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Roman Britain


Julius Caesar approached the Coast of Kent for his second attempt at conquering 'The Tin Islands' in 54 BC. This time he was successful, although creating Roman Britain wasn't easy.

Hillforts were used by local Britons for protection against raiders. Built of stout timbers, they were tough nuts for Caesar to crack with his battering rams, but he did succeed.

Being no match for strongly disciplined Roman troops, or the methods which were used to subdue populations, England found itself under the yoke of The Roman Empire.

The influence didn't last, however. As long as Caesar was on the land, tribute was paid and hostages were exchanged. Once he left, all conditions were ignored, although trade between The Empire and England did continue. Tin, copper and lead were traded for pottery, wine, and olives.

True Roman Britain began with Emperor Claudius' invasion in AD43. Great Britain was now the recipient of great social strides, and great unrest.

Unrest

Pockets of resistance were always an on-going problem for Roman Governors. Being the highest officials, it was up to them to see that the latest addition to The Empire remained under control, and peaceful.

In AD61, Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni Tribe, had been humiliated by a Roman tax collector based in Londinium (London). She vowed to bring her people out from under the sway of Rome, and at first she was quite successful.

Her followers totally obliterated the Roman settlement of Camulodunum (Colchester), London itself was burned to the ground, and St. Albans took a brutal hit. It is estimated that 70,000 Romans were killed.

Boudicea and her army engaged the Roman governor, Paulinius, on the Roman road, Watling Street. Although vastly outnumbered, Paulinius won the battle. Boudicea and her attending tribe members were slaughtered. Roman Britain was firmly established.

Good for Society

Social strides, however, were appreciated by some of the locals. Roads were welcomed for the ease of transport, and for the first time heated bathrooms, glass windows, chariot races, and good wine could be enjoyed. New produce was available to sample - peas, celery, and cherries.

Joining the Roman Legions ensured that you were fed, retirement benefits were offered, and there was the chance to travel.

Clean, safe towns were created and there was a structure to life. Entertainment abounded, public baths were great for social engagements, and if you grabbed the Roman way of life, the way up the social ladder in Roman Britain was easy.

Article by "Tudor Rose"

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