The Roman Conquest of Britain

 The Roman Conquest/ Roman Occupation

             The Roman Occupation

☑️The Romans were the next set of powerful invaders who ruled Britain after the Celts and the Iberians.

☑️While the Celts were settling down in the major areas of Britain, Europe was witnessing the rise of another great empire- The Roman Empire.

☑️The Roman soldiers were brave and highly disciplined.

,☑️They were a group of obedient soldiers who were subservient to their commanders 

☑️Julius Caesar was one such commander who had an eye on Britain , which was then separated from France , which was called Gaul then .

☑️ England was separated from France by a small belt of water

☑️ Thus Julius Caesar led the first expedition to Britain in 55 BC.

☑️But in the first attempt the Romans had to withdraw, for they underestimated the strength and military strategies of the Celtic warriors.

☑️the very next year itself Caesar returned with a mighty army and defeated the Celts.

☑️ Julius Caesar could easily defeat the Celts for they were divided by petty issues of jealousy and other petty rivalries. So divide and rule was so easy for the Romans.

☑️ Though the legendary king Cassivelanus of the Cattivelauni tribe put up a defence, he was easily swept away by the Romans

☑️Thus the first battle was won by the Romans.

☑️But soon Caesar had to return to his homeland, which demanded his presence for future developments.

☑️ Unfortunately his return to Rome became fatal, for he was assassinated by his own senators

.☑️But Roman invasion didn't end with the assassination of Julius Caesar.

☑️The mad Roman emperor Caligula issued orders for conquering Britain on the behest of Caractacus, the son of Cunobelin of Clochester.

☑️But as the orders weren't compiled, it failed.

☑️so the original Conquest took place three years later, in 43 AD at the orders of Roman emperor Claudius.

☑️The Romans landed on the Southern shores of Britain and established their supremacy in places like Kent and Clochester.

☑️By 50 AD, the conquered almost all areas of Southern and Eastern Britain.

☑️As a result of the Roman occupation, cordial trade relations occured between Britain and Rome, which resulted in the mingling up of folks.

☑️Thus people became more Romans than Britons.

☑️Also King Cunobelin of Gloucester ( Shakespeare's Cymbeline) had maintained cordial relationship between Roman emperors Tiberius and Augustus, which helped the Britons accept the Roman Emperor as their leige lord.

☑️But things were not smooth for the people who belonged to the northern and western areas where people had to seek refuge with every new wave of invasion. They were fed up with the consecutive invasions 

☑️So the Celts, who were one of the tribes among these, fought fiercely against the Roman legions.

☑️The Romans found it difficult to conquer the mountainous terrains and forest of the North as well as the West, inhabited by the Celts.

☑️By 60 AD, the Romans sacked the island of Anglesey and mercilessly slaughtered the Druid priests.( Celtic priests).

The Iceni Rebellion

☑️ The Celtic tribes of Iceni organised a rebellion 

☑️They were basically a peaceful tribe but had to take up arms against the Romans inorder to protect the honour of their queen Boudica.

☑️They revolted when the cruelty of the Romans was steered towards their Queen and her daughters.

☑️Boudica, their queen , the unfortunate mother, had to witness her daughters being brutally raped by the Roman soldiers.

☑️The queen was flogged by the Romans and they were abetting her to hand over her kingdom to the Romans 

☑️As a result the entire tribe of Iceni headed by Boudica organised a rebellion

☑️While the Romans were sacking the island of Anglesey, the Iceni tribe , marched to London and Gloucester, which were areas that were largely inhabited by Romans, and massacred the Romans and sabotaged the cities.

☑️So the Roman army couldn't even celebrate their victory in Anglesey.

☑️ They had to return to London and Gloucester inorder to quell the Iceni Rebellion.

☑️The Roman army, in turn, massacred the Iceni tribe .

☑️Boudica and her daughters were forced to commit suicide.

☑️After quelling the Iceni Rebellion the Romans didn't face another challenge for a long period.

☑️Things became normal

☑️Those cities that were sabotaged by the Iceni , began to thrive once again.

☑️But the Northern areas inhabited by the savage Picts and Scots remained a problem for the Romans. 

☑️ However they managed to subjugate the wild Welsh .

☑️But the Northern areas continued to remain a problem for even the highly disciplined Roman army.

☑️So the Northern frontier was marked off by a huge wall erected as per the orders of emperor Hadrian by 123 AD from Solway to the mouth of river Tyne .

☑️Later it came to be known as Hadrian's wall which is now a very famous heritage site

.☑️A second line of forts was built between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as per the orders of the Roman governor Agricola, which later came to be known as Antoine's wall.

☑️These walls, forts, temples, theatres and huge roads enthralled generations of Britons and even the Angles and Saxons who came to Britain after the Romans.

☑️Allusions to these magnificent Roman monuments can be seen in old English poetry especially in Arthurian legends.

☑️So Roman occupation did highly influence the literature of the land .

Positive impacts of Roman Occupation

☑️ The positive impacts include those forts , temples , walls and magnificent roads constructed by the Romans.

☑️The Romans were peace- loving tribe. So the various Celtic tribes accepted Rome as their master

☑️ And the ordinary people of Britain experienced peace as never before, which is known as Roman peace or the Pax Romana.

☑️Even the country houses in South and East Britain were constructed in the style of Roman Villas, which is another instance that the Britons admired the Roman architecture, Culture and lifestyle to a great extent.

Negative Impact

☑️The only people trained to fight were the soldiers of regular army and not the ordinary people.

☑️ As a result, the Britons were not trained to defend themselves in the case of an emergency.

☑️This was the main reason for the Britons not being able to fight against the Angles and Saxons who came after the Romans, in the 5 th century. 

Roman Roads.

☑️ magnificent roads were constructed and we're extended to every corner that was conquered by the Romans .

☑️ These roads were modelled on a carefully- knit master plan, so that every part of the island became accessible to the rulers as well as to all who came to Britain.

Roman Administrative system

Though the Roman Empire was a military despotism, it was is some respects quite liberal

☑️It consisted of a number of municipalities which enjoyed local self government to a great extent and had jurisdiction over large areas.

☑️There were 5 such municipalities

Verulamium, which later came to be known as St. Albans.

Clochester

Lincoln

Gloucester

York

☑️ The rest of the Britain was divided into Cantons or districts, each under the rule of municipality.

The Spread of Christianity.

☑️Christianity was brought to Britain by the Roman soldiers, who had witnessed the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ

☑️At that point of time Christians were subjected to massive persecution.

☑️But the followers of Christ grew in number and same happened in Britain too.

The influence of British Christianity on Literature

☑️influence of British Christianity on Literature

can be seen in the legends of saints like the legend of St Alban and the story of Helena and her Invention of the True Cross.

☑️It was Helena's son Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion of Rome and henceforth it became the Holy Roman Empire.

☑️ Helena's story became the basis for the famous poem Elene by Cynewulf.

Impact on Place names

☑️place names ending with the suffixes- Chester, - caster, - cester as in Dorchester, Lancaster, and Gloucester are supposed to be the forms of the Latin word castra which means fort 

The later years of Roman rule

☑️during the later years of Roman occupation , Rome tried to impose her laws, language and customs upon a hostile Britain

☑️So there was no love lost between the ruled and the ruler.

☑️as hostility grew between the conqueror and the conquered, Roman troops were withdrawn from Britain and the land returned to its Pre- Roman existence with the tribes fighting each other.

The Decline of Roman Empire

☑️The 3 rd century of the Christian era witnessed the decline of the Roman Empire.

☑️The Roman rulers were despots 

☑️and not all of them were able rulers

☑️Also, the Romans , steeped in luxury and immorality, had become pampered and indolent and their earlier discipline and courage gave way to lawlessness and lust.

☑️So they couldn't resist the combined savage attack by the host tribes like Goths, Franks, Vandals , Angles, Saxons etc.who descended upon Europe.

☑️These tribes now began to conquer France and Spain

☑️By the first quarter of the fifth century, a huge army of the Goths led by their king, Alaric sacked the capital city of Rome in 410 AD

☑️ Emperor Honorious was forced to withdraw the Roman legions posted in different parts of Europe

☑️Thus Roman legions had to leave Britain 

☑️Thus Britons became free of Roman occupatio

n.o. the Roman legions posted in different parts of Europe

☑️Thus Roman legions had to leave Britain too.

☑️Thus Britons became free of Roman occupation.


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