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Seismic Roman battle reconsidered by popular historical novelist

10 Tachwedd 2017

Historical author Ben Kane

One of world history’s most significant defeats gets a combatants' perspective at highlight public lecture

Best-selling historical novelist Ben Kane gives a highlight public lecture The Varian Disaster Reconsidered looking afresh at one of Ancient Rome's infamous defeats.

Author of The Forgotten Legion, Spartacus and Hannibal series Ben Kane focuses on the battle which saw the mighty Roman army loose three entire legions and their auxiliaries in one of world history’s great turning points.

Described in the Roman annals as the Varian defeat, the notorious battle took place under Roman emperor Augustus in AD9 in the deep and dark provinces of the Teutoburg Forest in modern-day Germany.

Drawing on his Roman military training, Publius Quinctilius Varus led the devastating alliance of Germanic tribes to decisively outwit the invaders by stealth and ambush in a seismic shock for the expanding empire. Never again would the Romans attempt to gain control east of the Rhine in the Germanic territories.

Kane brings Roman weapons and armour to the special public lecture organised jointly by The Classical Association and the School's Ancient History Research Seminar series.

The historic novelist is acclaimed for his meticulous research. Formerly a veterinarian, Kane has pursued his life-long interest in the ancient world to become a hugely successful novelist in the past decade.

Combining experiences of travelling the world and his hobby of marching in full Roman military kit, the veterinarian-turned-writer will also introduce students and staff to the creative processes that led him to use history in a very new direction of writing in an informal historical writing workshop.

Jointly hosted by the University and the Cardiff Branch of the Classical Association, The Varian Disaster Reconsidered with Ben Kane takes place on Monday 13 November in the University’s Wallace Lecture Theatre, Main Building at 5.15pm.

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