The Empire expanded steadily, but in 9AD, in possibly the only setback of his reign, the entire Roman Army in Germany under Publius Varus, was annihilated by the Cherusci under their famous leader Arminus.
The two approaches are often complementary, as when a sequence of occurrences in one context can be correlated with an absolute chronlogy elsewhere.
Local relationships on a single outcrop or archaeological site can often be interpreted to deduce the sequence in which the materials were assembled.
This loss was a terrible shock to the old Emperor, who is said to have cried out in anguish "Varus, Varus, give me back my legions!
" His reign is also noted for improvements to his capitol, indeed it is often said of Augustus that he had "found Rome of brick and left it marble". (d 30 BC) Legionary denarius stuck to pay his troops about 31 BC, before the Actium campaign.