Lost Roman Legions

Wednesday 27th November 2019

St John’s Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, SP2 9NP


The annihilation of three Roman legions in 9AD by a coalition of German tribes led by Arminius was one of the biggest defeats in Roman history as well as one of the main events to determine the course of European history. The Germans decided to mark the event by erecting a huge statue to Arminius near Detmold in the 1870s, without a shred of evidence for the location of the actual battle. It was not until British Army warrant officer Tony Clunn armed with a metal detector discovered 100 Roman coins north of Osnabruck one weekend in 1987 that the actual site was discovered. The lecture covers the history of Xanten (the annual departure point for the Roman spring expedition east of the Rhine) as well as the route up the River Lippe, the battle itself and its consequences.

Chris Hewitt, a retired Army officer who lived in Germany for 13 years, is chairman of the Salisbury Xanten Twinning Association. He is also a fellow Salisbury Military History Society member.