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Roman Britain

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Christopher Wood

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of Roman Britain

Pre-Celtic Britain Neolithic Celtic Migration Roman Perceptions In his Gallic Wars Caesar claims to have invaded Britain twice, once in 55, and 54 B.C.
1st. Est. a beachhead at Kent (more a reconnaissance expedition).
2nd- Made friends with local king Mandubracius against rival king Cassivellaunus.
No land taken, but a tribute was exacted. Mid-Lower Paleolithic (800,000-45,000)
Earliest bone and flint tools near Happisburgh in Norfolk, and Pakefield in Suffolk.
Hunters followed seasonal movements of animals across the land bridge into Britain living for the most part, in temporary shelters--making the most of warm periods between ice ages, and retreating when weather conditions became too cold.
Around 4500 B.C., once the climate had improved, people started farming. Whether due to an influx of farmers from Europe, or people already living in the British Isles changing their ways, is not known. Life became more settled (farmers vs. HG)
The first houses were generally round houses.
In lowland areas the favored design was a ring of timber uprights supporting a wall of wickerwork, with a roof of thatch or turf.
3000 B.C. first stone circles begin to appear. The Celts first appear at the beginning of the European Iron Age, around 500 B.C. They are united by features of their languages, which derive from Proto-Celtic.
Have to ask, how did the Celts impose
their language on indigenous islanders? Julius Caesar reports that the Britons "dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue color" (Caesar, Gallic War, V.14).
Pliny says that the wives and daughters-in-law of the Britons "stain all the body" with woad as well (Natural History, XXII).
Strabo's comments on Ireland. Lying beyond Britain, the men there were “rumored to be even more debased, who slay and eat their fathers, and sleep with their mothers and sisters” (IV.5.4). It is "the home of men who are complete savages and lead a miserable existence because of the cold." (II.5.8).
Claudian personifies Britain as "clothed in the skin of some Caledonian beast, her cheeks tattooed, and an azure cloak" (On the Consulship of Stilicho, II.247ff) The Invasion Roman Britain Roman Britain Recreation of a Bronze Age house type, dating to between 2100-700 B.C., Flag Fen, Cambridgeshire Stone Circles begin to appear 3000 B.C., Stonehenge Boxgrove hand axes at the British Museum Skara Brae, Orkney Islands 3,180–2,500 BCE. Part of a cache of 50,000 bronze and silver coins found on the Channel Island of Jersey South Cave, East Yorkshire 150 years old
at time of deposition...an heirloom perhaps? Battersea shield, found in the Thames
1st c. B.C. - 1st c. A.D. & Roman weapons Pursue the Gallic radicals
Make a show of martial strength
Explore a new frontier
Excite the people of Rome Reasons for Invading Romans set up a beachhead, a surprise storm almost sinks the fleet. Britons launch a surprise attack guerrilla warfare vs. Roman block army. Who has the upper hand? "They drive about in all directions and throw their weapons and generally break the ranks of the enemy with the very dread of their horses and the noise of their wheels; and when they have worked themselves in between the troops of horse, leap from their chariots and engage on foot." --Caes. Bel. Gal. 4.33 Romans in Britain Legends of Arthur Lucius Artorius Castus a Sarmatian commander? Inscriptions on sarcophagus, Podstrana, on Dalmatian Coast
Led campaign against invading Caledonians who overran Hadrian’s wall in 183-185 A.D.
Medieval sources suggest Caerleon in Wales, also known as the fortress of legions Castralegionum
Kemp Malone & Linda Malcor
Could have been remembered for centuries afterward, among the Welsh, Cornish & Bretons, also some parallels with Nart sagas Ancient Londinium, 43. B.C. What does the urban layout, tell you about the Romans? Hint: Forum, Baths, Mithras, amphitheater, camp, cemetery. Hadrian's Wall, 122 A.D., 80 Roman Miles long
Built to keep northern tribes out, or Roman soldiers busy? The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by the Celts, dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. Roman baths 60 A.D. Vindolanda writing-tablet with a letter inviting Sulpicia Lepidina, the commander's wife, to a birthday party. Roman Britain, about A.D. 97-103. Two-piece vizor helmet, worn on cavalry sports (hippika gymnasia). Late 1st-early 2nd c. AD, Ribchester, Lancashire, Roman cavalry for Bremetennacum. Moorish cavalry figure, 2nd-3rd c. AD
What should this tell us about the Romans? Tombstone of Volusia Faustina, Roman Britain, 3rd c. A.D., Lincoln. In 61 AD, Boudica's husband Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni tribe, and an ally of Rome, left his kingdom to his daughters and the Roman Emperor in his will. However, his will was ignored—the kingdom was annexed, Boudica was flogged, her daughters were raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans. Boudica rebels, and razes Londinium to the ground Modern Myth-making? Clive Owen as Arthur. Does he look Celtic, Roman, Sarmatian D(is) M(anibus) L(ucius) Artori[us Ca]stus (centurio) leg(ionis) III Gallicae item [(centurio) le]g(ionis) VI Ferratae item (centurio) leg(ionis) II Adi[utricis i]tem (centurio) V M(acedonicae) C(onstantis) item p(rimi) p(ilus) eiusdem [legionis], praeposito classis Misenatium, [item pr]aeff(ecto) leg(ionis) VI Victricis, duci legg(ionum) [duaru]m Britanicimiarum adversus Arm[oricano]s, proc[uratori) centenario provinciae Lib[urn(iae) iure] gladi vivus ipse et suis [….ex te]st(amento)

To the divine shades, Lucius Artorius Castus, centurion of the Third Legion Gallica, also centurion of the Sixth Legion Ferrata, also centurion of the Second Legion Adiutrix, also centurion of the Fifth Legion Macedonica, also chief centurion of the same legion, in charge of (Praepositus) the Misenum fleet, prefect* of the Sixth Legion Victrix, commander of two** British legions against the Armenians/Amoricans, centenary procurator of Liburnia with the power of the sword. He himself (set this up) for himself and his family in his lifetime Sarcophagus Inscription from Podstrana In the Welsh tales of the Mabinogi Arthur appears in "Culhwch and Olwen", and the "Dream of Rhonabwy". The tale of "Peredur" may also be related to the Arthurian knight Percival, whose life changes when he meets a knight named Yvain/Owain and learns of knights and Arthur. Caesar remarks that "The institution, that is Druidism is thought to have originated in Britain, and to have been thence introduced into Gaul; and even now those who wish to become more accurately acquainted with it, generally repair thither, for the sake of learning it"--Caes. Bel. Gal. 6.13.
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