Monday, August 08, 2005

The Roman Invasions of Britain

The Roman Invasions of Britain - Corinne Mills and Richard Hayton draw on contemporary sources to describe the Julian landings of 55 and 54 BC and the Claudian invasion of 43 AD. There is a bibliography included.

Julius Caesar invaded Britain first but found himself unable to occupy the country as his legions were needed back in Gaul. The Roman Emperor Claudius was more successful as he added the country to the Empire as a new province.

From the site:

When attempting to provide a narrative of the advent of the Romano-British period, it is necessary to look at the Classical sources, whether or not they can be relied upon. They provide the only written record of events, which were to alter irrevocably, the history, the future of the British Isles. It is the intention of this narrative however, not simply to repeat what is, seemingly accepted by the majority of people, but to bring it up to date, as far as current theories, archaeology, and research will permit. The Classical sources are without doubt very useful tools, somewhere to start looking for the answers to the questions: what happened, why did events happen as they did, when did they happen, and where did they happen. It is necessary also, to provide the scenario, the backdrop of the Britain upon which, the might of the Roman legions was about to fall, bringing to a close that period called ‘Prehistoric’, ‘Iron-age’, ‘the time of the Barbarians.’ The Classical sources available to the scholar, include, Caesar’s Gallic Wars, the Annals and Histories of Tacitus, Strabo’s Geographica, Cassius Dio, and Suetonius’s biographies, all of which provide aspects, which are relevant here.

Although it is accepted by many that Britain was a Celtic country, that term in it-self, is now considered to be an over generalisation. There were many cultural, religious, artistic and blood links between the peoples of Britain, and the peoples of continental Europe, Gaul in particular. However, each people, each tribe, was a culture unto itself also, each with it’s own distinctive identity. The main arena of the events about to unfold, is the parts of the British Isles, which are now the counties of Kent and East Sussex, on the south coast, and which have the river Thames to their north together with those parts which bordered the northern bank of the Thames.

No comments: