The Roman Conquest of Britain
Table of Contents
Julius Caesar was the first Roman emperor to conquer Britain, although only nominally in 55 B.C..
The main reasons were two:
- Britain had a good soil to farm.
- Celts were helping Gauls, and they had to be taught a lesson
He didn’t tryhard and did this just to scare the Celts from helping Gauls, so he failed and lost.
Emperor Claudius, about ~90 years later, in 43 A.D., took control of central and south eastern Britain.
Roman influence and politics #
Claudius involved Celts in Roman politics, by giving them Roman citizenship. Romans built a n network of roads, terms, temples, theathers, houses and also some words from Latin, e.g. castra, merged into the Old English vocabulary. However, latin was used only by the upper class, and didn’t replace the Celtic language.
Castra is the word for encampment and it’s easily found in English cities’ names, like Manchester, which probably was a castra of a man.
Hadrian’s wall #
Since they were mainly settled in Wales and Scotland, Hadrian emperor, in 122 A.D. built a great wall, to protect from hostile tribes, as Picts and Scots, and mark the empire’s border.
The Roman withdrawal #
The Romans withdrew from Britain in 410, after four centuries of romanisation and coexisting with Celts.
The causes of their leave are many, but the most remarkable ones are the Sack of Rome, and an enormous wave of barbarians invading the empire.