The Roman Invasion of Britain

The Roman Invasion of Britain

The Roman Invasion of Britain

The Roman Invasion of Britain

Synopsis

Gives the background of Britain before the Roman invasion of 43 AD and goes on to describe the Roman forces, the personalities involved, the actual invasion - including the crucial battle on the Medway - and Claudius' triumphal entrance into Camulodunum, the British capital.,The Roman conquest of Britain in AD43 was one of the most important turning points in the history of the British Isles. It left a legacy still discernible today in the form of archaeological remains, road networks, land divisions and even language. In this text (which is part of a trilogy), now up-dated and revised, Dr Webster builds up a lively picture of Britain in the first century AD and discusses in detail the various types of evidence and the theories based upon them.

Excerpt

My interest in the Roman invasion and early campaigns in Britain was first aroused by an investigation of the legionary fortress at Lincoln, 1938–45 (JRS 39 (1949) 57–78). There was little opportunity for doing b />eastern Britain in the period post-dating Caesar, as evidence of extensive trade has been discovered. It became evident as work proceeded on this book, that it was quite impossible to include all the events from AD 43 to 58, and the evidence for them into the space between the covers. So the publishers kindly agreed to allow me two volumes, the present one takes the conquest down to the end of the governorship of Aulus Plautius (AD 47/48) and a second volume will continue the study up to the short governorship of Q Veranius (AD 57/58).

I have been very fortunate in having the collaboration of Professor A Barrett of University of British Columbia, who has been carrying out a careful study of the historical sources of this period and my gratitude to him will be evident from the footnotes. The only historical account of the invasion of AD 43 is that of Cassius Dio and I acknowledge the help of two Cambridge scholars, Mary Beard and Neil Wright, for their entire reappraisal of this difficult text and new translation (Appendix 1). I must also thank Professor Antony Birley of Düsseldorf University for his kind help with Roman personalities who came to Britain as comites with Claudius and Barry Eccleston for his skill and patience in drawing his maps.

It will be abundantly clear from the text that I have had from many excavators, aerial photographers, museum curators and colleagues, a vast amount of help and information freely given, much of it before publication. To list them all would be difficult and I hope that full credit has been given in the text and footnotes. I am sorry for any omissions, due to carelessness or forgetfulness. To my wife, Diana, I owe a special word of thanks for improving the quality of the text and excising any over-fanciful ideas and humble gratitude to my secretary Mary Pinder, who has had to re-type so many pages so often. My thanks also to Peter Jennings and Tony Barrett for their careful proof reading.

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