the major trade route across the North European Plain. This was by design. The Romans would not allow goods in or out without payment of tariffs. These tariffs were not a primitive form of protectionism (the Romans knew how to do that too), but calculated to maximize revenue. Ultimately, this was the purpose of the Roman frontier in Germania, to generate revenue for the Empire.

I was shocked to learn about this, and yet it makes sense. I'm not 100% sure National Geographic got it right, but they had all sorts of archaeological evidence from as far away as Mesopotamia.

But, it is true that up until Teutoburg Forest the Romans, at least Augustus, intended to annex Germania Magna. National Geographic speculated that if they had succeeded it might have so altered the cultural landscape of Europe that the World Wars might have been avoided altogether, and that a United Europe may have emerged long ago.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Cold War Communist on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:00 pm

It probably comes down a bit faster. My reasoning is that the underlying factors that precipitated the fall of the WRE would not have been dramatically altered by adding Germania to the Empire. If anything, the internal strife of rebellious Germans would have encouraged more widespread dissent and a more rapid collapse.

Alternatively, crushing German (barbarian) dissent could have allowed the Empire to go on for a handful of years longer by feigning power. But the writing remained on the wall.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:51 am

I have to disagree with the "internal instability" argument. Rome between 375 and 475 AD was completely different than Rome between 50 BC and 200 AD. Internal instability was a hallmark of the Roman Empire; there were continual uprisings and civil wars. These things did not lead to the fall of the West until other factors came into play, factors which made the inherent instability of the system begin to spiral out of control.

Divide and Rule would have been the strategy inside Germania as it was everywhere else. I don't believe adding Germania to the Empire would have made the system fail faster any more than adding Gaul, or Greece did. In fact, I believe it would have had the opposite effect, as Germania became, gradually, a loyal region whose people came to think of themselves as Roman. Heck, most Germans wound up thinking of themselves as Roman eventually anyway! (But enough about the HRE, we're talking about the WRE... LOL!)

Internal instability only became important as a factor in the Empire's decline after centuries of it being just a part of the status quo. Don't ask me what made the difference, because I have my own pet theories on that, but they have nothing to do with the general observation that internal instability was no hindrance to the Empire's survival until some other things changed. Yes, i know it's counter-intuitive, but historically, I don't see how anyone draws any other conclusion. The Empire surfed the Wave of Chaos until it couldn't.
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Re: Romans conquer Germania

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:04 pm

Yeah I see where you’re coming from. I added in that had the Germans given the Romans any trouble, they could crush them and feign power a while longer. But then again, you never know. Them barbarians were tofu nuts to crack.
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