Europe 26 AD: Roman Clients in Germania

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 30 Jun 26 AD (The Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Roman Clients in Germania), showing the following events: Anilai and Asinai; Indo-Parthian Kingdom; Dalmatia and Pannonia; Roman Client States on the Danube; Assassination of Arminius.

In 21 AD Arminius was assassinated in a pro-Roman plot, leading to the collapse of his alliance and the reduction of his tribe—the Cherusci—to a Roman client state. At around the same time, the Romans backed the creation of a number of client kingdoms among the tribes of the upper Danube, spreading their system of indirect rule across much of Magna Germania. It would be some 140 years before the Germans would again pose a serious threat to the Empire.


Roman Border 17–28

The Roman Imperial border in Europe followed the Rhine and Danube Rivers, with two main exceptions: (1) on the Main River, around modern Frankfurt, were a number of forts which would later become part of the Agri Decumates; (2) in the Netherlands north of the Rhine, the Frisii were under Roman rule and subjected to taxation until their successful revolt in 28 AD.

Main Events

18–33 AD Anilai and Asinai

During the reign of Artabanus II of Parthia, two Jewish bandits—the brothers Anilai and Asinai from Nehardea (near modern Fallujah, Iraq)—led a revolt against the governor of Babylonia. Impressed by their successes, Artabanus II granted the brothers the right to govern the territory they had captured. Their Jewish state in Babylonia lasted for fifteen years, but was undermined when Anilai married the widow of a Parthian general he had killed in battle. Anilai’s tolerance of his new wife’s religion created a rift with the more intolerant Asinai, who was then poisoned by his brother’s fearful wife. Following this, the state descended into banditry and was eventually crushed by the local Parthian wikipedia

19 AD Indo-Parthian Kingdom

In around 19 AD Gondophares, Surenid governor of Drangiana, declared independence from the Parthian Empire, establishing his own Indo-Parthian kingdom in the east. Gondophares proceeded to expand his kingdom into northern India at the expense of the Indo-Scythians (Sakas) and wikipedia

20? AD Dalmatia and Pannonia

After suppressing the Great Illyrian Revolt in 9 AD, the Romans decided to split Illyricum into two provinces—one for the mountainous region adjacent to the Adriatic Sea and the other for the lower region bordering the Danube. Initially these provinces were called Illyricum Superior and Illyricum Inferior (Upper and Lower Illyricum), but eventually the local names of Dalmatia and Pannonia gained wikipedia

20?–25? AD Roman Client States on the Danube

In the early 20s AD, in a series of actions backed by Rome, the Hermunduri defeated King Catualda of the Marcomanni, allowing Vannius of the Quadi to establish his own kingdom on the Danube. At around the same time, the neighboring Sarmatian tribe of the Iazyges also became a Roman client state. When Vannius later attempted to assert his power, the Romans instigated his overthrow in 50 wikipedia

21 AD Assassination of Arminius

In 21 AD Segestes, aided by other Cherusci royalty, turned on his son-in-law Arminius and assassinated him. The murder destroyed Arminius’ Germanic alliance, allowing Segestes to become King of the Cherusci as a Roman client. Despite frequent internal conflicts, the once-mighty Cherusci would have to endure Roman appointment of their kings until their eventual disappearance as a major tribe around the end of the 1st wikipedia