The useful foe – Rome and the Germans
The Germans had settled almost all the land which later became Germany by approximately 2000 BC. They lived a lifestyle very similar to that of the Celts – working iron, textiles, semi-precious stones, ceramics, pottery and gold, and living in villages rather than great towns. Also, like all their Indo-European cousins bar the Balts, the Germans continually made land grabs whenever the opportunity arose.
By 300 BC, they had advanced westwards as far as the Rhine river, and shortly thereafter advance tribes crossed the Rhine and settled what is today Belgium (the Romans called these tribes the Belgae, hence that country’s name).
These advances invariably brought the Germans into conflict with the Celts in France, and after the Romans occupied Gaul, with the Romans themselves.
[Kemp proceeds to recount the history of the clash of Germans and Romans; the first, second and third Roman invasions, the use of German mercenaries; Hermann Cherusci, trained by the Romans, and the ambush of Teutorburgerwald: a decisive defeat for Rome; how Germans were “a pure and unmixed race” and how, ironically, the Germans and the Romans increasingly mixed; and how German and Celtic mercenaries filled the ranks of the Roman army.]