Germany. 9 AD. Three Roman legions are annihilated after being ambushed by a coalition of German tribal forces. The disastrous defeat of the Roman legions at the Teutoburg Forest cost Rome all of the hard-earned progress it had made in its attempted conquest of Germany. It forever forced the Roman border to remain along the Rhine, never again to expand. But what if the Romans had not lost at Teutoburg? The Roman commander, Varus, had received information before he set out on his disastrous Teutoburg campaign that one of his auxiliary commanders, Arminius, was planning to betray him, but he paid it no heed. What if he had? This timeline explores this eventuality, where Rome never lost its expansionist drive.
Augustus (9-14 AD)
Faced with rebellions in Pannonia and Dalmatia (OTL Balkans), Emperor Augustus sends one of his relatives, Publis Quintilius Varus, to Germania, to ensure that the recently conquered natives of the region would not choose to follow the example of their Balkan counterparts, while the Emperor to be, Tiberius, dealt with the Pannonian revolt. He could not have chosen a better man for the job. Politically astute and a solid, if not brilliant, military commander, Varus quickly begins demonstrating his administrative and political talents in Germania, where he continued the work of Romanization that his predecessors had begun. Many Romans, including those among the Emperor's inner circle, believed the pacification of the tribes between the Rhine and Elbe to be nearly complete. It, therefore, came as a great surprise to Varus when one of the chieftains of the Cherusci, Segestes came to him claiming that one of Varus' own auxiliary commanders, Arminius, was plotting to betray the Romans, and drive them into a trap. Disinclined to listen to what he believed to be nonsense, Varus nevertheless decides to humor Segestes' suspicions, and assigns several trusted German agents to watch Arminius. They quickly uncover Arminius's plot to lead Varus and his army into a trap.