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История Roman invasion
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Interesting fact

No-one called the people living in Britain during the Iron Age, Celts until the eighteenth century. In fact the Romans called these people Britons, not Celts. The name Celts is a 'modern' name and is used to collectively describe all the many tribes of people living during the Iron Age.

When did the Celts live in Europe?

The Iron Age Celts lived here 750 years before Jesus was born. The Iron Age ended in AD43 (43 years after Jesus was born) when the Romans invaded Britain.

Why are the Celts called Iron Age Celts?

The period of time in Britain immediately before the Roman period is known as the Iron Age. The name 'Iron Age' comes from the discovery of a new metal called iron. The Celts found out how to make iron tools and weapons.

Before the Iron Age the only metal used in Britain to make tools was bronze, which is an alloy (сплав) of copper (медь) and tin (олово) (hence the Bronze Age).

Where did the Celts come from?

The Celts lived across most of Europe during the Iron Age.

Several hundred years before Julius Caesar, they occupied many parts of central and western Europe, especially what are now Austria, Switzerland, southern France and Spain. Over several years, in wave after wave, they spread outwards, taking over France and Belgium, and crossing to Britain.

Northwest Europe was dominated by three main Celtic groups:

  • the Gauls
  • the Britons
  • the Gaels

www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/celts.htm

Roman soldiers

Rome invaded Britain because it suited the careers of two men. The first of these was Julius Caesar. This great republican general had conquered Gaul and was looking for an excuse to avoid returning to Rome. Britain afforded him one, in 55 BC, when Commius, king of the Atrebates, was ousted by Cunobelin, king of the Catuvellauni, and fled to Gaul. Caesar seized the opportunity to mount an expedition on behalf of Commius. He wanted to gain the glory of a victory beyond the Great Ocean, and believed that Britain was full of silver and booty to be plundered.

His first expedition, however, was too hastily organised. With just two legions, he failed to do much more than force his way ashore and win a token victory that impressed the senate in Rome more than it did the tribesmen of Britain. In 54 BC, he tried again, this time with five legions, and succeeded in re-establishing Commius on the Atrebatic throne. Yet he returned to Gaul disgruntled and empty-handed, complaining in a letter to Cicero that there was no silver or booty to be found in Britain after all. Caesar's military adventurism set the scene for the second exploitation of Britain - by the Emperor Claudius. He was to use an identical excuse to Caesar for very similar reasons. Claudius had recently been made emperor in a palace coup. He needed the prestige of military conquest to consolidate his hold on power. Into this situation came Verica, successor to Commius, complaining that the new chief of the Catuvellauni, Caratacus, had deprived him of his throne. Like Caesar, Claudius seized his chance. In AD 43, he sent four legions across the sea to invade Britain. They landed at Richborough and pushed towards the River Medway, where they met with stiff resistance. However, the young general Vespasian

forced the river with his legion supported by a band of 'Celtic' auxiliaries, and the British were routed. Meanwhile, Claudius arrived in Britain to enter the Catuvellaunian capital of Colchester in triumph. He founded a temple there, containing a fine bronze statue of himself, and established a legionary fortress. He remained in Britain for only 16 days.

It took another 30 years to conquer the rest of the island (bar the Highlands). Once in, Rome was prepared to defend her new acquisition to the death. Yet Britain was originally invaded not for its wealth, not for strategic reasons, not even for ideology, but for the plain and simple reason that it furthered a politician's career. It has been said that Rome conquered an empire in a fit of absent-mindedness. Britain is a case in point.

www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/celts.htm

The Roman fort and settlement of Vindolanda

The Roman empire was based on two things: lip service to the emperor, and payment to the army. As long as you acknowledged the imperial cult and paid your taxes, Rome did not really care how you lived your life.

In one respect, there were very few 'Romans' in Britain. There were Batavians, Thracians, Mauretanians, Sarmatians: all brought in through service in the army, and all eventually granted citizenship and a packet of land after their 25 years' service. They settled all over Britain, becoming naturalised British citizens of the Roman Empire. Most of them settled in or near the fort where they had served, staying close to their friends. Gradually, these urban settlements outside the fort grew into townships, which were eventually granted municipal status.

The evidence for what life was like in these places has largely been eradicated by the cities' urban sprawl, but in more remote areas, like at Vindolanda up on Hadrian's Wall, you can still see just what the original Roman settlement looked like. Vindolanda housed several units in its history, among them the Ninth Batavians - from whom a large pile of correspondence was found written on thin wooden writing tablets. There were over 200 of these writing tablets dating to AD 95-115. Mainly official documents and letters written in ink, they are the oldest historical documents known from Britain.

Among them is a set of letters between Sulpicia Lepidina, wife of the camp commander, and her friend Claudia Severa, wife of the commander at Housesteads, around ten miles up the road. They paint a picture of life on the frontier very much like that of a British officer's wife on the north-west frontier: full of empty days, relative discomfort, boredom and loneliness. Life for the ordinary people of the village seemed a little more interesting than that of the upper classes, but it remained harsh and unforgiving. In the third century AD, marriage for soldiers was permitted, and the village, where their families had always lived, was rebuilt in stone. They constructed a beautiful little bath-house where the soldiers could relax, and a guest-house called a mansio, with six guest-rooms and its own private bath suite - for travellers on official business - along the wall. By this time, all adults in the empire had been granted blanket citizenship and the 'Romans' in Britain had become fully assimilated with their British neighbours.

www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/questions_01.shtml


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    Interesting fact No-one called the people living in Britain during the Iron Age, Celts until the eighteenth century. In fact the Romans called these people Britons, not Celts. The name Celts is a 'modern' name and is used to collectively describe all the many tribes of people living during the Iron Age. When did the Celts live in Europe? The Iron Age Celts lived here 750 years before Jesus was born. The Iron Age ended in AD43 (43 years after Jesus was born) when the Romans invaded... [читать подробенее]