Written by Martin Pupp (Associate Producer) To start the filming of this episode we’ve decided to begin at Kalkriese, site of the famous Varus Battle where the Germans slaughtered three entire Roman Legions in 9 AD. It may seem odd to start an episode about the powerful Roman army at the site of one of its worst ever defeats, but if we see how shocking this upset was we can understand how mighty the Roman Legion really was.
Spending the day at the park and museum in Kalkriese is extraordinary. Walking through the woods and along the reconstructed ramparts you really get an idea of what it would have been like for the Roman soldiers marching to their summer camp. The forest is dense, the ground is wet and uneven, and the bugs are horrendous.
At one point we decided to go deep into the boggy woods to get some extra footage and we practically got eaten alive by mosquitoes and horse flies. Then suddenly the beautiful sunny sky was covered with dark clouds and before we could run for cover we were attacked by one of the most intense thunder showers I’ve ever seen. Now we could really understand what it must have been like walking through semi-swamps and being attacked by relentless hoards.When Rome Ruled: War Machine tells the story of the power that made Rome great. The most disciplined and deadly force in the ancient world, the legion army. Though history remembers the names of emperors and generals it’s these ordinary men who carved and kept an empire. They trained, they fought, and they marched thousands of miles on roads that they themselves had built. Using the ancient records and scientific research and extraordinary archaeological finds we trace their journey as invaders, killers, peacekeepers, colonists from the furthest frontiers back to the city for which they killed and died. These are the men of the Roman military machine.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 9P et/pt. Here’s a sneak peek from tonight’s new episode: