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Published on 16 Feb 2014 | over 2 years ago

Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire - Episode 4: The Forest of Death (Documentary)

The Roman Empire was the largest and most powerful in history, but how did ancient Rome achieve its greatness? And why did it eventually collapse? In this epic series, we explore these questions, following the most dramatic Roman characters as they lead an empire slowly sliding to its own destruction and the Barbarian leaders who brought about that destruction. We vividly recreate the living environment of the time: teeming Roman streets, struggling armies, gladiators, Roman excesses and debauchery, the camps and villages of the barbarians, and the deeply human struggle of outsiders to conquer and Romans to survive.

Episode 4: The Forest of Death

As the Roman Empire expands its reaches into what is now Germany, its legions are faced with ferocious Germanic tribesmen. In 9 AD, their chieftain, Arminius, raised in Rome as a hostage of peace, uses his Roman military training to slaughter the Roman General Varus' army at Teutoburg Forest.

This landmark battle establishes the Rhine River as the frontier between the Empire and its growing barbaric enemies.

Six years later, when General Germanicus sets out across the Rhine for revenge, he finds heaps of bones and severed skulls nailed to trees - a reminder of the barbarians' victory.

But at the Battle of the Weser River, he faces Arminius and wins. Germanicus captures Arminius' pregnant wife, Thusnelda, and parades her through the streets of Rome, as a symbol of his triumph.

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