Roman Britain can refer to those portions of island of ‘Great Britain’ ruled by the ‘Roman Empire’ during the fourth century AD. This province was called ‘Britannia’ by the Romans. Before the invasion of the Roman Empire, ‘Iron Age Britain’ had economic and cultural links with ‘Continental Europe’. Novel developments in urbanization, agriculture, architecture, and industry were introduced by the invaders. They had left behinds a legacy which is prevalent till date.
Britain was well known in the world of classics. Trading for British tin was carried out by the Carthaginians and the Greeks from 400 BC itself. Great Britain was exposed to the world through the expeditions made by the Roman future dictator and general ‘Julius Caesar’. This had happened in 55 BC.
In 43 AD, the force, led by ‘Aulus Plautius’ invaded Britain. The number of Roman legions sent is not known. One legion known as the II Augusta that was led by Vespasian is reported to have participated. The attestation of IX Hispana, XIV Gemina, and XX took place in 60/61 at the time of Boudican Revolt. However, flexibility was the biggest asset of the Roman Army, hence locating their base is not all that easy.
Establishment of Roman Rule
After conquering the southern part of island, attention was turned towards what is known as Wales now. However, the Romans had a tough time conquering the Ordovices, Deceangli, and Silures. The situation in 69 was all the more insecure. It was known as the ‘year of 4 emperors’. Rome was caught in a ‘civil war’. That led to unrest and discontent among the masses. Those four emperors were Venutius of Brigantes, Cartimandua, Vespasian, and governor Sextus Julius Frontinus appointed by him.
Occupation as well as retreat from south Scotland
As per the archaeological survey, certain roman forts located at the south of isthmus of Forth-Clyde were enlarged by rebuilding. Roman pottery and coins were reported to have been in circulation in the areas which are known as Scottish Lowlands now.
Commodus’ death led to a chain of events that ultimately led to the civil war. Pertinax ruled for a short period. It was followed by ‘Septimius Severus’ and ‘Clodius Albinus’. He went on to conquer Gaul in the year 195. The year 196 marked the re-entry of Severus. The governor committed suicide thereupon. The rule of Severus was followed by the Gallic Empire, Aurelians, Bononus, Probus, Vandals, Burgundians, and Constantius Chlorus. During his rule, London was divided into 4 provinces, namely maxima Caesariensis, Britannia Prima, Flavia Caesariensis, and Britannia Secunda.
Constantius Chlorus then invaded north Britain and won the battle in summer. After his death on 25th of July, 306, Constantine I ascended the throne. His rule was followed by that of Magnentius, and Constantius II.
End of the Roman Rule
The constant barbarian attacks led the Roman Empire to crash down. Certain villas like Great Casterton located in Rutland, Hucclecote located in Gloucestershire got collapsed by the end of fifth century. However, urban structures like Gloucester, Winchester, Wroxeter, etc. remained intact.