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105 BC: If the Cimbri and Teutones had invaded Italy after Arausio

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
So it's the second century BC: Rome is ascendant, Carthage is gone, Marius is off fighting the Jugurthine War in North Africa and 100,000 Germans are on the move, having migrated all the way from balls-freezing Jutland to the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean, much like it happens nowadays, actually, except that back then the Italian government wasn't much of a fan of tourism, so they went with their time-tested strategy of underestimating the enemy and sending small armies to be destroyed one by one, before sending two putzes witha big army that's lost nearly to a man.

So, after the disaster at Arausio in 105 BC (Cannae 2: Fuck up harder), the Cimbri and Teutones took the novel approach of not moving into an unprotected Italian peninsula and putzing around for years as marauding invaders and rebelling gladiators traditionally do, but rather moved into Hispania, giving Rome enough time to catch its breath, recall Marius, reorganize the army and keep Italian beaches free of sausage and sauerkraut. What followed was the beginning of the end of the Republic, as we know.

But what if the unified horde of 120,000 invaders had descended upon Italy after Arausio? They could not have taken Rome, of course, but what of the effects of having to once again lock themselves behind the city walls while rampaging, invading barbarians sack and pillage the countryside, interrupting the grain supply, terrorizing the countryside and crushing whatever little legion is sent while awaiting for Marius? What does this do for the late Republic and Marius' career?


 

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Reading about Rome again, this one came back to mind.

One thing I hadn’t considered was how a war on the peninsula would affect Rome’s Italian Allies, specially if it lasts for years and they bear the brunt of the war.

With Marius in power, either as dictator or consul, and the war in Italy probably raging for years, if we’re honest, relations between Rome and the Socii are bound to deteriorate, and the conflict would accelerate, one in which men like Marius and Drusus might be better situated to deliver much needed reforms. This could change the nature of the Social War, as the Optimates and Senate are bound to call for Sulla to oppose any reform.
 
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