The foundations of the northern section of the Via Appia are laid and the Senate votes to name the new section of the road, and hence the remainder of the road that will eventually extend into Europe and beyond, the Via Julia, named after Caesar. Cicero writes his Nova Respublica, his dissertation on the Great Law and the reorganization of the republic. The Roman Senate declares Herod the Great “King of the Jews” and promises to provide military aid to Herod after he explains his situation to the Senate. Octavian and the Senate begin deliberating on the draft of the third portion of the Great Law. Octavian also takes Caesarion under his wing as his protégé, teaching him the ways of running the empire.
Caesar and Antony defeat Comosicus in the Battle of Sarmizegetus, taking him prisoner in the process. The Roman empire annexes Dacia in May. Caesar positions his army south of Germania to prepare for an invasion, leaving Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa as military governor of Dacia. Various German tribes by this time have been preparing for quite some time for the Roman invasion, especially those that witness the massive building projects across the border built by Scipio during the past several months. The various tribal armies consist of nearly 200,000 men who have been assembled over the past few years under the leadership of the Chatti chief, Valitinius. Caesar conscripts 10,000 Dacians and receives an additional 80,000 troops from the empire. Scipio has been gathering an army of 130,000 Romans, almost half consisting of people from Gaul. The tribes of Gaul have become quite used to the Roman presence by this time, basically due to some of the internal works that have been built by the Roman military for the past 10 years plus the level of local autonomy enjoyed by the people of Gaul. In September, Caesar invades southern Germany from Noricum with 120,000 men split up almost equally between himself and Antony. Antony goes towards the Oder and Vistula Rivers while Caesar cuts north towards the Elbe and modern day Denmark. Scipio invades across the Rhine after impressing the Germans with yet another quickly built bridge. Scipio initially does well as he has several tribes surrender without a fight after witnessing the engineering marvel of the Romans (the bridge). He promises them riches beyond their dreams and relatively independent rule after Rome conquers Germania. He pays 30,000 German warriors from his spoils from Britain. Caesar is immediately met by a huge German force in the Battle of Arviticum and forced to retreat 20 miles back to a German village called Tervi . Caesar sets up defenses and plans for another offensive after defeating the German advance. The town is on a series of hills and Caesar orders his army to build a defensive ring around the town using spikes and digging trenches. His army completes this feat in 3 days right before the German army reaches the town. Caesar's troops are exhausted, but the defenses handle most of the battle for them. The Roman archers, ballistas, and catepults fire relentlessly at the advancing Germans. Many German warriors fall into the camouflaged trenches. The Germans suffer nearly 53,000 casualties in the course of the 4 day Battle of Tervi according to Livy. Valitinius almost takes the town but is finally defeated after failing to completely hold the center hill. Caesar rests his army for a week while Valitinius and the remainder of his army retreat into the forests. Many modern historians believe that it is the Battle of Tervi which leads to the relatively quick Roman conquest of all of Germania. According to Livy, had Caesar not fortified himself within the town the way he did, the superior generalship of Valitinius may have led to a total Roman defeat. Antony's force encounters two small German armies led by the warlords Gerus and Fedi (Marcomanni and Vandali respectively) and smashes them rather quickly initially, but is ambushed and nearly defeated at the Battle of Teuterum. Within 2 months, Antony has subdued the Marcomanni and his troops are at the Vistula building fortifications along the river for the future eastern border and for a place to lodge for the winter. The first fort is completed in October just as the snow starts to get bad. Caesar manages to defeat Valitinius once again before winter but finds a village to camp in during the winter time and is unable to completely destroy the Chatti and Cherusci tribes. Scipio shows his remarkable skills as a commander by crushing a much larger German force at the Battle of Frisii and after marching nonstop to the Elbe, begins to build a fort along the river to prepare his army for the cold northern European winter. In all, Caesar’s campaign to conquer Germania lasts 4 years during which time many near battles are both won and lost by the Romans. Most historians agree that in the end, it was Scipio’s mastery of the Roman art of war, Caesar and Antony’s unorthodox tactics and the Battle of Tervi which ultimately lead to such a quick Roman victory. The Roman army rests for the winter starting in late October and Valitinius prepares his now shattered army for another year of war against the empire.