Why did the Romans not have conquered the Netherlands?

Incidentally, the Romans have conquered the whole of the Netherlands for a short time, but have pulled back the area north.

There are several reasons for this.The river Rhine was an easily defenable line. So geography has played a role, but also cultural differences, and the power of the own Roman economy. Also the distance in the north was further from Rome and logistics more difficult to supply.

There have been quite a number of historical events that have contributed to that decision.

There was the Batavian Uprising in the year 69. These Batavians were a Germanic people in the river region and were rebelled.They were initially ally of the Romans and were also used as ‘ Auxilia ‘ in several Roman legions. In this rebellion several other Germanic tribes have joined such as the Kaninefaten, the friezes and the Chauken and also Gallic tribes such as the Lingonen and the Trevieren. It has taken the Romans particularly much effort to strike down this rebellion. It took the Romans two and a half years, and no less than 8 legions were deployed to strike down the rebellion. Remember that is a quarter of the then entire Roman army that has been deployed. Remember that long-term employability of soldiers in a modern army often fluctuates around 64%, for armies in antiquity with reduced logistics, that percentage is not even lower. That is costly and in the long term not to be full. Remember the Romans had even more border areas and still other formidable opponents such as the Parthian Empire.

There have also been several rebellions for this.Earlier in the year 28 there was also a rebellion among the Frisians. These would have brought up the Roman procurator and then revolted. The same annual battle was deliveredto Baduhennawoud, near the modern Velsen in the current North Holland.Although the Romans won the battle, a fifth of a legion was killed.

And before that in the Year 9, there has been the infamous battle Of The Teutoburg Forest .Several Germanic tribes were led by Arminius (a Roman citizen, but originally of Germanic descent). Arminius has put these Roman legions in an ambush. Three whole legions have been lost. Since Hannibal Barca the Romans had not suffered such losses.

For this, there have been several raids in Gaul by various Germanic tribes, although they eventually ended up in a victory for the Romans, these have also been costly.

If you see the costs and losses then it has been a wise decision to withdraw behind an easier defenable line.And even this has not proved enough in the end.

When the Western Roman Empire weakened after the crisis of the third century, the empire was no longer resistant to Germanic folk removals.Germanic tribes such as the Angelen, Saxony, Frisians and Jutten ended up in England (formerly Roman Britain), the Franks and Burgundians in the present-day France (formerly Roman Gaul), the Goths in present-day Spain and Portugal (formerly Roman HispaniŠ»Ť), the Lombards in the north of present-day Italy and the vandals have even brought it so far to the current Maghreb region in the north of Africa (formerly Roman Mauritania, Roman Numidia and Roman Africa).

The Netherlands?No… The armies of Caesar and Augustus tried to conquer it-and remember that the coastline on the North Sea, the Flevomeer and the course of rivers there were then considerably different annexes-but in the end the Romans found the White River (Albus Fluvius, either the Elbe) still a bridge too far.

The area of the ‘ Frisii ‘ (not necessarily the same as the present-day Friesland) was part of a kind of buffer zone between the Roman Empire behind the Limes and the territories of the Teuton.

Time of the Romans

The Romans wanted the Elbe as the national border

A river was certainly then a hugely good defense.

The Rhine was a particularly large river, and was perfect to defend against raids of the warful Germanic tribes.

In addition, the north of the Netherlands was simply not worth the effort, no gold or other valuable raw materials, or at least not enough to justify the great armies that would be needed to defend this area.

And as for the excellent defensive capacity of the Rhine, even in modern times it has shown how a great obstacle this can be.Operation Market Garden, the air landings at Arnhem, where the Allies attempted to conquer the bridges over the large rivers failed. This required the Dutch who lived above the great rivers to experience hunger winter before they were freed. The entire Allied power saw no chance to cross the Rhine effectively.

The Netherlands was cold, wet, largely infertile and quite dangerous.did not exist yet, fertilizer was unknown and the country was mainly a bog swamp with some inferbare sand ridges between them. The Betuwe was fertile but also sometimes ran under. And then there were those Germans who invaded again and again.

The Romans thought it was nothing, and their soldiers did not want to settle here.That made the defense even harder. The only reason they were here was actually shipping on the Rhine and across the North Sea to Britannia. That was the big traffic artery to that wealthy province. After all, water transport is much cheaper and more efficient than land. On New Year’s Eve 406/407, the artery was cut off for good when a large group of Teuton crossed the Upper Rhine. Four years later, the Romans gave up Britannia, and they could no longer supply it and dispose of British products. The Franks were the boss south of the great rivers for half a century.

Time Team S13-E05 The Boat on the Rhine, Utrecht

Julius Caesar stopped his Conquest war at the great rivers.The Frisians, apart from some visits of the Romans, did not suffer much from them. The Romans found the Frisians and the country where they lived but weird. Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman writer, described Friesland and the Frisians as follows:

The ocean is plunging twice a day with gigantic waves over the country, so that in this eternal struggle of nature, one wonders whether this piece of land belongs to the land or the sea.On the hills or rather, on hands raised living places (the mounds) lives there an unhappy people.At high tide The net are creatures, at low tide rather castaways. And when they are overcome by the Roman people, they still call it slavery! “

The Romans conquered the whole of the Netherlands but finally withdrew to the Rhine because this was an easily defenable line.

Source: Romans in the Netherlands

According to wiki kids, Emperor Augustus decided that the Rhine would be the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.This was because they had failed to defeat the Germanic tribes. A river is a well defendable natural boundary, so this is a very clever choice of August.

The Netherlands?No, a small part continued to offer brave resistance. You could think of a comic about it….

The Rhine was an easy border to defend.Those swamps in the North were annoying to build up anyway.

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