At the border of the Roman Empire

Siebengebirge history, At the Border of the Roman Empire
Siebengebirge history, At the Border of the Roman Empire

Unfortunately, we know little about the Germanics in those days,and what we know comes from Roman sources. The archaeologists have found only very little in the Seven Mountains from the Roman era.

Caesar’s Gallic War had brought Roman legions to the Rhine. After his victoy, the Rhine was the border between Roman territory on the left bank and the free Germania on the right bank. The Seven Mountains lay in sight of the Roman legion camps in Bonn, even Cologne. Although our region was part of the free Germania Magna, it remained important to the Romans, most of all for economic reasons: from 50 onwards, large quantities of stones were extracted from the Roman quarries at the Drachenfels mountain and transported northwards. In Bonn and Cologne, even in Xanten and Nijmegen trachyte from the Drachenfels was used.

We know only very little about the people who lived on the right bank of the Rhine back then, in and around the Seven Mountains. Right at the frontier, a “normal” life was certainly not possible, neither for the Romans nor for the Germanics. Yet, for about 500 years they political events within the Empire and the long defense fight decided about their lives, too: the campaigns of Drusus and Tiberius, the revolt led by Arminius, the Batavian revolt, the construction of the limes, invasions of the Franks and Alamanni, and finally the passage of the Huns until Cologne was finally conquered by the Franks around 450. Therefore, let us look at the 500 years at the border of the Roman Empire.

The map is adapted from the German Wikipedia, public domain section.

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