25 Facts About Roman Britain


Roman Britain was the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under occupation by the Roman Empire.

FactSnippet No. 936,402

Roman Britain received tribute, installed the friendly king Mandubracius over the Trinovantes, and returned to Gaul.

FactSnippet No. 936,403

Three years later, Claudius directed four legions to invade Roman Britain and restore the exiled king Verica over the Atrebates.

FactSnippet No. 936,404

Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Roman Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, and the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.

FactSnippet No. 936,405

Roman Britain was brought as a captive to Rome, where a dignified speech he made during Claudius's triumph persuaded the emperor to spare his life.

FactSnippet No. 936,406

Around 105 there appears to have been a serious setback at the hands of the tribes of the Picts: several Roman Britain forts were destroyed by fire, with human remains and damaged armour at Trimontium indicating hostilities at least at that site.

FactSnippet No. 936,407

Archaeological evidence shows that Senecio had been rebuilding the defences of Hadrian's Wall and the forts beyond it, and Severus's arrival in Roman Britain prompted the enemy tribes to sue for peace immediately.

FactSnippet No. 936,408

Roman Britain assumed the title but the title meant little with regard to the unconquered north, which clearly remained outside the authority of the Empire.

FactSnippet No. 936,409

Roman Britain consolidated control over all the provinces of Britain and some of northern Gaul while Maximian dealt with other uprisings.

FactSnippet No. 936,410

Roman Britain had significant autonomy due in part to the distance from his superiors.

FactSnippet No. 936,411

Little is known of his campaigns with scant archaeological evidence, but fragmentary historical sources suggest he reached the far north of Roman Britain and won a major battle in early summer before returning south.

FactSnippet No. 936,412

Considerable reorganization was undertaken in Roman Britain, including the creation of a new province named Valentia, probably to better address the state of the far north.

FactSnippet No. 936,413

Roman Britain crossed to Gaul but was defeated by Honorius; it is unclear how many troops remained or ever returned, or whether a commander-in-chief in Britain was ever reappointed.

FactSnippet No. 936,414

The most important British ports were London and Richborough, whilst the continental ports most heavily engaged in trade with Roman Britain were Boulogne and the sites of Domburg and Colijnsplaat at the mouth of the river Scheldt.

FactSnippet No. 936,415

Roman Britain's exports are harder to detect archaeologically, but will have included metals, such as silver and gold and some lead, iron and copper.

FactSnippet No. 936,416

Roman Britain designs were most popular, but rural craftsmen still produced items derived from the Iron Age La Tene artistic traditions.

FactSnippet No. 936,417

Each legion in Roman Britain had a commander who answered to the governor and, in time of war, probably directly ruled troublesome districts.

FactSnippet No. 936,418

The different forms of municipal organisation in Britannia were known as, and were each governed by a senate of local landowners, whether Brythonic or Roman Britain, who elected magistrates concerning judicial and civic affairs.

FactSnippet No. 936,419

Londinium was an ethnically diverse city with inhabitants from across the Roman Britain Empire, including natives of Britannia, continental Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

FactSnippet No. 936,420

Worship of the Roman Britain emperor is widely recorded, especially at military sites.

FactSnippet No. 936,421

The earliest confirmed written evidence for Christianity in Britain is a statement by Tertullian, 200 AD, in which he described "all the limits of the Spains, and the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ".

FactSnippet No. 936,422

Church in Roman Britain seems to have developed the customary diocesan system, as evidenced from the records of the Council of Arles in Gaul in 314: represented at the council were bishops from thirty-five sees from Europe and North Africa, including three bishops from Roman Britain, Eborius of York, Restitutus of London, and Adelphius, possibly a bishop of Lincoln.

FactSnippet No. 936,423

Romans introduced a number of species to Britain, including possibly the now-rare Roman nettle, said to have been used by soldiers to warm their arms and legs, and the edible snail Helix pomatia.

FactSnippet No. 936,424

The European rabbit prevalent in modern Roman Britain is assumed to have been introduced from the continent after the Norman invasion of 1066.

FactSnippet No. 936,425

Many of Britain's major cities, such as London, Manchester and York, were founded by the Romans, but the original Roman settlements were abandoned not long after the Romans left.

FactSnippet No. 936,426