The longest war of the Roman imperial period is the war Marcus Aurelius waged with the northern German and Sarmatian tribes. The best-known events of these wars were the lightning and rain miracles. Divine intervention saved the Roman troops who were surrounded by the Germans and suffering from a water shortage, by means of a lightning and rain miracle. Thunderbolts struck the enemy while the rain soothed the Romans’ suffering. Several pagan and Christian versions of the miracle existed already in Antiquity. Péter Kovács examines these events and their sources in detail. The most important source is the Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome. The scenes of the column depict the miracles as well and therefore it was studied separately. The author also sketches the history of the Marcomannic wars. He publishes all the sources of the miracles and examines the development of the legend from Antiquity to the 14th century.
Péter Kovács, Ph.D. (1969) in Archaeology, University of Budapest, is associate professor at Pázmány Péter Catholic University. He has published extensively on history and epigraphy of Pannonia and sources of the province. He is the editor of the series
Fontes Pannoniae Antiquae (I-IV (2003-2007)) and
Tituli Romani in Hungaria reperti (Bonn 2005).
"[...] the chapters on the Marcomannic Wars [...] will be of great value to those with interests in the reign Marcus Aurelius and Roman Imperialism in general [...] (
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September 2009)
All those interested in history of the Roman Imperial period, wars of Marcus Aurelius, history of legend, as well as classical philologists, archaeologists and historians.