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Topic Subject:Roman Britain (edit)
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 14 July 2014 08:03 EDT (US)         
This is an article I wrote back in 2009 when I was 14; five years on, I want to make a handful of tweaks to improve a a few points of accuracy and style, as I notice it is linked to from the Rome II main page and may thus receive new readership. I also wish to extend its coverage up to the year 410, to give a continuous account which leads up to my other article, covering 410-1066; I hope eventually to write a prequel as well, to cover the Iron Age. I don't want to do a completely separate article as there are only a few paragraphs I wish to write, and really the whole story can be covered in one. The extension of the end-date will require links and titles which refer to the earlier end-date to be altered (that is, the links and short descriptions on both the RTW and RII history article pages). The new title is: "A History of Roman Britain", or just "Roman Britain" for short.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions this thread also serves that purpose.

-----------------------------------------------------

There are a small handful of changes to the body of the article, which I shall go through in order to try and make things as easy as possible.
This article explores early Roman Britain, touching on Caesar's invasion, then jumping to Claudius' conquest, Agricola's campaigns and everything else in between right up to the completion of Hadrian's Wall. Five maps, all made by myself, serve as a visual and geographical aid, and links are provided to articles dealing in detail with subjects touched upon by the subject matter. I hope that this may be both of interest and use to you as source material. This is the tale of Roman Britain, with all the famous episodes straightened out and in their proper place.
This will no longer work and in any way can be greatly streamlined, thus:
This article explores the history of Roman Britain, from Caesar's first invasion and Claudius' conquest, until the end of centralised Roman administration. This is the tale of Roman Britain, with all the famous episodes straightened out and in their proper place.
The next paragraph that needs revision is this:
The next year he was back, this time with five legions and two thousand cavalry. The Briton tribes rallied around Cassiwellaunos, King of the tribe which would later be known as the Catuvellauni, and resisted Caesar's advance with quick chariot ambushes and rapid retreats, but these had little effect. Meanwhile, the Trinovantes under prince Mandubracios allied with Caesar, who then laid siege to Cassiwellaunos's stronghold, not far north of later Verulamium. Cassiwellaunos's men were unable to resist the legions for long, and abandoned the fortress. Cassiwellaunos sued for peace. After accepting his surrender, and that of five other tribes (the Cenimagni, Segontiaci, Ancalites, Bibroci and Cassi - their names are only ever mentioned by Caesar, so it is probably that either they were very minor tribes, or, as I suspect, he made them up, although some have identified the Cenimagni with the Iceni and the Cassi with Casswellaunos's own tribe), he returned to Gaul. The Romans didn't return to Britain for a century.
This should become:
The next year he was back, this time with five legions and two thousand cavalry. The Briton tribes rallied around Cassivellaunos, king of the tribe which would later be known as the Catuvellauni, and resisted Caesar's advance with quick chariot ambushes and rapid retreats, but these had little effect. Meanwhile, the Trinovantes under prince Mandubracios allied with Caesar, who then laid siege to Cassivellaunos's stronghold; this may have been the hillfort of Weathampstead, not far north of later Verulamium. According to Caesar, Cassivellaunos's men were unable to resist the legions for long, and abandoned the fort; Cassivellaunos then sued for peace. After accepting his surrender, and that of five other tribes, he returned to Gaul. (The five tribes Caesar mentions are the Ancalites, Bibroci, Cassi, Cenimagni, and Segontiaci. The Cassi may have been Cassivellaunos's own tribe, possibly the earlier name for the Catuvellauni; the other names probably all belong to Kent, where archaeology is able to discern four distinct polities.)

Occupied with their own affairs, the Romans did not return to Britain for a century. After a farcical near-invasion under Caligula...
I found a typo here:
Once more, the Catuvellauni led the resistance under their new leaders Caratacos and his brother Togodumnos. They foguth [recte: fought] two battles against the Romans, first at the River Medway and then at the Thames, but both times were soundly defeated.
A similar error here (both my own, of course):
We have no reliable documented details, but over the course of his governorship the Brigantes were conquered and incorporated within the province; a great achievement, as the Brigantes were the most popular [recte: populous] tribe on the island.
Then there are two mentions of "Caledones", which should be "Caledonii".

"Corstopitum" is a corrupt form, "Coria" should be preferred (only one mention).
Special thanks, as usual, to Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Without you, the history of Roman Britain would be a very different place.
This should go, he's a rather more dubious source than I thought, but it doesn't much effect the main body of the article. The final image, the map, should also be postponed until the end of the following additional paragraph:
It was not, however, quite that simple. The reign of Antoninus Pius, Hadrian's successor, saw the Roman border pushed up to the Forth-Clyde line again, under governor Lollius Urbicus, and Hadrian's Wall abandoned. The Antonine Wall was built around 142, closing what is now the Southern Uplands into the Roman province. This ambition was, however, short-lived; the Brigantes revolted again in 155, and Governor Julius Verus had to abandon the wall to pacify them. He was back by 158, but the wall was abandoned with little ceremony within a decade: Northern Britannia was still inclined to snatch every opportunity for independence it found. The region north of the wall was not entirely abandoned however: the main fortress at Trimontium, and several other small forts, were maintained until the year 180.

[final image here]
The rest of the extension is as follows:
AD 180 marked something of a watershed, for in this year the Caledonians and the tribes of the Southern Uplands overran Hadrian's Wall, killing the governor. Commodus despatched a new governor, Ulpius Marcellus, who swiftly made peace, but in 184 the troops mutinied.

This would not be the last time the garrison of Britain would mutiny against imperial authority. It was a long way from the imperial capital, and there was an exceedingly large army required to control the island - many governors of Britain might well fancy their chances. Commodus sent Pertinax to try to quell the revolt, but he was almost killed and fled back to Rome.

In 192 Commodus died and the empire was plunged into civil war for the first time in a hundred and twenty years, not least because of the ambitions of the new governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, and Septimius Severus. The two originally conspired, but later fell out, in in 195 Clodius crossed to the continent with the British legions, where he was defeated by Severus. With the departure of the legions, Northern Britain was substantially weakened, and the tribes of Southern Uplands, particularly a group known as the Maeatae, put serious pressure on the frontier and had to be bought off. In 208, this prompted Severus, who was now emperor, to follow in the footsteps of Agricola, embarking on a major invasion of Caledonia with a large force, to remind them who was in charge. His success was dismal, he made little progress, and by 210 he had retreated to York, leaving the frontier back at Hadrian's Wall. The Maeatae rebelled, and Severus dispatched his son Caracalla against them; but Severus died later that year, and both of his sons set their sights on the imperial purple instead.

The third century was a period of upheaval for much of the empire, and Britain was not exempt. The economic system it had developed was also failing. In 259-74 it was part of the breakaway Gallic empire of Postumus. Around 281, a Briton in the Roman army named Bonosus proclaimed himself emperor at Cologne on the Rhine, but was struck down after a protracted struggle by the real emperor Probus and took his own life.

In 286, Carausius, a Roman naval commander, declared an independent empire, taking over Britain and Northern Gaul, successfully fending off attempts at reconquest. In 293 several of his Gallic possessions were finally retaken, and Carausius was murdered, apparently by his treasurer, Allectus, who succeeded him briefly before an invasion by the emperor Constantius and Julius Asclepiodotus at last re-annexed Britain. Reforms under Constantius and Diocletian saw Britain divided into four provinces and an overall prefecture of the Galliae established, intended to limit the ability of Britain's garrison to churn out emperors on a whim. Ironically, when Constantius died in York in 306, his son Constantine, the future Constantine the Great, successfully used the British garrison to take over the empire.

The early and mid fourth century saw a period of relative stability for Britain, with the economy gradually restructuring towards regional mass-production industries, bringing a measure of prosperity. However, Britain was increasingly coming under pressure from foes new and old: the Irish had begun to raid the Western coasts, the Caledonian Picts still periodically assaulted Hadrian's Wall, and across the North Sea a fateful new threat was emerging. In the watershed year of 367, the garrison of Hadrian's Wall rebelled, the Picts poured into Northern Britain, the Irish assailed from the West and the Saxons from the East in what is known as the barbarica conspiratio from which Britain never truly recovered: this was the first of the Anglo-Saxon invasions. In 383, another Roman commander who was based in Wales named Magnus Maximus, known as Macsen Wledig in high medieval Wales, dragged even more of Britain's troops away to make his bid for the imperial throne. It has been suggested, based on much later sources, that some of his troops, unable to return to Britain, instead settled in Armorica, sowing the seeds of modern Brittany; there is, however, in fact no evidence for this, and the earliest settlement of Britons in Brittany may be no earlier than the later fifth century.

The end of Roman Britain is a matter of much dispute. By its nature, it is not covered by history, and the archaeology is in large part localised and difficult to draw generalisations from. Britain had been slowly de-urbanising since the third century, moving towards a system more based on small towns than major cities. Coinage may have been going out of use by the 370s, and there are no new issues after 407, the same year Constantine III withdrew even more troops from Britain to try and make himself emperor.

A letter of 410 by the emperor Honorius has traditionally been seen as the end date of Roman Britain; in fact there is no certainty that it was even addressed to the Britons. The more telling letter is one sent to Aetius in Gaul around the year 450, quoted by the sixth-century writer Gildas:

"The barbarians drive us into the sea, the sea drives us back into the barbarians: between these two methods of death we are either slain or drowned."

Aetius may or may not have sent aid in the form of Germanus Auxerre, who travelled to southern Britain and apparently fought against the Saxons. With retrospect, we know this was to little avail. Over the next two or three centuries, Roman Britain would be driven back to Wales, ever the least Roman part of the province, and there contained; and gradually what Romanness it had ever had faded. The rest of the province turned to the immigrant Anglo-Saxons for a new way of life to replace the old one that had failed; and what happened next is recounted elsewhere.

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

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(dis ma house)

[This message has been edited by Lord Eddie (edited 07-14-2014 @ 08:25 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 15 July 2014 05:37 EDT (US)     1 / 6       
For coding and the like it is probably better to edit your article the way you want, then tell me where it is and I'll fix the rest for you.

Playing hunt-and-peck for snippets here and there can lose a lot of cohesion. Better the whole thing all at once.

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Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 20 July 2014 08:20 EDT (US)     2 / 6       
Just to make sure I understand: you would prefer me to code the whole article so you can replace it all in one go?

That's fair enough, I'll do it when I return home. Thanks for tolerating my retouching.

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

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(dis ma house)
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 20 July 2014 08:57 EDT (US)     3 / 6       
No worries.

I can code it for you, or you can do it (I know you have the skills).

I would indeed prefer the retouched article in one go, so that I dont have to pay hunt-and-peck for the corrections, which might get screwed up and in the end you look like a fool. To avoid that, we do it in one shot (also, if you have the locations of the article it would save a lot of searching. )

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|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 07-20-2014 @ 08:58 AM).]

Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 22 July 2014 04:04 EDT (US)     4 / 6       
I am emailing you the full version of the article now. I've tested the code, it seems all to be working, and there are no more typos (removed a few that were in the op).

The article is here and apparently should also be here (the latter link could be deleted, in any case moved from "abriefhistoryofearlyromanbritain" to "abriefhistoryofromanbritain" or frankly "romanbritain" is perfectly sufficient).

The history article portal pages are here, here and here. At RII it's filed under military history, although it's really general history now but that's not important.

The titles should read "A Brief History of Roman Britain" (or just "Roman Britain") rather than "...Early Roman Britain".

The short descriptions could be something like:
Edorix recounts five hundred years of Romans in Britain, from Julius Caesar's first expeditions to the end of the Roman province.
At the RII portals the name of the author is bolded and italicised in the short description; at R1 it is not.

Oh, and a new newsy or moving up the lists to reflect recency would be nice. ;p

Thanks for your help.

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

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(dis ma house)

[This message has been edited by Lord Eddie (edited 07-22-2014 @ 04:07 AM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 22 July 2014 04:58 EDT (US)     5 / 6       
I did the RTWH stuff, and passed on the Rome II stuff to the seraphs there.

My fingers are too thick from pulling sails and wielding axes to properly form the runes necessary for me to navigate those seas.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 22 July 2014 07:53 EDT (US)     6 / 6       
Thanks!

Should probably mention there are one or two others I want to do this with - Some Important British Tribes could use a slight touch-up, Woad and Cernunnos are probably beyond help. Boudicca seems still up to scratch.

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

/\
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(dis ma house)

[This message has been edited by Lord Eddie (edited 07-22-2014 @ 08:34 AM).]

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