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Early Britain--Roman Britain|
The Roman Conquest, B.C. 54—A.D. 85
by Conybeare, Edward
Britain after Julius Caesar—House of Commius—Inscribed coins—House of Cymbeline—Tasciovan
—Commians overthrown—Vain appeal to Augustus—Ancyran Tablet—Romano-British trade
—Lead-mining—British fashions in Rome—Adminius banished by Cymbeline—Appeal to Caligula
—Futile demonstration—Icenian civil war—Vericus banished—Appeal to Claudius—Invasion prepared.
A. 1.—With the departure of Caesar from its shores
our knowledge of the affairs of Britain becomes only
less fragmentary than before he reached them. We do
not even learn how far the tribute he had imposed
continued to be paid. Most probably during the confusion
of the Gallic revolt and the Civil Wars it ceased
altogether. In that confusion Commius finally lost
his continental principality of Arras, and had to fly
for his life into his British dominions. He only saved
himself, indeed, by an ingenious stratagem. When he
reached the shore of Gaul he found his ship aground
in the tide-way. Nevertheless, by hoisting all sail, he
deceived the pursuing Romans into thinking themselves
too late till the rising tide permitted him really
to put to sea.110 The effect of the extinction of Atrebatian
power in Gaul was doubtless to consolidate it
in Britain, as when our English sovereigns lost their
hold on Normandy and Anjou, for we find that Commius
reigned at least over the eastern counties of
Wessex, and transmitted his power to his sons, Verica,
Eppillus, and Tincommius, who seem to have shared
the kingdom between them. Tincommius, however,
may possibly be, as Professor Rhys suggests, merely a
title, signifying the Tanist (or Heir) of Commius. In
this case it would be that of Verica, who was king
after his father.111
A. 2.—The evidence for this is that in the district
mentioned British coins are found bearing these
names. For now appears the first inscribed British
coinage; the inscriptions being all in Latin, a sign of
the abiding influence of the work of Caesar. And it is
by that light mainly that we know the little we do
know of British history for the next century. The
coins are very numerous, and preserve for us the
names of no fewer than thirty several rulers (or states).
They are mostly of gold (though both silver and
bronze also occur), and are found over the greater
part of the island, the southern and the eastern
counties being the richest. The inscriptions indicate,
as has already been mentioned,112 a state of great
political confusion throughout the country. But they
also bear testimony not only to the dynasty of Commius,
but to the rise of a much stronger power north
of the Thames.
A. 3.—That power was the House of Cunobelin, or
Cinobellinus113 (Shakespeare's Cymbeline), who figures
in the pages of Suetonius as King of all Britain, insomuch
that his fugitive son, Adminius, posed before
Caligula as the rightful sovereign of the whole island.
His coins were undoubtedly current everywhere south
of Trent and east of Severn, if not beyond those rivers.
They are found in large numbers, and of most varied
devices, all showing the influence of classical art. A
head (probably his own portrait) is often on the obverse,
and on the reverse Apollo playing the lyre, or a
Centaur, or a Victory, or Medusa, or Pegasus, or
Hercules. Other types show a warrior on horse or
foot, or a lion,114 or a bull, or a wolf, or a wild boar;
others again a vine-leaf, or an ear of bearded wheat.
On a very few is found the horse, surviving from the
old Macedonian mintage.115 And all bear his own name,
sometimes in full, CVNOBELINVS REX, oftener abbreviated
in various ways.
A. 4.—But the coins do more than testify to the
widespread power of Cymbeline himself. They show
us that he inherited much of it from his father. This
prince, whose name was Tasciovan, is often associated
with his son in the inscriptions, and the son is often
described as TASCIIOVANI F. (Filius) or TASCIOVANTIS.
There are besides a large number of coins belonging
to Tasciovan alone. And these tell us where he
reigned. They are struck (where the mint is recorded)
either at Segontium116 or at Verulam. The latter is
pretty certainly the town which had sprung up on the
site of Caswallon's stronghold, so that we may reasonably
conclude that Tasciovan was the successor of the
patriot hero on the Cateuchlanian throne—very probably
his son. But Cymbeline's coins are struck at
the Trinobantian capital, Camelodune,117 which we
know to have been the royal city of his son Caratac
(or Caradoc) at the Claudian conquest.
A. 5.—It would seem, therefore, that, Caesar's mandate
to the contrary notwithstanding, Caswallon's clan,
who were now called (perhaps from his name),
Cattivellauni, had again conquered the Trinobantes,
deposing, and probably slaying, Mandubratius.118 This
would be under Tasciovan, who gave the land to his
son Cymbeline, and, at a later date, must have subdued
the Atrebatian power in the south. The sons of
Commius were, as is shown by Sir John Evans,
contemporary with Tasciovan. But, by and by, we find
Epaticcus, his son, and Adminius, apparently his
grandson, reigning in their realm, the latter taking
Kent, the former the western districts. The previous
Kentish monarch was named Dumnovellanus, and
appears as DAMNO BELLA on the Ancyran Tablet.
This wonderful record of the glories of Augustus
mentions, inter alia, that certain British kings, of
whom this prince was one, fled to his protection.
The tablet is, unhappily, mutilated at the point where
their names occur, but that of another begins with
TIM—probably, as Sir John Evans suggests, Tin-Commius.
Adminius also was afterwards exiled by his
own father, Cymbeline, and in like manner appealed
to Caesar—Caligula—in 40 A.D.
A. 6.—Nothing came of either appeal. Augustus
did indeed, according to Dio Cassius, meditate completing
his "father's" work, and (in B.C. 34) entered
Gaul with a view to invading Britain. But the political
troubles which were to culminate at Actium called him
back, and he contented himself with laying a small
duty on the trade between Britain and Gaul. Tin, as
before, formed the staple export of our island, and
other metals seem now to have been added—iron
from Sussex and lead from Somerset. Doubtless also
the pearls from our native oysters (of which Caesar
had already dedicated a breastplate to his ancestral
Venus) found their way to Rome, though of far less
value than the Oriental jewel, being of a less pure
white.119 Besides these we read of "ivory bracelets and
necklets, amber and glass ornaments, and such-like
rubbish,"120 which doubtless found a sale amongst the
virtuosi of Rome, as like products of savage industry
from Africa or Polynesia find a sale amongst our
virtuosi nowadays. Meanwhile, Roman dignity was
saved by considering these duties to be in lieu of the
unpaid tribute imposed by Caesar, and the island was
declared by courtly writers to be already in practical
subjection. "Some of the chiefs [dunastai] have
gained the friendship of Augustus, and dedicated
offerings in the Capitol.... The island would not
be worth holding, and could never pay the expenses
of a garrison."121
A. 7.—At the same time the Romans of the day
evidently took a very special interest in everything
connected with Britain. The leaders of Roman
society, like Maecenas, drove about in British chariots,122
smart ladies dyed their hair red in imitation of British
warriors,123 tapestry inwoven with British figures was
all the fashion,124 and constant hopes were expressed
by the poets that, before long, so interesting a land
might be finally incorporated in the Roman Empire.125
A. 8.—Augustus was too prudent to be stirred up
by this "forward" policy; which, indeed, he had
sanctioned once too often in the fatal invasion of
Germany by Varus. But the diseased brain of
Caligula was for a moment fired with the ambition of
so vast an enterprise. He professed that the fugitive
Adminius had ceded to him the kingship of the whole
island, and sent home high-flown dispatches to that
effect. He had no fleet, but drew up his army in line
of battle on the Gallic shore, while all wondered what
mad freak he was purposing; then suddenly bade
every man fill his helmet with shells as "spoils of the
Ocean" to be dedicated in the Capitol. Finally he
commemorated this glorious victory by the erection
of a lofty lighthouse,126 probably at the entrance of
A. 9.—It was clear, however, that sooner or later
Britain must be drawn into the great system so near
her, and the next reign furnished the needful occasion.
Yet another exiled British pretender appealed to the
Emperor to see him righted—this time one Vericus.
His name suggests that he may have been Verica son
of Commius; but the theory of Professor Rhys and
Sir John Evans seems more probable—that he was a
Prince of the Iceni. The earliest name found on the
coins of that clan is Addeomarus (Aedd Mawr, or
Eth the Great, of British legend), who was contemporary
with Tasciovan. After this the tribe probably
became subject to Cymbeline, at whose death 127 the
chieftainship seems to have been disputed between
two pretenders, Vericus and Antedrigus; and on the
success of the latter (presumably by Cateuchlanian
favour) the former fled to Rome. Claudius, who now
sat on the Imperial throne, eagerly seized the opportunity
for the renown he was always coveting, and in
A.D. 44 set in motion the forces of the Empire to
subdue our island.
Aulus Plautius—Reluctance to embark—Narcissus—Passage of Channel—Landing at Portchester
—Strength of expedition—Vespasian's legion—British defeats—Line of Thames held—Arrival
of Claudius—Camelodune taken—General submission of island.
B. 1.—The command of the expedition was entrusted
to Aulus Plautius Laelianus, a distinguished Senator,
of Consular rank. But the reluctance of the soldiery to
advance "beyond the limits of this mortal world"
[exô tas ohikoumenês], and entrust themselves
to the mysterious tides of the ocean which was held to
bound it, caused him weeks of delay on the shores
of Gaul. Nor could anything move them, till they
found this malingering likely to expose them to the
degradation of a quasi-imperial scolding from Narcissus,
the freed-man favourite of Claudius, who came
down express from Rome as the Emperor's mouthpiece.128
To bear reproof from one who had been
born a slave was too much for Roman soldiers. When
Narcissus mounted the tribune to address them in
the Emperor's name, his very first words were at once
drowned by a derisive shout from every mouth of "Io
Saturnalia!" the well-known cry with which Roman
slaves inaugurated their annual Yule-tide licence of
aping for the day the characters of their masters.
The parade tumultuously broke off, and the troops
hurried down to the beach to carry out the commands
of their General—who was at least free-born.
B, 2.—The passage of the Channel was effected in
three separate fleets, possibly at three separate points,
and the landing on our shores was unopposed. The
Britons, doubtless, had been lulled to security by the
tidings of the mutinous temper in the camp of the
invaders, and were quite unprepared for the very
unexpected result of the mission of Narcissus. It
seems likely, moreover, that the disembarkation was
made much further to the west than they would have
looked for. The voyage is spoken of as long, and
amid its discomforts the drooping spirits of the
soldiery were signally cheered by a meteor of special
brilliance which one night darted westwards as their
harbinger. Moreover we find that when the Romans
did land, their first success was a defeat of the
Dobuni, subject allies of the House of Cymbeline,
who, as we gather from Ptolemy, dwelt in what is
now Southern Gloucestershire.129 This objective rather
points to their landing-place having been in Portsmouth
harbour130 (the Port, as its name still reminds
us, of Roman Britain), where the undoubtedly Roman
site of Portchester may well mark the exact spot where
the expedition first set foot on shore.
B. 3.—Besides an unknown force of Gallic auxiliaries,
its strength comprised four veteran legions, one (the
Ninth Hispanica)131 from the Danube frontier, the rest
(Twentieth, Fourteenth, and Second) from the Rhine.
This last, an "Augustan"132 legion, was commanded by
the future Emperor Vespasian—a connection destined
to have an important influence on the pronunciamento
which, twenty-five years later, placed him on the throne.133
As yet he was only a man of low family, whom
favouritism was held to have hurried up the ladder of
promotion more rapidly than his birth warranted.134
Serving under him as Military Tribunes were his
brother Sabinus and his son Titus; and in this
British campaign all three Flavii are said to have
distinguished themselves,135 especially at the passage of
an unnamed river, where the Britons made an obstinate
stand. The ford was not passed till after three days'
continuous fighting, of which the issue was finally
decided by the "Celtic" auxiliaries swimming the
stream higher up, and stampeding the chariot-horses
tethered behind the British lines.
B. 4.—What this stream may have been is a
puzzle.136 Dion Cassius brings it in after a victory over
the sons of Cymbeline, Caradoc (or Caractacus, as
historians commonly call him) and Togodumnus,
wherein the latter was slain. And he adds that
from its banks the Britons fell back upon their next
line of defence, the tide-way on the Thames. He
tells us that, though tidal, the river was, at this
point, fordable at low water for those who knew the
shallows; and incidentally mentions that at no great
distance there was even a bridge over it. But it
was bordered by almost impassable137 swamps. It must
be remembered that before the canalizing of the
Thames the influence of the tide was perceptible at
least as high as Staines, where was also a crossing-place
of immemorial antiquity. And hereabouts may very
probably have been the key of the British position, a
position so strong that it brought Plautius altogether
to a standstill. Not till overwhelming reinforcements,
including even an elephant corps, were summoned
from Rome, with Claudius in person at their head,
was a passage forced. The defence then, however,
collapsed utterly, and within a fortnight of his landing,
Claudius was able to re-embark for Rome, after
taking Camelodune, and securing for the moment,
without the loss of a man,138 as it would seem, the
nominal submission of the whole island, including
even the Orkneys.139
Claudius triumphs—Gladiatorial shows—Last stand of Britons—Gallantry of Titus—Ovation
of Plautius—Distinctions bestowed—Triumphal arch—Commemorative coinage—Conciliatory
policy—British worship of Claudius—Cogidubnus—Attitude of clans—Britain made Imperial
C. 1.—The success thus achieved was evidently
felt to be something quite exceptionally brilliant and
important. Not once, as was usual, but four several
times was Claudius acclaimed "Imperator"140 even
before he left our shores; and in after years these
acclamations were renewed at Rome as often as good
news of the British war arrived there, till, ere
Claudius died, he had received no fewer than twenty-one
such distinctions, each signalized by an issue of
commemorative coinage. His "Britannic triumph" was
celebrated on a scale of exceptional magnificence.
In addition to the usual display, he gave his people
the unique spectacle of their Emperor climbing the
ascent to the Capitol not in his triumphal car, nor
even on foot, but on his knees (as pilgrims yet mount
the steps of the Ara Coeli), in token of special
gratitude to the gods for so signal an extension of the
glory and the Empire of Rome. In the gladiatorial
shows which followed, he presided in full uniform
[paludatus],141 with his son (whose name, like his own,
a Senatus consultum had declared to be Britannicus)142
on his knee.143 One of the spectacles represented the
storm of a British oppidum and the surrender of
British kings. The kings were probably real British
chieftains, and the storm was certainly real, with real
Britons, real blood, real slaughter, for Claudius went
to every length in this direction.
C. 2.—The narrative of Suetonius144 connects these
shows with the well-known tale of the unhappy
gladiators who fondly hoped that a kind word from
the Emperor meant a reprieve of their doom. He
had determined to surpass all his predecessors in his
exhibition of a sea-fight, and had provided a sheet of
water large enough for the manoeuvres of real war-galleys,
carrying some five hundred men apiece.145
The crews, eleven thousand in all, made their usual
preliminary march past his throne, with the usual
mournful acclaim, "Ave Caesar! Salutant te morituri!"
Claudius responded, "Aut non:" and these
two words were enough to inspire the doomed ranks
with hopes of mercy. With one accord they refused
to play their part, and he had to come down in
person and solemnly assure them that if his show was
spoilt he would exterminate every man of them "with
fire and sword," before they would embark. Once
entered upon the combat, however, they fought
desperately; so well, indeed, that at its close the
survivors were declared exempt from any further
performance. Such was the fate which awaited those
who dared to defend their freedom against the Fortune
of Rome, and such the death died by many a brave
Briton for the glory of his subjugators. Dion Cassius146
tells us that Aulus Plautius made a special boast of
the numbers so butchered in connection with his own
C. 3.—This ceremony was celebrated A.D. 47, two
years after that of Claudius. Plautius had remained
behind in Britain to stamp out the last embers of
resistance,—a task which all but proved fatal to
Vespasian, who got hemmed in by the enemy. He
was only saved by the personal heroism and devotion
of Titus, who valiantly made in to his father's rescue,
and succeeded in cutting him out. This seems to
have been in the last desperate stand made by the
Britons during this campaign. After this, with
Togodumnus slain, Caradoc probably a fugitive in hiding,
and the best and bravest of the land slaughtered
either in the field or in the circus at Rome, British
resistance was for the moment utterly crushed out.
Claudius continued his demonstrations of delight;
when Plautius neared Rome he went out in person to
meet him,147 raised him when he bent the knee in
homage, and warmly shook hands with him148[kalos
diacheirisas]; afterwards himself walking on his left
hand in the triumphal procession along the Via
C. 4.—Rewards were at the same time showered
on the inferior officers. Cnaeus Ostorius Geta, the
hero of the first riverside fight in Britain, was allowed
to triumph in consular fashion, though not yet of
consular rank; and an inscription found at Turin
speaks of collars, gauntlets and phalera bestowed on
one Caius Gavius, along with a golden wreath for
Distinguished Service. Another, found in Switzerland,150
records the like wreath assigned to Julius
Camillus, a Military Tribune of the Fourth Legion,
together with the decoration of the Hasta Pura
(something, it would seem, in the nature of the
Victoria Cross); which was also, according to
Suetonius,151 given to Posides, one of the Emperor's
C. 5.—To Claudius himself, besides his triumph, the
Senate voted two triumphal arches,152 one in Rome, the
other in the Gallic port whence he had embarked for
Britain. Part of the inscription on the former of
these was found in 1650 on the site where it stood
(near the Palazzo Sciarra), and is still to be seen in
the gardens of the Barberini Palace. It runs as
follows (the conjectural restoration of the lost
portions which have been added being enclosed in
TI CLAVD [IO. CAES.]
PONTIFIC [I. MAX. TR. P. IX]
COS. VI. IM [P. XVI. PP]
SENATVS. PO [PVL. Q.R. QVOD]
REGES. BRIT [ANNIAE. ABSQ]
VLLA. JACTV [RA. DOMVERIT]
GENTES QVE [BARBARAS]
PRIMVS. INDI [CIO. SVBEGERIT]
"To Tiberius Claudius Caesar, Augustus, Pontifex
Maximus, holding for the 9th time the authority of
Tribune, Consul for the 6th time, acclaimed Imperator
for the 16th, the Senate and People of Rome [have
dedicated this arch]. Because that without the loss
of a man he hath subdued the Kings of Britain, and
hath been the first to bring under her barbarous clans
under our sway."
Claudius also affixed to the walls of
the imperial house on the Palatine (which was destined
to give the name of "palace" to royal abodes for all
time),153 a "corona navalis"—a circlet in which the
usual radiations were made to resemble the sails, etc.
of ships—in support of his proud claim to have tamed
the Ocean itself [quasi domiti oceani] and brought it
under Roman sway:
"Et jam Romano cingimur Oceano."154
C. 6.—As usual, coins were struck to commemorate
the occasion, the earliest of the long series of Roman
coins relating to Britain. They bear on the obverse
the laureated head of Claudius to the right, with the
superscription TI. CLAVD. CAESAR. AVG. P.M. TR. P.
VIIII. IMP. XVI. On the reverse is an equestrian figure,
between two trophies, surmounting a triumphal arch,
over which is inscribed the legend DE. BRITAN. This
coin, being of gold, was struck not by the Senate (who
regulated the bronze issue), but by the Imperial mint,
and dates from the year 46, when Claudius was clothed
for the ninth time with the authority of Tribune. By
that time the arch was doubtless completed, and the
coin may well show what it was actually like. Another
coin, also bearing the words DE. BRITAN., shows
Claudius in his triumphal chariot with an eagle on his
sceptre. Even poor little Britannicus, who never
came to his father's throne, being set aside through
the intrigues of his stepmother Agrippina and finally
poisoned (A.D. 55) by Nero, had a coin of his own on
this occasion issued by the Senate and inscribed TI.
CLAVD. CAESAR. AVG. F. [Augusti Filius] BRITANNICVS.
C.7.—Seneca, whose own connection with Britain
was that of a grinding usurer,155 speaks with intense
disgust of the conciliatory attitude of Claudius towards
the populations, or more probably the kinglets, who
had submitted to his sway. He purposed, it seems,
even to see some of them raised to Roman citizenship
[Britannos togatos videre]. That the grateful
provincials should have raised a temple to him at
Camelodune, and rendered him worship as an incarnate
deity, adds to the offence. And, writing on the
Emperor's death, the philosopher points with evident
satisfaction to the wretched fate of the man who
triumphed over Britain and the Ocean, only to fall at
last a victim to the machinations of his own wife.
C. 8.—An interesting confirmation of this information
as to the relations between Claudius and his
British subjects is to be found in a marble tablet156
discovered at Chichester, which commemorates the
erection of a temple (dedicated to Neptune and
Minerva) for the welfare of the Divine [i.e. Imperial]
Household by a Guild of Craftsmen [collegium fabrorum]
on a site given by Pudens the son of Pudentinus;157
all under the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus,
at once a native British kinglet and Imperial
Legate in Britain. This office would imply Roman
citizenship, as would also the form of his name.
That (doubtless on his enfranchisement) he should
have been allowed to take such a distinguished nomen
and praenomen as Tiberius Claudius marks the special
favour in which he was held by the Emperor.158 To
this witness is also borne by Tacitus, who says that
certain states in Britain were placed under Cogidubnus
not as a tributary Kingdom but as a Roman Province.
Hence his title of Imperial Legate. These states
were doubtless those of the Cantii and Regni in Kent,
Surrey and Sussex.
C. 9.—The Iceni, on the other hand, were subject
allies of Rome, with Vericus, in all probability, on the
throne.159 The Atrebates would seem also to have
been "friendlies." But the great mass of the British
clans were chafing under the humiliation and suffering
which the invaders had wrought for them, and evidently
needed a strong hand to keep them down. Under
the Empire provinces requiring military occupation
were committed not to Pro-consuls chosen by the
Senate, but to Pro-praetors nominated by the Emperor,
and were called "Imperial" as opposed to "Senatorial"
governments.160 Britain was now accordingly declared
an Imperial Province, and Ostorius Scapula sent by
Claudius to administer it as Pro-praetor.
Ostorius Pro-praetor—Pacification of Midlands—Icenian revolt—Camb's dykes—Iceni crushed
war—Storm of Caer Caradoc—Treachery of Cartismandua—Caradoc
at Rome—Death of Ostorius—Uriconium and Caerleon—Britain quieted—Death of Claudius.
D. 1.—When Ostorius, in A.D. 50, reached Britain
he found things in a very disturbed state. The clans
which had submitted to the Romans were being raided
by their independent neighbours, who calculated that
this new governor would not venture on risking his
untried levies in a winter campaign against them.
Ostorius, however, was astute enough to realize that
such a first impression of his rule would be fatal, and,
by a sudden dash with a flying column (citas cohortes),
cut the raiders to pieces. As usual the Britons hoisted
the white flag in their familiar manner, making a
surrender which they had no intention whatever of
keeping to longer than suited their plans; and they
were proportionately disgusted when Ostorius set to
work at a real pacification of the Midlands, constructing
forts at strategic points along the Trent and
Severn, and requiring all natives whatsoever within
this Roman Pale to give up their arms.
D. 2.—This demand the Britons looked upon as
an intolerable dishonour, even as it seemed to the
Highlanders two centuries ago. The first to resent
it were the chieftain and clan whose alliance with Rome
had been the raison d'être of the Conquest, Vericus
and his Iceni.161 Was this brand of shame to be their
reward for bringing in the invaders? They received
the mandate of Ostorius with a burst of defiance, and
hastily organized a league of the neighbouring tribes
to resist so intolerable a degradation. Before their
allies could come in, however, Ostorius was upon
them, and it became a matter of defending their own
D. 3.—The spot they selected for resistance was a
space shut in by earthworks (agresti aggere) accessible
only by one narrow entrance. This description exactly
applies to the locality where we should look for
an Icenian Thermopylae. The clan dwelt, as we have
said, in East Anglia, their borders to the south
being the marshy course of the Stour, running
from the primaeval forest that capped the "East
Anglian Heights," and, to the west, the Cambridgeshire
Fens. They thus lived within a ring fence almost
unassailable. Only in one spot was there an entrance.
Between the Fen and the Forest stretched a narrow
strip of open turf, some three or four miles across,
affording easy marching. And along it ran their own
great war-path, the Icknield Street, extending from the
heart of their realm right away to the Thames at
Goring. It never became a Roman road, though
a few miles are now metalled. Along most of its
course it remains what it was in British days, a broad,
green track seamed with scores of rut-marks. And
even where it has been obliterated, its course may be
traced by the names of Ickborough in Norfolk, Iclingham
in Suffolk, Ickleton in Cambridgeshire, and
Ickleford in Hertfordshire.162
D. 4.—The Iceni had long ago taken care to fortify
this approach to their land. The whole space between
fen and forest in the Cam valley was cut across by
four (or five) great dykes which may still be traced,
constructed for defence against invaders from the
westward. Of these, the two innermost are far more
formidable than the rest, the "Fleam Dyke" near
Cambridge, and the "Devil's Ditch" by Newmarket.
The outer fosse of each is from twenty to thirty feet
deep; and the rampart, when topped by a stockade,
must have constituted an obstacle to troops unprovided
with artillery which the Iceni might justifiably
think insuperable. The "one narrow entrance" along
the whole length of the dykes (five miles and ten
miles respectively) is where the Icknield Way cuts
D. 5.—Here then, probably, the Icenian levies confidently
awaited the onslaught of Ostorius—the more
confidently inasmuch as he had not waited to call up
his legionaries from their winter quarters, but attacked
only with the irregulars whom he had been employing
against the marauders in the midlands. The Iceni,
doubtless, imagined that such troops would be unequal
to assaulting their dyke at all. But Ostorius
was no ordinary leader. Such was the enthusiasm
which he inspired in his troops that they surprised the
revolters by attacking along the whole line of the
Fleam Dyke at once, and that with such impetuosity
that in a moment they were over it. The hapless
Iceni were now caught in a death-trap. Behind them
the Devil's Ditch barred all retreat save through its
one narrow entrance, and those who failed to force
their way through the mad crush there could only
fight and die with the courage of despair. "Many a
deed of desperate valour did they," says Tacitus
[multa et clara facinora], and the Romans displayed
like courage; the son of Ostorius winning in the fray
the "civic crown"163 awarded for the rescue of a
Roman citizen. But no quarter seems to have been
given, and the flower of the Icenian tribe perished
there to a man.
D. 6.—This slaughter effectually scotched the
rising which the Icenians were hoping to organize.
All Central Britain submitted, and, we may presume,
was quietly disarmed; though the work cannot have
been very effectually done, as these same tribes were
able to rise under Boadicea twelve years later. The
indefatigable Ostorius next led his men against the
Cangi in North Wales164 (who seem to have been
stirred to revolt by the Icenian Prince Antedrigus),
and gained much booty, for the Britons dared not
venture upon a battle, and had no luck in their various
attempts at surprise. But before he quite reached the
Irish Sea he was recalled by a disturbance amongst
the Brigantes, which by a judicious mixture of firmness
and clemency he speedily suppressed. And all this
he did without employing a single legionary.
D. 7.—But neither firmness nor clemency availed to
put an end to the desperate struggle for freedom
maintained by the one clan in Britain which still held
out against the Roman yoke. The Silurians of South
Wales were not to be subdued without a regular campaign
which was to tax the Legions themselves to the
utmost. Naturally brave, stubborn, and with a passionate
love of liberty, they had at this juncture a
worthy leader, for Caradoc was at their head. We
hear nothing of his doings between the first battle
against Aulus Plautius, when his brother Togodumnus
fell, leaving him the sole heir of Cymbeline, until we
find him here. But we may be pretty sure that he
was the animating spirit of the resistance which so
long checked the conquerors on the banks of the
Thames, and that he took no part in the general submission
to Claudius. Probably he led an outlaw life
in the forest, stirring up all possible resistance to the
Roman arms, till finally he found himself left with this
one clan of all his father's subjects still remaining
D. 8.—But he never thought of surrender. He was
everywhere amongst his followers, says Tacitus, exhorting
them to resist to the death, reminding them
how Caswallon had "driven out" the great Julius, and
binding one and all by a solemn national covenant
[gentili religione] never to yield "either for wound or
weapon." Ostorius had to bring against him the
whole force he could muster, even calling out the
veterans newly settled at the Colony165 of Camelodune.
Caradoc and his Silurians, on their part, did not wait
at home for the attack, but moved northwards into
the territory of the Ordovices, who at least sympathized
if they did not actually aid. Here he entrenched himself
upon a mountain, very probably that Caer Caradoc,
near Shrewsbury, which still bears his name. Those
who know the ground will not wonder that Ostorius
hesitated at assaulting so impregnable a position. His
men, however, were eager for the attack. "Nothing,"
they cried, "is impregnable to the brave." The legionaries
stormed the hill on one side, the auxiliaries on
the other; and once hand to hand, the mail-clad
Romans had a fearful advantage against defenders
who wore no defensive armour, nor even helmets.
The Britons broke and fled, Caradoc himself seeking
refuge amongst the Brigantes of the north.
D. 9.—At this time the chief power in this tribe
was in the hands of a woman, Cartismandua, the
heiress to the throne, with whose name and that of
her Prince Consort scandal was already busy. The
disturbances amongst the clan which Ostorius had
lately suppressed were probably connected with her
intrigues. Anyhow she posed as the favourite and
friend of the Romans; and now showed her loyalty
by arresting the national hero and handing him over
to the enemy. With his family and fellow-captives
he was [A.D. 52] deported to Rome, and publicly
exhibited by the Emperor in his chains, as the last
of the Britons, while the Praetorian Guards stood to
their arms as he passed.
D. 10.—According to Roman precedent the scene
should have closed with a massacre of the prisoners.
But while the executioners awaited the order to strike,
Caradoc stepped forward with a spirited appeal, the
substance of which there is every reason to believe is
truthfully recorded by Tacitus. Disdaining to make
the usual pitiful petitions for mercy, he boldly justified
his struggle for his land and crown, and reminded
Claudius that he had now an exceptional opportunity
for winning renown. "Kill me, as all expect, and
this affair will soon be forgotten; spare me, and men
will talk of your clemency from age to age." Claudius
was touched; and even the fierce Agrippina, who,
to the scandal of old Roman sentiment, was seated
beside him at the saluting-point "as if she had been
herself a General," and who must have reminded
Caradoc of Cartismandua, was moved to mercy. Caradoc
was spared, and assigned a residence in Italy;
and the Senate, believing the war at an end with his
capture, voted to Ostorius "triumphal insignia"166—the
highest honour attainable by any Roman below
D. 11.—But even without their King the stubborn
clan still stood desperately at bay. Their pertinacious
resistance in every pass and on every hill-top of their
country at length fairly wore Ostorius out. The
incessant fatigues of the campaign broke down his
health, and he died [A.D. 54] on the march; to the
ferocious joy of the Silurians, who boasted that their
valour had made an end of the brave enemy who had
vowed to "extinguish their very name,"168 no less than
if they had slain him upon the field of battle.
D. 12.—Before he died, however, he had curbed
them both to north and south by the establishment
of strong Roman towns at Uriconium on the Severn
(named after the neighbouring Wrekin), and Isca
Silurum at the mouth of the Usk. The British name
of the latter place, Caerleon [Castra Legionum], still
reminds us that it was one of the great legionary
stations of the island, while the abundant inscriptions
unearthed upon the site, tell us that here the Second
Legion had its head-quarters till the last days of the
D. 13.—The unremitting pressure of these two
garrisons crushed out at last the Silurian resistance.
The fighting men of the clan must indeed have been
almost wholly killed off during these four years of
murderous warfare. Thus Avitus Didius Gallus, the
successor of Ostorius, though himself too old to take
the field, was able to announce to Claudius that he
had completed the subjugation of Britain. The
Silurians after one last effort, in which they signally
defeated an entire Legion, lay in the quietude of utter
exhaustion; and though Cartismandua caused some
little trouble by putting away her husband Venusius
and raising a favourite to the throne, the matter was
compromised by Roman intervention; and Claudius
lived to hear that the island was, at last, peacefully
submissive to his sway. Then Agrippina showed
herself once more the Cartismandua of Rome, and
her son Nero sat upon the throne of her poisoned
husband [A.D. 55].
Neronian misgovernment—Seneca—Prasutagus—Boadicea's revolt—Sack of Camelodune
—Suetonius in Mona—"Druidesses"—Sack of London and Verulam—Boadicea crushed at
Bridge—Peace of Petronius.
E. 1.—Under Nero the unhappy Britons first
realized what it was to be Roman provincials. Though
Julius Caesar and Augustus had checked the grossest
abuses of the Republican proconsulates, yet enough
of the evil tradition remained to make those abuses
flourish with renewed vigour under such a ruler as
Nero. The state of things which ensued can only be
paralleled with that so vividly described by Macaulay
in his lurid picture of the oppression of Bengal under
Warren Hastings. The one object of every provincial
governor was to exploit his province in his own
pecuniary interest and that of his friends at Rome.
Requisitions and taxes were heaped on the miserable
inhabitants utterly beyond their means, with the
express object of forcing them into the clutches of the
Roman money-lenders, whose frightful terms were, in
turn, enforced by military licence.
E. 2.—The most virtuous and enlightened citizens
were not ashamed thus to wring exorbitant interest
from their victims. Cicero tells us170 how no less
austere a patriot than Brutus thus exacted from the
town of Salamis in Cyprus, 48 per cent. compound
interest, and, after starving five members of the
municipality to death in default of payment, was mortally
offended because he, Cicero, as proconsul, would not
exercise further military pressure for his ends.
E. 3.—The part thus played in Cyprus by Brutus
was played in Britain by Seneca, another of the choice
examples of the highest Roman virtue. By a series
of blood-sucking transactions171 he drove the
Britons to absolute despair, his special victim being
Prasutagus, now Chief of the Iceni, presumably set up by
the Romans on the suppression of the revolt under
Vericus. As a last chance of saving any of his wealth
for his children, Prasutagus, by will, made the
Emperor his co-heir. This, however, only hastened
the ruin of his family. His property was pounced
upon by the harpies of Seneca and Nero, with the
Procurator172 of the Province, Catus Decimus,
at their head, his kin sold into slavery, his daughters
outraged, and his wife Boadicea, or, more correctly,
Boudicca, brutally scourged. This was in A.D. 61.
E. 4.—A convulsive outburst of popular rage and
despair followed. The wrongs of Boadicea kindled
the Britons to madness, and she found herself at once
at the head of a rising comprising all the clans of the
east and the Midlands. Half-armed as they were,
their desperate onset carried all before it. The first
attack was made upon the hated Colony at Camelodune,
where the great Temple of "the God" Claudius,
rising high above the town, bore an ever-visible testimony
to Rome's enslavement of Britain,173 and whence
the lately-established veterans were wont, by the connivance
of the Procurator, to treat the neighbourhood
with utterly illegal military licence, sacking houses,
ravaging fields, and abusing their British fellow-subjects
as "caitiff slaves."174
E. 5.—These marauders were, however, as great
cowards as bullies, and were now trembling before the
approach of vengeance. How completely they were
cowed is shown by the gloomy auguries which passed
from lip to lip as foreshadowing the coming woe. The
statue of Victory had fallen on its face, women
frantic with fear rushed about wildly shrieking
"Ruin!", strange moans and wailings were heard
in Courthouse and Theatre, on the Thames estuary
the ruddy glow of sunset looked like blood and
flame, the sand-ripples and sea-wrack left by the ebb
suggested corpses; everything ministered to their
E. 6.—So hopeless was the demoralization that the
very commonest precautions were neglected. The town
was unfortified, yet these old soldiers made no
attempt at entrenchment; even the women and children
were not sent away while the roads were yet open.
And when the storm burst on the town the hapless
non-combatants were simply abandoned to massacre,
while the veterans, along with some two hundred
badly-armed recruits (the only help furnished by their
precious Procurator, who himself fled incontinently
to Gaul), shut themselves up in the Temple, in
hopes of thus saving their own skins till the Ninth
Legion, which was hastening to their aid, should
E. 7.—It is a satisfaction to read that in this they
were disappointed. Next day their refuge was stormed,
and every soul within put to the sword. The Temple
itself, and all else at Camelodune, was burnt to the
ground, and the wicked Colony blotted off the face of
the earth. The approaching Legion scarcely fared
better. The victorious Britons swept down upon it on
the march, cut to pieces the entire infantry, and sent
the cavalry in headlong flight to London, where
Suetonius Paulinus, the Governor of Britain, was now
mustering such force as he could make to meet the
E. 8.—When the outbreak took place he had been
far away, putting down the last relics of the now
illicit Druidism in the island of Mona or Anglesey.
The enterprise was one which demanded a considerable
display of force, for the defenders of the island
fought with fanatical frenzy, the priests and priestesses
alike taking part in the fray, and perishing at last in
their own sacrificial fires, when the passage over the
Menai Straits was made good.
E. 9—It is noticeable that in Mona alone do we
meet with "Druidesses." Female ministers of religion,
whether priestesses or prophetesses, are always
exceptional, and usually mark a survival from some
very primitive cult. The Pythoness at Delphi, and
the Vestals at Rome, obviously do so. And amongst
the races of Gaul and Britain the same fact is
testified to by such female ministrations being invariably
confined to far western islands. Pytheas, as he
passed Cape Finisterre (in Spain) by night, heard a
choir of women worshipping "Mother Earth and her
Daughter"175 with shrill yells and music. A little
further he tells of the barbarous rites observed by the
Samnitae or Amnitae176 in an island near the mouth of
the Loire, on which no male person might ever set
foot; and of another island at the extreme point of
Gaul, already known as Uxisana (Ushant), where
nine virgin sorceresses kept alight the undying fire
on their sacred hearth and gave oracular responses.
These cults clearly represented a much older worship
than Druidism, though the latter may very probably
have taken them under its shadow (as in India
so many aboriginal rites are recognized and adopted
by modern Brahmanism). And the priestesses in
Mona were, in like manner, not "Druidesses" at all,
but representatives of some more primitive cult,
already driven from the mainland of Britain and
finding a last foothold in this remote island.
E. 10.—The stamping out of the desperate fanaticism
of Mona was barely accomplished, when tidings
were brought to Suetonius of Boadicea's revolt.
By forced marches he reached London before her,
only to find himself too weak, after the loss of the
Ninth Legion, to hold it. London, though no Colony,
was already the largest and most thriving of the
Roman settlements in Britain, and piteous was the
dismay of the citizens when Suetonius bade the city
be evacuated. But neither tears nor prayers could
postpone his march, and such non-combatants as
from age or infirmity could not retire with his column,
were massacred by the furious Britons even as those
at Camelodune. Next came the turn of Verulam,
the Roman town on the site of Tasciovan's stronghold,177
where like atrocities marked the British triumph.
Every other consideration was lost in the mad lust of
slaughter. No prisoners were taken, no spoil was
made, no ransom was accepted; all was fire, sword,
and hideous torturing. Tacitus declares that, to his
own knowledge,178 no fewer than seventy thousand
Romans and pro-Romans thus perished in this fearful
day of vengeance; the spirit of which has been
caught by Tennyson, with such true poetic genius,
in his 'Boadicea.'
E. 11.—Suetonius, however, now felt strong enough
to risk a battle. The odds were enormous, for the
British forces were estimated at two hundred and
thirty thousand, while his own were barely ten
thousand—only one legion (the Fourteenth) with the
cavalry of the Twentieth. (Where its infantry was
does not appear: it may have been left behind in
the west.) The Ninth had ceased to exist, and
the Second did not arrive from far-off Caerleon till
too late for the fight. The strength of legionary
sentiment is shown by the fact that its commander
actually slew himself for vexation that the Fourteenth
had won without his men.
E. 12.—Where the armies met is quite uncertain,
though tradition fixes on a not unlikely spot near
London, whose name of "Battle Bridge" has but
lately been overlaid by the modern designation of
"King's Cross."179 We only know that Suetonius
drew up his line across a glade in the forest, which
thus protected his flanks, and awaited the foe as they
came pouring back from Verulam. In front of the
British line Boadicea, arrayed in the Icenian tartan,
her plaid fastened by a golden brooch, and a spear in
her hand, was seen passing along "loftily-charioted"
from clan to clan, as she exhorted each in turn to
conquer or die. Suetonius is said to have given the
like exhortation to the Romans; but every man in
their ranks must already have been well aware that
defeat would spell death for him. The one chance
was in steadiness and disciplined valour; and the
legionaries stood firm under a storm of missiles, withholding
their own fire till the foe came within close
range. Then, and not till then, they delivered a
simultaneous discharge of their terrible pila180 on the
British centre. The front gave with the volley, and
the Romans, at once wheeling into wedge-shape
formation, charged sword in hand into the gap, and
cut the British line clean in two. Behind it was a
laager of wagons, containing their families and spoil,
and there the Britons made a last attempt to rally.
But the furious Romans entered the enclosure with
them, and the fight became a simple massacre. No
fewer than eighty thousand fell, and the very horses
and oxen were slaughtered by the maddened soldiery
to swell the heaps of slain. Boadicea, broken-hearted,
died by poison; and (being reinforced by troops from
Germany) Suetonius proceeded "to make a desert
and call it Peace."181
E. 13.—The punishment he dealt out to the revolted
districts was so remorseless that the new Procurator,
Julius Classicianus, sent a formal complaint to Rome
on the suicidal impolicy of his superior's measures.
Nero, however, did not mend matters by sending
(like Claudius) a freed-man favourite as Royal
Commissioner to supersede Suetonius. Polycletus was
received with derision both by Roman and Briton,
and Suetonius remained acting Governor till the wreck
of some warships afforded an excuse for a peremptory
order to "hand over the command" to Petronius
Turpilianus. Fighting now ceased by mutual consent;
and this disgraceful slackness was called by the
new Governor "Peace with Honour" [honestum pacis
nomen segni otio imposuit].
Civil war—Otho and Vitellius—Army of Britain—Priscus—Agricola—Vespasian Emperor—Cerealis
—Brigantes put down—Frontinus—Silurians put down—Agricola Pro-praetor—Ordovices put down
—Pacification of South Britain—Roman civilization introduced—Caledonian campaign—Galgacus
—Agricola's rampart—Domitian—Resignation and death of Agricola.
F. 1.—Disgraceful as the policy of Petronius seemed
to Tacitus (under the inspiration probably of his
father-in-law Agricola), it did actually secure for
Britain several years of much-needed peace. Not
till the months of confusion which followed the death
of Nero [June 10, A.D. 68] did any native rising
take place, and then only in Wales and the north.
The Roman Army of Britain was thus free to take
sides in the contest for the throne between Otho and
Vitellius, of which all that could be predicted was
that the victor would be the worse of the two
[deteriorem fore quisquis vicisset]. They were, however,
so much ahead of their date that, before accepting
this alternative, they actually thought of setting
up an Emperor of their own, after the fashion so
freely followed in later centuries. Fortunately the
popular subaltern [hupostratêgos] on whom their choice
fell, one Priscus, had the sense to see that the time
was not yet come for such action, and sarcastically
refused the crown. "I am no more fit," he said,
"to be an Emperor [autokrator] than you to be
soldiers." The army now proceeded to "sit on the
fence"; some legions, notably the famous Fourteenth,
slightly inclined to Otho, others to Vitellius, till
their hesitation was ended by their own special hero,
Vespasian, fresh from his Judaean victories,182 coming
forward as Pretender. Agricola, now in command
of the Twentieth, at once declared for him, and the
other legions followed suit—the Fourteenth being
gratified by the title "Victores Britannici," officially
conferred upon them by the Emperor's new Pro-praetor,
F. 2.—We now enter upon the last stage of the fifty
years' struggle made by British patriots before they
finally bowed to the Roman yoke. The glory of
ending the long conflict is due to Agricola, whose
praises are chronicled by his son-in-law Tacitus, and
who does actually seem to have been a very choice
example of Roman virtue and ability. The Army of
Britain had been his training school in military life,
and successive commanders had recognized his merits
by promotion. Now his superiors gave him an almost
independent command, in which he showed himself
as modest as he was able. Thanks to him, Cerealis
was able in A.D. 70 to end a Brigantian war (of which
the inevitable Cartismandua was the "teterrima causa"
now no less than twenty years earlier), and the next
Pro-praetor, Frontinus, to put down, in 75, the very last
effort of the indomitable Silurians. Yet another year,
and he himself was made Military Governor of the
island, and set about the task of permanently consolidating
it as a Roman Province, with an insight all his own.
F. 3.—The only Britons yet in arms south of the
Tyne were the Ordovices of North Wales, who had
lately cut to pieces a troop of Roman cavalry.
Agricola marched against them, and, by swimming
his horsemen across the Menai Straits, surprised their
stronghold, Anglesey, thus bringing about the same
instant submission of the whole clan which through
the same tactics he had seen won, seventeen years
earlier, by Suetonius.
F. 4.—But Agricola was not, like Suetonius,
a mere military conqueror. He saw that Britons
would never unfeignedly submit so long as they were
treated as slaves; and he set himself to remedy the
grievances under which the provincials so long had
suffered. Military licence, therefore, and civil
corruption alike, he put down with a resolute hand, never
acting through intermediaries, but himself investigating
every complaint, rewarding merit, and punishing
offences. The vexatious monopolies which previous
governors had granted, he did away with; and, while
he firmly dealt with every symptom of disloyalty, his
aim was "not penalty but penitence" [nom paena sed
saepius paenitentia]—penitence shown in a frank
acceptance of Roman civilization. Under his influence
Roman temples, Roman forums, Roman dwelling-houses,
Roman baths and porticoes, rose all over
the land, and, above all, Roman schools, where the
youth of the upper classes learnt with pride to adopt
the tongue183 and dress of their conquerors. It is
appropriate that the only inscription relating to him
as yet found in Britain should be on two of the lead
water-pipes (discovered in 1899 and 1902) which
supplied his new Roman city (Deva) at Chester.184
F. 5.—This proved a far more effectual method of
conquest than any yet adopted, and Southern Britain
became so quiet and contented that Agricola could
meditate an extension of the Roman sway over the
wilder regions to the north, and even over Ireland.185
He did not, indeed, actually accomplish either design,
but he extended the Roman frontier to the Forth, and
carried the Roman arms beyond the Tay. The
game, however, proved not worth the candle. The
regions penetrated were wild and barren, the inhabitants
ferocious savages, who defended themselves with
such fury that it was not worth while to subdue them.
F. 6.—The final battle [A.D. 84], somewhere near
Inverness, is described in minute and picturesque
detail by Tacitus, who was present. He shows us
the slopes of the Grampians alive with the Highland
host, some on foot, some in chariots, armed with
claymore, dirk, and targe as in later ages. He puts
into the mouth of the leader, Galgacus, an eloquent
summary of the motives which did really actuate
them, and he reports the exhortation to close the
fifty years of British warfare with a glorious victory
which Agricola, no doubt, actually addressed to his
soldiers. He paints for us the wild charge of the
clans, the varying fortunes of the conflict (which at
one point was so doubtful that Agricola dismounted
to fight on foot with his men), and the final hopeless
rout of the Caledonian army, with the slaughter of
ten thousand men; the Roman loss being under four
hundred—including one unlucky colonel [praefectus
cohortis] whose horse ran away with him into the
F. 7.—Agricola had now the prudence to draw his
stakes while the game was still in his favour. He
sent his fleet north-about (thus, for the first time,
proving Britain to be an island),186 and marched his
army across to meet it on the Clyde, whence he
had already drawn his famous rampart to the Forth,
henceforward to be the extreme limit of Roman
Britain.187 His work was now done, and well done.
He resigned his Province, and returned to Rome, in
time to avoid dismissal by Domitian, to whom
preeminent merit in any subject was matter for jealous
hatred,188 and who now made Agricola report himself
by night, and received him without one word of
commendation. Had his life been prolonged he
would undoubtedly have perished, like so many of
the best of the Roman aristocracy, by the despot's
hands; but just before the unrestrained outbreak of
tyranny, he suddenly died—"felix opportunitate
mortis"—to be immortalized by the love and genius
of his daughter's husband. And he left Britain, as it
had never been before, truly within the comity of the
 Frontinus (A.D. 90), 'Strategemata II.' xiii. II.
 Coins of all three bear the words COMMI. F. (Commii
Filius), but Verica alone calls himself REX. Those of Eppillus
were struck at Calleva (Silchester?).
 See p. 54.
 This is the spelling adopted by Suetonius.
 The lion was already a specially British emblem. Ptolemy
('de Judiciis II.' 3) ascribes the special courage of Britons to the
fact that they are astrologically influenced by Leo and Mars. It
is interesting to remember that our success in the Crimean War
was prognosticated from Mars being in Leo at its commencement
(March 1854). Tennyson, in 'Maud,' has referred to this—"And
pointed to Mars, As he hung like a ruddy shield on
the Lion's breast."
 See p. 38.
 The site of this town is quite unknown. Caesar mentions
the Segontiaci amongst the clans of S.E. Britain.
 In S.E. Essex, near Colchester. See p. 176.
 See pp. 109, 122.
 Aelian (A.D. 220), 'De Nat. Animal.' xv. 8.
 [Elephantina psalia, kai periauchenia, kai
lingouria kai huala skeuê, kai rhôpos toioutos]. Strabo is commonly
supposed to mean that these were the imports from Gaul. But
his words are quite ambiguous, and such of the articles he mentions
as are found in Britain are clearly of native manufacture. British
graves are fertile (see p. 48) in the "amber and glass ornaments"
(the former being small roughly-shaped fragments pierced for
threading, the latter coarse blue or green beads), and produce
occasional armlets of narwhal ivory. Glass beads have been found
(1898) in the British village near Glastonbury, and elsewhere.
 Strabo, v. 278.
 Propertius, II. 1. 73: Esseda caelatis siste Britanna jugis.
 Ibid. II. 18. 23. See p. 47.
 Virgil, 'Georg.' III. 24.
 Virgil, 'Eccl.' I. 65; Horace, 'Od.' I. 21. 13, 35. 30, III.
5. 3; Tibullus, IV. 1. 147; Propertius, IV. 3. 7.
 Suetonius, 'De XII. Caes.' IV. 19.
 The lofty spur of the Chiltern Hills which overhangs the
church of Ellsborough is traditionally the site of his tomb.
 This whole episode is from 'Dio Cassius'
(lib. xxxix. Section 50).
 He places Cirencester in their territory, while both Bath
and Winchester belonged to the Belgae. To secure Winchester,
where they would be on the line of the tin-trade road (see p.
36), would be the first object of the Romans if they did land
at Portsmouth. Their further steps would depend upon the
disposition of the British armies advancing to meet them,—the
final objective of the campaign being Camelodune, the capital
of the sons of Cymbeline.
 This is stated by both Geoffrey of Monmouth and
Matthew of Westminster.
 For three centuries this legion was quartered at
Caerleon-upon-Usk, and the Twentieth at Chester. See Mommsen,
'Roman Provinces,' p. 174.
 This was the honorary title of several legions; as
there are several "Royal" regiments.
 Tac, 'Hist.' III. 44.
 The Flavian family was of very humble origin.
 Bede, from Suetonius, tells us that Vespasian with
his legion fought in Britain thirty-two battles and took twenty
towns, besides subduing the Isle of Wight ('Sex. Aet.' A.D. 80).
 If the Romans were advancing eastward from the Dobunian
territory it may have been the Loddon. Mommsen cuts the
knot in true German fashion by refusing to identify the Dobuni
of Ptolemy with those of Dion, and placing the latter in Kent
on his own sole authority. ('Roman Provinces,' p. 175.)
 See p. 139.
 'Orosius,' VII. 5.
 A victorious Roman general was commonly thus
hailed by his troops after any signal victory. But by custom
this could only be done once in the same campaign.
 Suet. v. 21.
 Dio Cassius, lx. 23. The boy, who was the
child of Messalina, had previously been named Germanicus.
 Suet. v. 28.
 Suet. v. 21.
 Tac., 'Ann.' xii. 56.
 Dio Cassius, lx. 30.
 Suet. v. 24.
 Dio Cassius, lx. 30.
 Eutropius, vii. 13.
 Muratori, Thes. mcii. 6.
 'De XII. Caesaribus,' v. 28.
 Dio Cassius, lx. 23.
 See Haverfield in 'Authority and Archaeology,' p. 319
 'Laus Claudii' (Burmann, 'Anthol.' ii. 8).
 See p. 152.
 The inscription runs thus:
NEPTVNO. ET. MINERVAE
pro SALVTE. DO mus DIVINAE
ex AVCTORITATE. Ti. CLAVD
Co GIDVBNI. R. LEGATI. AVG. IN. BRIT.
Colle GIVM. FABRO. ET. QVI. IN. E.
. . . . . D.S.D. DONANTE. AREAM.
Pud ENTE. PVDENTINI. FILiae
(The italics are almost certain restoration of illegible letters.)
 See p. 256.
 Claudia, the British Princess mentioned by Martial as
making a distinguished Roman marriage, may very probably be
 See p. 130.
 Thus in St. Luke ii. we find Cyrenius Pro-praetor
[hêgemôn] of Syria, but in Acts xviii. Gallio
Pro-consul [hanthupatos] of Achaia.
 See p. 131.
 See p. 170.
 His reputation for strength, skill, and daring cost
him his life a few years later, under Nero (Tac, 'Ann.' xvi. 15).
 Pigs of lead have been found in Denbighshire stamped
CANGI or DECANGI. Mr. Elton, however, locates the tribe
in Somerset. Coins testify to Antedrigus, the Icenian, being
somehow connected with this tribe.
 A Roman "Colony" was a town peopled by citizens of
Rome (old soldiers being preferred) sent out in the first instance
to dominate the subject population amid whom they were settled.
Such was Philippi.
 Tacitus, 'Annals,' xii. 38.
 The distinction of an actual triumph was reserved for
 Tacitus, 'Annals,' xii. 39.
 See p. 239. Uriconium alone has as yet furnished
inscriptions of the famous Fourteenth Legion, "Victores
Britannici." (See p. 160.)
 'Ep. ad Atticum,' vi. 1.
 See Dio Cassius, xii. 2.
 The Procurator of a Province was the Imperial Finance
Administrator. (See Haverfield, 'Authority and Archaeology,'
 An inscription calls the place Colonia
 Tacitus, 'Ann.' xiv. 32.
 Demeter and Kore. M. Martin ('Hist. France,' i. 63) thinks
there is here a confusion between the Greek Kore (Proserpine)
and Koridwen, the White Fairy, the Celtic Goddess of the
Moon and also (as amongst the Greeks) of maidenhood. But
this is not proven.
 The former is Strabo's variant of the name (which may
possibly be connected with [semnos]), the latter that of
Dionysius Periegetes ('De Orbe,' 57). In Caesar we find a third form
Namnitae, which Professor Rhys connects with the modern Nantes.
 See p. 127.
 As Agricola, his father-in-law, was actually with Suetonius,
Tacitus had exceptional opportunities for knowing the truth.
 Suetonius probably retreated southward when he left London,
and reoccupied its ruins when the Britons, instead of following
him, turned northwards to Verulam.
 The Roman pilum was a casting spear with a heavy steel
head, nine inches long.
 Tac., 'Agricola,' c. 12.
 That the well-known coins commemorating these victories
and bearing the legend IVDAEA CAPTA are not infrequently
found in Britain, indicates the special connection between
Vespasian and our island. The great argument used by Titus
and Agrippa to convince the Jews that even the walls of
Jerusalem would fail to resist the onset of Romans was that no
earthly rampart could compare with the ocean wall of Britain
(Josephus, D.B.J., II. 16, vi, 6).
 The spread of Latin oratory and literature in
Britain is spoken of at this date by Juvenal (Sat. xv. 112),
and Martial (Epig. xi. 3), who mentions that his own works
were current here: "Dicitur et nostros cantare Britannia
 Mr. Haverfield suggests that Silchester may also
be an Agricolan city (see p. 184).
 Juvenal mentions these designs (II. 159):
"—Arma quidem ultra
Litora Juvernae promovimus, et modo captas
Orcadas, et minima contentos nocte Britannos" (i.e. those furthest north).
 According to Dio Cassius this voyage of discovery
was first made by some deserters ('Hist. Rom.' lxix. 20).
 The little that is known of this rampart will be
found in the next chapter (see p. 198).
 Sallustius Lucullus, who succeeded Agricola as
Pro-praetor, was slain by Domitian only for the invention of
an improved lance, known by his name (as rifles now are called