Roman Britain. The History of Roman Britain.
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The History of Roman Britain
“Some had been carried to Britain and were sent back by the petty chiefs. Every one, as he returned from some far-distant region, told of wonders, of violent hurricanes, and unknown birds, of monsters of the sea, of forms half-human, half beast-like, things they had really seen or in their terror believed.” (Tacitus, Annals 2.24)
Caesar knew the land was fertile enough to support an expeditionary force, as well as permanent settlement.
He now had experience against the British fighters.
He had located a suitable spot to land in the following year.
“Finally, as if he intended to bring the war to an end, he drew up a line of battle on the shore of the Ocean, arranging his ballistasand other artillery; and when no one knew or could imagine what he was going to do, he suddenly bade them gather shells and fill their helmets and the folds of their gowns, calling them "spoils from the Ocean, due to the Capitol and Palatine." As a monument of his victory he erected a lofty tower, from which lights were to shine at night to guide the course of ships, as from the Pharos.” (Suetonius, Caligula 46)
The three governors after Plautius secured Britain as a Roman province, despite the revolt of Boudicca in 59 A.D.
Tacitus relates the irregular seven year governorship of his father-in-law, Agricola.
Agricola undertook six campaigns in Britain, starting in 79 A.D., and extended Roman territory beyond the 2nd century A.D. Antonine Wall. He most notably built a system of roads and forts for the suppression of northern Britain.
After the death of Tacitus, Juvenal is among our best sources for British history (Sat. 4.127; 14.196). We do not even know who Agricola’s successor as governor was.
Suetonius relates the murder of a governor of Sallustius Lucullus, a governor of Britian, who perhaps fomented rebellion. Our best evidence comes from inscriptions.
The occupation of northern Britain lasted long enough for spread import of Roman culture and goods.
This was short lived. At least five forts north of Hadrian's wall were destroyed by siege.
Inscriptions indicate that legions were stationed north of what would be Hadrian’s wall during the reigns of Domitian, Trajan, and Hadrian himself.
Foreign wars would have spread the army thin. Trajan annexed Dacia after two wars, in 101-2 A.D. and 105-6 A.D.
There was continuous fighting in Britain, requiring reinforcement, into the reign of Hadrian.