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In the time of the first Roman invasions of Julius Caesar, 55 BC and 56 BC, Britain was split into many tribal regions, each with their own king. These tribes were often at war with each other. Caesar noted some of the tribes painted themselves blue, making them fearsome looking in battle.

The Romans only returned to Britain in 43 AD after the Roman Emperor, Claudius, ordered Britain to be conquered so it could be added as a province of the Roman Empire.

When general Aulus Plautius, and an army of 40,000 arrived in England, things were made easy for them as some of the warring tribes welcomed them. Those tribes saw the Romans as a way of defeating their neighbours.

Claudius image


The Romans made their base in the region of Kent. They then moved north to the River Thames where they built a wooden bridge just east of the present day London Bridge. For about the next seven years, they fought a series of battles against the tribes north of the Thames. By the time things had settled down, the Thames was being used to birth ships, and with the Roman roads leading to the bridge, the City of Londinium was founded in that area.

Boudicea was the wife of King Prasutagus of the Iceni Tribe located in Norfolk north of London. When Prasutagus died in 60 AD, having no sons, he left his personal wealth to his two daughters and the then Roman Emperor, Nero. He thought that would ensure the Romans would look after his family and their land. The Romans however, took full control of the land and repeatedly raped the daughters and humiliated the Iceni hierarchy.

Boudicea led an uprising against the Romans aided by the neighbouring Trinobantian Tribe. They attacked the Roman town of Camulodunum (Colchester) burning the town to the ground and slaying everyone in sight. They then moved south towards Londinium, destroying the Roman military garrisons on the way. When they reached Londinium, all had fled except the old and sick. The Britons slaughtered them all before advancing toward Verulamium, a settlement of the Catuvellauni Tribe who were allies of the Romans. There they met the Roman 14th Legion.

Boudicea led the Britons into battle on her chariot. The battle is said to have ended with around 80,000 Britons dead and 400 Romans dead.

Boudicea survived the battle but died soon after, it is thought she poisoned herself rather than be captured by the Romans, it is unknown what happened to her two daughters.

Statue of Boudicea in London image

Statue of Boudicea in London

By 79 AD, the Romans had England and Wales firmly under control. The then Roman Emperor, Vespasian, instructed the Roman Governor in Britain to gain control of Scotland. By 81 AD, the southern tribes were subdued, this allowing the Romans to march north to confront the Caledonians in Aberdeenshire. Although the Romans won that battle, the surviving Caledonians retreated to the hills from where they began engaging the Romans in gorilla warfare.

Hadrian became Roman Emperor in 117 AD. On his visit to Britain in 122, he ordered the building of a wall from the Solway Firth, near Carlisle, to the River Tyne, near Newcastle, to mark the boundary of the Roman Empire. Also, to keep the Scottish tribes from entering the Roman Empire.

By 406, the combined forces of the Suevi, Alans, Vandals and Burgundian tribes had swept into Gaul (France) severing all contact between Rome and Britain.

With the western Roman Empire week, and in danger, the last Roman legions were recalled from Britain in 407. The following year, Roman Britain was attacked by Picts, Scots and Saxons. In 410, Britain gained its independence from Rome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica People List