the romans in britain
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the romans first arrival
The Romans arrived in Britain in 55 BC. The Roman Army had been fighting in Gaul (France) and the Britons, who lived in theBritish Isles, had been helping the Gauls to defeat the Romans. The leader of the Roman Army in Gaul, Julius Caesar, decided that he had to teach the Britons a lesson because they had helped the Gauls. In late August 55 BC, 12,000 Roman soldiers landed in Britain. Caesar was impressed with the fighting qualities of the Britons.

“The Romans were faced with serious problems. These dangers frightened our soldiers who were not used to battles of this kind, with the results that they do not show the same speed and enthusiasm as they usually did in battles on dry land.”

The romans first arrival

( Series of military champaigns of the Romans in Britain between 55 B.C- 84 A.D)

However, the Romans fought off the Britons who withdrew. Caesar returned the next year in 54 BC. This time he had 30,000 soldiers and the Britons were not prepared to fight the Romans on the beach. This gave the Romans an opportunity to establish as a military force in Britain. They realized that Britain was potentially a very wealthy place if the island was properly controlled by themselves. Once they had done this, they defeated Briton tribes one by one. Caesar’s success in Britain meant that he had less time to devote to Gauls. This encouraged the Gauls to rise up against the Romans and Caesar had to leave Britain with his army to put down the rebellion in Gaul. The Roman Army did not return to Britain for over 90 years. (history learning site)


The real conquest of the country took place in the years 43-47 AD under Emperor Claudius (10 BC-54 AD). One of the first things the Romans did was to involve the conquered tribes in the administration of the province. Then the Romans encouraged the growth of towns near their army bases and established special towns as settlements for retired soldiers. They persuaded the more important classes of aristocratic Celts to build towns and then turned them into centres of vibrant commercial activity.


After their invasionthey brought a new style of leadership. They built an effective road structure, towns, homes and transformed Britain into one of the wealthiest and most valuable provinces of the Roman Empire. The Romans came to Britain nearly 2000 years ago and profoundly changed the country: they changed the everyday life.

Before the Romans came to Britain, the country was divided into a mass of tribes. They had an uncoordinatedgovernmental structure, the island was ruled by kings, each having a section of Britain to control. There were frequent incursions into other territories, so the country was in a permanent state of unease.


Roman towns contained a regular network of streets. Most towns were surrounded by stone walls. The centre of a Roman town was the FORUM, or civic centre, which gave access to the basilica.

Every town had public baths. They were open to both sexes, thought at different times of day, and served as a helping spa and meeting place.

Roman roads

Roads joined the towns together. The Romans built 9.600 kilometres of roads in Britain. They weren’t always straight, but they were amazingly well built and made troop movement, and later the movement of commercial goods, much easier. Possibly the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain was Hadrian’s Wall built as a defensive fortification and customs barrier from the East Coast to the WestCoast between England and Scotland.


The beginnings of London can be dated to the invasion of the Romans in 43 A.D.

A bridge was built across the river Thames. The first “London bridge” proved a convenient central point for the new network of roads which soon spread out like a fan from the crossing place. The Roman settlement on the North side of the Bridge, called LONDINIUM, quickly became important as a trading centre for goods brought up the river by boats and unloaded at wooden docks by the bridge.

The roman baths complex in the English city of Bath.

The origins of London 43°A.D.

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