Lecture: Roman Britain I

When Caesar came along he was chasing some people that were trying to escape from Gahl. He looked around and was like “well crap… I bet this would be easy to conquer.” So he did. Caesar took over most of Britain very easily, but then the situation in Gahl started going south also I guess there was like a civil war in Rome or something. Caesar was forced to pull out of Britain without getting to settle there.

Then after Caesar was killed (yes we’re skipping over all that), Augustus was mostly just curious about Britain; he kept diplomatic relations open with many of the tribes. Then Caligula came along and was like: “I like my horse; it should have a high-ranking political office.” Unsurprisingly, a lot of people wanted to get rid of Caligula, but they didn’t really have anyone to replace him with because Caligula killed anyone who may have opposed him.

Claudius was a 50-year-old man with a club foot, a stutter, and no policial experience. Caligula didn’t kill him because he just wasn’t a threat. He totally was though. When he came into power, he knew that he needed the loyalty of the troops because otherwise, they’d just kill him. He earned their respect by invading Britain and basically slaughtering everyone. It was 40,000 roman troops with full armor and weapons vs some scattered British tribes that didn’t have any armor.

The Romans continued marching north until they encountered Boudica who was the Queen of a tribe. The Romans didn’t believe that she was in charge because she was a woman, so they didn’t kill her. However, they killed her husband and raped her daughters, so she’s not really happy. She staged a massive revolt in which she didn’t kill many Romans, but managed to kill a ton of  British collaborators. When the Romans caught up, they defeated Boudica, but the fact that this revolt happened at all scared them. From then on, they expanded their territory much more slowly.

Hadrian built a wall. The wall was big. 73 miles long, 15 feet high, and 10 feet wide. It was built to keep the northern tribes out of Roman territory.

The Romans built a lot of cities and roads. They used the “all roads lead to Rome” mentality, but for London.

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