Drawing showing the marching camp of the Romans. Illustration in Florián de Ocampo's book from 1852.
Archaeologists have confirmed the presence of a Roman military camp in eastern Germany. An area of about 18 hectares, discovered near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia, could accommodate a Roman legion, i.e. about 5,000 people. The location of the camp in a wide valley supplemented by a few natural obstacles suggests that the site was intended to be only a staging area for future eastward expansion.
Archaeologist Mario Kuessner, working in Thuringia, emphasizes: “People have been looking for commanders of the Roman presence in this part of Germany for 200 years. It took a long time to confirm this fact”.
After the defeat of the Romans in 9 CE in the Teutoburg Forest, Rome gave up its conquest of the Germanic tribes north of the Rhine. However, some sources indicate that the Romans occasionally organized expeditions into Germany, probably to punish the barbarians for raiding the territory of the Empire.