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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 Boulogne harbour.

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 "Ovation."

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 Sacra.149

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 favourite freedmen.

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 brackets):

"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
—Cangi—Brigantes—Silurian 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 borders.

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 through them.

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 faithful.

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 Imperial rank.167

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 Roman occupation.169

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
Battle 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 craven fear.

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 arrive.

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 overwhelming onslaught.

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, Petilius Cerealis.

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 enemy's ranks.

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 Roman Empire.

[110] Frontinus (A.D. 90), 'Strategemata II.' xiii. II.

[111] 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?).

[112] See p. 54.

[113] This is the spelling adopted by Suetonius.

[114] 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."

[115] See p. 38.

[116] The site of this town is quite unknown. Caesar mentions the Segontiaci amongst the clans of S.E. Britain.

[117] In S.E. Essex, near Colchester. See p. 176.

[118] See pp. 109, 122.

[119] Aelian (A.D. 220), 'De Nat. Animal.' xv. 8.

[120] [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.

[121] Strabo, v. 278.

[122] Propertius, II. 1. 73: Esseda caelatis siste Britanna jugis.

[123] Ibid. II. 18. 23. See p. 47.

[124] Virgil, 'Georg.' III. 24.

[125] Virgil, 'Eccl.' I. 65; Horace, 'Od.' I. 21. 13, 35. 30, III. 5. 3; Tibullus, IV. 1. 147; Propertius, IV. 3. 7.

[126] Suetonius, 'De XII. Caes.' IV. 19.

[127] The lofty spur of the Chiltern Hills which overhangs the church of Ellsborough is traditionally the site of his tomb.

[128] This whole episode is from 'Dio Cassius' (lib. xxxix. Section 50).

[129] 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.

[130] This is stated by both Geoffrey of Monmouth and Matthew of Westminster.

[131] For three centuries this legion was quartered at Caerleon-upon-Usk, and the Twentieth at Chester. See Mommsen, 'Roman Provinces,' p. 174.

[132] This was the honorary title of several legions; as there are several "Royal" regiments.

[133] Tac, 'Hist.' III. 44.

[134] The Flavian family was of very humble origin.

[135] 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).

[136] 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.)

[137] [dusdiexoda.]

[138] See p. 139.

[139] 'Orosius,' VII. 5.

[140] 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.

[141] Suet. v. 21.

[142] Dio Cassius, lx. 23. The boy, who was the child of Messalina, had previously been named Germanicus.

[143] Suet. v. 28.

[144] Suet. v. 21.

[145] Tac., 'Ann.' xii. 56.

[146] Dio Cassius, lx. 30.

[147] Suet. v. 24.

[148] Dio Cassius, lx. 30.

[149] Eutropius, vii. 13.

[150] Muratori, Thes. mcii. 6.

[151] 'De XII. Caesaribus,' v. 28.

[152] Dio Cassius, lx. 23.

[153] See Haverfield in 'Authority and Archaeology,' p. 319

[154] 'Laus Claudii' (Burmann, 'Anthol.' ii. 8).

[155] See p. 152.

[156] The inscription runs thus:

. . . . . D.S.D. DONANTE. AREAM.

(The italics are almost certain restoration of illegible letters.)

[157] See p. 256.

[158] Claudia, the British Princess mentioned by Martial as making a distinguished Roman marriage, may very probably be his daughter.

[159] See p. 130.

[160] Thus in St. Luke ii. we find Cyrenius Pro-praetor [hêgemôn] of Syria, but in Acts xviii. Gallio Pro-consul [hanthupatos] of Achaia.

[161] See p. 131.

[162] See p. 170.

[163] His reputation for strength, skill, and daring cost him his life a few years later, under Nero (Tac, 'Ann.' xvi. 15).

[164] 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.

[165] 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.

[166] Tacitus, 'Annals,' xii. 38.

[167] The distinction of an actual triumph was reserved for Emperors alone.

[168] Tacitus, 'Annals,' xii. 39.

[169] See p. 239. Uriconium alone has as yet furnished inscriptions of the famous Fourteenth Legion, "Victores Britannici." (See p. 160.)

[170] 'Ep. ad Atticum,' vi. 1.

[171] See Dio Cassius, xii. 2.

[172] The Procurator of a Province was the Imperial Finance Administrator. (See Haverfield, 'Authority and Archaeology,' p. 310.)

[173] An inscription calls the place Colonia Victricensis.

[174] Tacitus, 'Ann.' xiv. 32.

[175] 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.

[176] 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.

[177] See p. 127.

[178] As Agricola, his father-in-law, was actually with Suetonius, Tacitus had exceptional opportunities for knowing the truth.

[179] Suetonius probably retreated southward when he left London, and reoccupied its ruins when the Britons, instead of following him, turned northwards to Verulam.

[180] The Roman pilum was a casting spear with a heavy steel head, nine inches long.

[181] Tac., 'Agricola,' c. 12.

[182] 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).

[183] 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 versus."

[184] Mr. Haverfield suggests that Silchester may also be an Agricolan city (see p. 184).

[185] 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).

[186] According to Dio Cassius this voyage of discovery was first made by some deserters ('Hist. Rom.' lxix. 20).

[187] The little that is known of this rampart will be found in the next chapter (see p. 198).

[188] 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 Mausers, etc.).


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