Storm Over Europe - Episode 3
We are continuing our series Storm over Europe and this time the series is exploring the Goths. In this episode, the face of a Goth woman is being reconstructed. The Goths shook the Roman Empire and would enter history through their encounters. They were people who lived at the end of the world on the Polish coast. They had come over the sea in three boats to escape the dark north. One boat arrived later and the people were nicknamed the slow ones.
Scandinavia was the womb of the Goth tribes. Eventually, they moved to the Polish coast and spread from there. The whole Baltic area was influenced by the Goths. There was a saga of the Goth, and these were stories about the Goths passed down through the generations. Does this saga match historic facts? The Goths had set up stone circles. Were these places of worship? Or were these observatories? Or were they burial grounds? One archeologist investigates these stone circles. He talks about the links between the stone circles in Scandinavian and the stone circles in Poland. There seems to be a hint that Poland became the second homeland of the Goths.
However, the Goths continued to advance inland. They went interior and subjected all their neighbors. They were a free people. The Goths continued to move the interior using the rivers. There was no mass exodus. Goths were continuously looking for better settlements.
There was a burial discovered in Poland. The Goths had buried a boat. There was a woman buried in a seated position in the boat. Another Gothic burial site was discovered and it contained several hundred skeletons. The men in the tombs were buried without swords and daggers. The Goths pressed onto Hungary.
The Goths were excellent traders as well and their networks spread throughout Europe. Turtle shells, glass beads from Africa, and shells from the Black Sea were discovered. It was the lure of Rome that continued to drive the Goths south. The Long March of the Goths moved forward, other tribes joined them in the migration. At the time the Goths did not register on the Roman Radar.
Rome was looking to expand their territories and they sent an army to Germany, where they faced defeat in the Teutoburg Forest. It was another few decades before Romans returned to the scene of their greatest defeat. The soldiers went to bury the remains of their fellow soldiers and to bury their defeat. 15,000 Roman Legionaries lost their lives on the battlefield. Almost 2,000 years later, archeologists finally discovered the location of that battlefield. Coins and slingshot rocks were discovered at the site.
Archeologists descended on the site and finally located where the battle took place. They discovered many items belonging to the Roman legions. Thousands of bones have been found on the site as well. Death still hangs over the battlefield and the bones testify to the fall of the Roman Army. A beautiful parade mask was discovered on the site. The finds prove that the battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place.
At the time of the battle, there were rumors of a German revolt. The Germans were enraged but kept friendly relations with the Romans. Eventually, the trap was sprung and the battle commenced. The Germans wanted their freedom despite their relationship with the Romans. This relationship would be turned on the Romans as the tribes learned Roman army tactics. One by one the Romans were slain. This shattered the myth that the Romans were unbeatable. Perhaps the Romans should have treated the Germanic tribes differently and history would have been different.
Present-day Germans celebrate the revolt as a movement for freedom. Were the leaders fighting for freedom? That is up to debate. The Teutoburg Forest showed that the Romans were able to be defeated. The Roman Empire would not expand beyond the Rhine and Danube. The Romans built forts and walls along this boundary. Many soldiers were sent to man these forts and would patrol the borders. This border was supposed to appear intimidating. However, the Germans still found their way around these walls. So, to continue to learn more about this watch the rest of this documentary.
This would be one documentary to skip because it seems that in the middle of the documentary the Goths and their migrations were dropped.
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