In September AD 9 half of Rome's Western army was ambushed in a German forest. Three legions, comprising some 25,000 men under the Roman general Varus, were wiped out by an army of Germanic tribes under the leadership of Arminius. The defeat dealt a severe blow to the Empire's imperial pretensions; no other battle had stopped the Roman Empire in its tracks. Although the battle was avenged, further Roman efforts to conquer Germany met with limited success and the Teutoburg defeat became imbued with superstition. For the Germans, on the other hand, their victory became a symbol of nationalism. Drawing on new archaeological evidence and primary sources, this is the first book to give a full account of this hugely significant battle, bringing to life the battle itself, the historical background, the personalities involved and the implications of defeat.