AO 7:03, May/Jun 2004
The Battle That Stopped Rome: Emperor Augustus, Arminius, and the Slaughter of the Legions in the Teutoburg Forest
Peter S. Wells
(Norton, 2003) 256 PP., $24.95
Most archaeology monographs are pretty dry. They present highly specialized discussions in dense technical jargon for a small academic elite. Every once in a while, though, some unusually gifted scholar manages to produce a book thats differentone that is literate and scholarly yet fun to read. The Battle That Stopped Rome, by University of Minnesota anthropologist Peter Wells, is just such an exception.
Full of colorful personalities, momentous discoveries, Machiavellian intrigue and gory battle scenes, Wellss book is about as close to a page-turner as an archaeology text can be. Its also a solid piece of scholarship that deftly weaves together the latest findings in archaeology, anthropology and cultural history to answer the question: What really happened at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest?