The Making of England: Chapter 1

Celtic and Roman Britain

No one knows anything about Britain until the Romans invaded.

Stonehenge suggests that they were able to communicate to some degree. Celtic iron working was probably a thing. People mostly lived where they could grow things: the southeast. Later people will like in the southwest because it had large mineral deposits. There were hillforts (forts on top of hills), these were probably strongholds. There were druids, and they were probably religious leaders, however religious leaders may or may not have been leaders of more things as well. Probably some human sacrifice happened.

Hey look, the Brits found a way off the island.

Around 200 BCE (whats the difference between BC and BCE?), coins started becoming a thing, so they’re pretty sure that Britain started trading with other parts of Europe. Tribes started joining each other because it was better for everyone economically. They stopped using hillforts because there wasn’t a whole lot to defend against.

Caesar happened.

Rome invaded Britain in 55 BCE (maybe I should just google what it means). Caesar was like: “Guys it’s only so that we can take Gual more easily.” But everyone knew that it was just Caesar trying to fuel his inflated ego. He defeated the Brits with ease, but his boats were damaged in a storm, so he didn’t have enough resources to keep control of both Britain and Rome. He decided that Rome was more important and just pulled out of Britain entirely.

Britain and Rome broke up, but they’re still friends.

Surprisingly, they didn’t hate each other after all that and it was possible for Britain to trade with Rome. Some British Kings even got client-king status in the eyes of the Romans.

Rome wanted to get back together, but Britain had moved on…

Claudius was sad that no one in Rome respected him because he never served in the military. Claudius was like: “I’ll do what Caesar did, but better: I’ll keep Britain and add it to the empire.” Claudius had some advantages to Caesar: he knew what Britain was like. The British tribes were either like: “Well… what are you gonna do?” or “WE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH!” This made it really easy to wipe out the tribes because they couldn’t agree on how to fight back.

Boudicca was Queen of a tribe. She lead a rebellion that almost drove the Romans out, but then she failed and the Romans killed everyone involved.

The Romans conquer the rest of Britain between 78-84 CE, but then were like: “the rest of Britain really isn’t worth it.” So, they pulled back into the good part.

Harian built a wall across Britain.

10ft x 15ft. Quite impressive really. Kind of marks the end of Roman rule. It was built to keep the central tribes under control.

South Britain becomes very Roman.

because you know… Romans were living there. There were cities for Romans and Non-Romans because we’ve got to keep the riff-raff out. They all had their own government though, which is kind of cool.

Farming is necessary, so it becomes a popular profession. The British were actually much better at farming than the Romans, so not much changed.

Tradecraft became popular when people could afford cooler things.

There was some religious weirdness for a while, then everyone was Christian.

By the 6th century, Christianity was very much the dominant religion.

Also, everyone spoke Celtic and Latin.

Britain ends up seceding from Rome.

Rome was losing control of a lot of its territory. Britain was just the next domino to fall. Things kinda suck without the Romans for a while, but they get over it. People start producing pottery and such to boost the economy.

Germanic people are like: “I want that.”

Angles from Denmark and Saxons from Germany mostly. They pretty much just took what they wanted. By the end of the 6th Century, Britain was divided into people near the Irish Sea, who were mostly Christian and Celtic, and the North Sea, who were mostly German.

And now everything is Anglo-Saxon.

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