Part of the Roman Empire: 50 BC–AD 407
Between 50 BC and 19 BC Roman troops invaded the region, first under Julius Caesar and later under several other commanders. The frontier of the Roman Empire shifted northwards until it reached the Rhine. After a far from successful attempt to push the frontier still further, beyond the Rhine and well into Germania, it was fixed along the Rhine (and eastwards along the Danube) in the form of a well-guarded border, called in Latin: the limes. The limes consisted of a series of smaller and larger forts, connected by a road, on the left bank of the river. The hinterland was kept under control with only limited military means. Initially a diplomatic approach sufficed. The earlier economic contacts had certainly facilitated this kind of rule. Local elites offered friendship and obedience to Rome, expressed in separate treaties between Caesar and individual chiefs and tribes.