Marcomannic Wars

The Marcomannic Wars (Latin: bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum,[lower-alpha 2] "German and Sarmatian War") were a series of wars lasting from about 166 until 180 AD. These wars pitted the Roman Empire against, principally, the Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi and the Sarmatian Iazyges; there were related conflicts with several other Germanic, Sarmatian and Gothic peoples along both sides of the whole length of the Roman Empire's northeastern European border, the river Danube.

Marcomannic Wars
Part of the Roman–Germanic Wars

Detail of a relief scene on the Column of Marcus Aurelius (in Rome, Italy), depicting a battle of the Marcomannic Wars, late 2nd century AD
DateAD 166–180 (14 years)
Course of the Danube, the northeastern European border of the Roman Empire
Result Roman victory
Status quo ante bellum. Roman plans to annex "Sarmatia" (Hungarian Plain) and "Marcomannia" (Moravia, Slovakia and Bavaria north of Danube) abandoned.
Roman Empire
Full list of participating military units
Commanders and leaders
Imperial family:
Marcus Aurelius
Lucius Verus 
Ti. Claudius Pompeianus
Praetorian prefects:
Titus Furius Victorinus
Marcus Bassaeus Rufus
Marcus Macrinius Vindex 
P. Tarrutenius Paternus
Field marshals (legati):
Publius Helvius Pertinax
Marcus Claudius Fronto 
Marcus Didius Julianus
Gaius Pescennius Niger
Decimus Clodius Albinus
M. Valerius Maximianus
Lucius Gallus Julianus
Gaius Vettius Sabinianus
Titus Vitrasius Pollio
  • 13 legions
  • 2 vexillationes
  • Danubian fleet
  • 58 auxiliary cohorts
977,000[lower-alpha 1]
Casualties and losses
Moderate Heavy

The struggle against the Germans and Sarmatians occupied the major part of the reign of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and it was during his campaigns against them that he started writing his philosophical work Meditations.[lower-alpha 3]

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