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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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