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Romans in Britain. Three questions. WHEN? WHY? WHAT?. WHEN?. In 55 and 54 BC Julius Caesar made two expeditions to Britain as an offshoot of his conquest of Gaul. They were not succesful. In 34, 27 and 25 BC Augustus planned invasions, but circumstances were never favourable

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three questions
Three questions
  • WHEN?
  • WHY?
  • WHAT?
  • In 55 and 54 BC Julius Caesar made two expeditions to Britain as an offshoot of his conquest of Gaul. They were not succesful.
  • In 34, 27 and 25 BC Augustus planned invasions, but circumstances were never favourable
  • In 43 AD Claudius successfully invaded Britain
  • Roman rule ended in the beginning of the 5th century.
  • Julius Caesar, made two expeditions to Britain, believing the Britons had been helping the Gallic resistance.
  • Caesar had conquered no territory but had established clients on the island and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of political influence.
  • When Claudius successfully invaded in 43, it was in aid of another fugitive British ruler, this time Verica of the Atrebates.
  • In short: a lot!!
  • We focus on:
    • Londinium
    • Aquae Sulis
    • Eboracum
    • Roads
    • Language?
    • And of course: Hadrian’s Wall
  • The Roman advance was halted by the Thames, and Plautius was forced to build a bridge to get his men across.
  • This first "London Bridge" has been excavated recently, and found to be only yards from the modern London Bridge!
  • About the year 200 AD a defensive wall was built around the city. For well over a millennium the shape and size of London was defined by this Roman wall. The area within the wall is now "the City", London's famous financial district. Traces of the wall can still be seen in a few places in London.

The city itself was founded in AD 71, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a military fortress (castra) on flat ground above the River Ouse near its junction with the River Foss. The fortess was later rebuilt in stone, covered an area of 50 acres, and was inhabited by 6,000 soldiers. Much of the Roman fortress now lies under the foundations of York Minster, and excavations in the Minster's undercroft have revealed some of the original walls

Language ?
  • A few words are thought for one reason or another to belong to this period: port (harbor, gate, town) from Latin portus and porta; munt (mountain) from Latin mons, montem; torr (tower, rock) possibly from Latin turris; and again, possibly from Celtic, wic (village) from Latin vicus.
  • It is possible that some of the Latin words which the Teutons had acquired on the continent; such as, street (Latin strata via), wall, wine, etc, were reinforced by the presence of the same words in Celtic.
hadrian s wall3
Hadrian’s wall
  • Hadrian's Wall was constructed over a period of six years by order of the Emperor Hadrian, who came to Britain in AD 122. According to one of Hadrian's Roman biographers it was built to 'separate the Romans from the Barbarians' a feat it achieved for over 250 years. Today, the area between South Shields and Ravenglass is studded with forts, milecastles, temples and turrets.
  • What was the Wall for?Hadrian’s Wall was not meant to be defended like a castle. Instead it was a barrier that allowed Roman soldiers to control the movements of people coming into or leaving Roman Britain. This allowed the Roman army to make sure that troublemakers could not move easily either north or south.
  • The Wall was also a good place to keep a watch over the frontier. The turrets and milecastles allowed Roman soldiers to watch what was happening along the whole length of the frontier
hadrian s wall4
Hadrian’s wall