Battle of Aquae Sextiae | Photo: John Harris Valda | Private Collection / The Stapleton Collection / The Bridgeman Art Library
Battle of Aquae Sextiae (southern France) in 102 BCE was one of the greatest and most important victories of the Roman legions. Rome had to defend itself against the invasion of two Germanic tribes: Teutons and Cimbri, who at Arausio in Gaul in 105 BCE. they caused the Romans a great defeat. According to Titus Livius, about 80,000 Romans were to die during this battle. It was one of the greatest defeats of the Roman army in history.
Rome faced a great threat to its independence. The army was headed by a new consul, experienced and blessed with great military talent Gaius Marius.
Thanks to the trap set for the Teutons’ strength (hidden cavalry), he achieved a great victory, completely destroying their armies. A total of about 100,000 Germans (out of a total of 110,000) died in the battle. Many survivors, not wanting to be enslaved in Rome, committed suicide en masse, having previously murdered their wives and offspring. The Romans lost about 900 people in the battle. In Rome, Marius made his well-deserved triumph and was hailed as the savior of the republic and the third founder of Rome (after Romulus and Camillus).
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