How are England and Julius Caesar connected?

The conquest of Britain and the first years of the Roman province from 43-47 AD

Table of Contents


The sources

Britain policy from Augustus to Caligula

Claudius plans to conquer Britain

Preparing for the invasion

Opponents and allies

The invasion of the island

The triumph in Rome

Further conquests under Aulus Plautius

The new province of Britain

The conquest of Britain and its consequences. One conclusion

Literature used.


Britain occupied an exposed position in the Roman Empire. The British Isles played no role in the foreign policy of the ancient “great powers” ​​such as the Persians, Macedonians, Athenians or Punic - they were too remote and unknown. Nevertheless, a Celtic civilization developed in Great Britain and Ireland, of which the walls of mighty hill forts testify to this day. These tribes had trade contacts with Gauls in France; some peoples like the Atrebates settled in both France and England.

When Caesar conquered all of Gaul, the British Isles came into his field of vision. As the first ancient general, he undertook a military expedition against the island celts. Both of his campaigns were costly and not crowned with long-term successes. However, since Caesar, Great Britain was targeted by the great Roman power. After Augustus and Caligula's plans for invasion failed, the time had come in 43: around 40,000 Roman soldiers set sail to conquer the island. It was possibly the largest military invasion in British history to date. William the Conqueror led only 8,000 Normans in the Battle of Hastings in 1066; the Roman armed forces were therefore about five times as large!1

Considerable effort was therefore made in conquering the island. And that, although the Romans - one takes into account at least the contemporary geographer Pomponius Mela, who compared Britain with Sicily2 - didn't even really know the geographic shape of the island. The company's economic and military success were also uncertain. Conversely, the Romans hardly had to fear an invasion of British tribes in France - there was no urgent military reason. What made Emperor Claudius decide to order the risky canal crossing anyway? What did the Romans hope to gain from conquering Britain? And by what means did they finally manage to take the province? This thesis tries to answer these questions in parts. The general timeframe is the governorship of Aulus Plautius from 43 - 47 AD, even if some developments beyond that are discussed.

The sources

The most important ancient chronicler regarding the conquest of Britain is Cassius Dio. Dio was a high civil servant - among other things, he held the offices of praetor and provincial governor - who lived from about 155 to 235 AD. He comes from Bythinia in what is now Turkey. His most important work is the "Romaika Istoria" written in Greek. The 80-volume history covered a period from the founding of Rome to the time of the Severan emperors in the early third century. It is not completely preserved; Essentially, books 36 to 60 have come down to us, covering a period from 68 BC to 47 AD. Cassius Dio reports in it about the Britain plans of Augustus and Caligula as well as about the invasion of Claudius. Book 60 provides a comprehensive account of the first phase of the campaign; for the period after 47 the report is unfortunately broken off. Because of his style - among other things, Dio considered details such as daily dates unimportant for his presentation - he is only counted among the second row of Roman historians.3 It is different with Tacitus. His historiographical works Agricola, Germania, the Annals and Histories are famous to this day. Tacitus - also a high official at the imperial court - wrote his works around the time of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. He tries to be objective. He wanted to write “Sine ira et studio”, that is, without anger and zeal - this did not always succeed, because a work like “Agricola”, an appreciation of his father-in-law, could not be completely objective in terms of its objective. In addition, his works offer an enormous wealth of facts from the early imperial era. Unfortunately, the part of the "Annals" that presumably deals with the invasion of Britain has been lost. The report does not begin until the year 47 AD, when the second governor Publius Ostorius Scapula ruled.4 A short but important passage in the "Agricola", the glory and funeral pamphlet for his father-in-law, describes the British tribes before the conquest of Britain.

Suetonius deals only marginally in his “De vita caesaris” with the campaign in Britain under Claudius. Suetonius was probably a somewhat younger contemporary of Tacitus and also a high court official. His most important work is a collection of emperor biographies from Caesar to Domitian, which at times takes on strongly polemical traits.5 Thanks to him, Emperor Claudius can be characterized. He also describes Caligula's broken off British campaign. He treats the actual invasion rather succinctly, but one passage is eminently important for research: His excerpt from the Vita of Vespasian, who as a general under Claudius defeated several tribes in the British Southwest, is supported by archaeological finds What the sources for the time From 43 - 47, we are essentially dependent today on Book 60 in Cassius Dio and a few passages in Suetonius and Tacitus. Tacitus seems to have the greatest value in relation to Britain in the 1st century AD. Through his father-in-law he had a personal interest and a certain closeness to what was going on in Britain; maybe he was there himself. The problem with Dios is that he did not report the invasion until 150 years later. Suetonius is more concerned with describing the nature and merits or flaws of the emperors; naturally he shows little interest in internal processes in the provinces.

It looks a little better with the geographical descriptions of Britain, which have come down to us in the works of Strabo, Pomponius Mela, Tacitus and Diodoros Siculus, among others.6 However, the literary sources are supplemented by some significant inscriptions. Particularly noteworthy is the inscription on the triumphal arch of Claudius from the year 51 AD; Furthermore, coins and soldiers' tombstones also tell of the invasion in their own way.

Finally, of course, the archaeologists also contributed to the research of this period. The problem arises that little finds material arises from the field camps, which are often only provisionally occupied, which makes it difficult to date many sites. In the case of military installations in particular, it is often impossible to tell whether they were built during the time of the invasion or twenty years later during the Boudicca revolt under Emperor Nero.7

Britain policy from Augustus to Caligula

It was only through Caesar's two campaigns that Britain was perceived in the Roman world. However, its operations ended without lasting success. Nevertheless, from then on Britain had moved into the focus of Roman foreign policy.

A little over a quarter of a century, around 27 BC after that, Augustus was planning a campaign.

Cassius Dio reports:

He set out to carry out a war enterprise against Britain. However, after his arrival in the Gallic provinces, he stayed there longer. He had the impression of the Britons that they wanted to enter into diplomatic negotiations with him; In addition, the situation in Gaul was not yet stable, since civil war had broken out soon after the country had been subjugated (Cassius Dio, 53, 22, 5).

The conditions in Gaul were probably still too risky to risk the massive invasion. After all, an invasion fleet was dependent on the supply lines on the mainland not being able to be breached. A year later, Augustus planned another military enterprise. According to Dio, negotiations with British princes apparently failed beforehand - we do not know what it was about.8 Yet another uprising, this time by Iberian tribes in the Basque Country, thwarted the plan. Then Augustus finally gave up the company. From 17 BC to 9 AD, the "Immensum Bellum", the mighty war against the Teutons, raged with brief interruptions. At times, 13 legions were used for this, more than half of the entire Roman army.9 The campaigns ended with the defeat of Varus and the loss of three legions as well as all conquests in Germania. After that, Augustus changed his foreign policy. In the last years of his reign he tried to secure the territory he had already acquired. However, there still seems to have been contacts with British princes. Augustus' report of deeds, which was displayed on large stone tablets throughout the empire, mentions the Britons pleading for protection, Dumnobellaunus and Tincommius.10 Both must have been powerful princes because, interestingly, they minted coins with their names. Based on the scattering of the finds, their domains can be reconstructed. Dumnobellaunus seems to have been leader of the Trinovants in Essex, Tincommius presumably ruled the Atrebates on the south coast.11 Why they sought asylum in Rome is unknown. Strabo writes in his geography that under Augustus "Almost the whole island was made into Roman possession" has been.12 This is probably an exaggeration to pay homage to the emperor. It is more likely that some princes became Roman allies and were in active trade, especially with the Gallic provinces.

Emperor Tiberius continued the foreign policy of Augustus, who had instructed him before his death to leave the borders as they are.13 Under him there were also two major campaigns (besides smaller ones to Germania in the 1920s. These were more likely to have the character of punitive expeditions; around 16 AD Tiberius finally withdrew the troops behind the Rhine. Otherwise he tried to move around) In his last years the suspicious and paranoid Tiberius was already lethargic and withdrew to a large extent to the island of Capri from AD 26. In 37 AD he was murdered by his successor Caligula. Claudian imperial family and was the son of the popular general Germanicus. The Roman historians do not take good care of Caligula, who, according to Suetonius, was insane.14 Caligula put on elaborate circus games and cared for one "Crazy autocratic leadership style".15 Among other things, he had numerous political opponents murdered and in his final years tried to completely disempower the Senate - probably the main reason why he attracted the hatred of the mostly senatorial historians. For the first time since Augustus, Caligula planned an invasion of Britain. Here, too, a refugee played a role. Adminius, son of the powerful Trinovat king Cunobelinus, fled to Rome and, according to Suetonius, persuaded the emperor to undertake a military venture. Cassius Dio and Suetonius reported with relish how the emperor gathered an army on the canal, got into his ship and returned to the Gallic coast after a short journey16. Then he ordered the soldiers to collect mussels as spoils of war on the beach. Suetonius adds to the episode that Caligula gave an extremely low reward of 100 denarii per man - probably to humiliate his soldiers. He also had a lighthouse built.

It is difficult to put the bizarre episode of Caligula's march into Britain into a historical context. Kai Brodersen believes that the operation was merely a punitive expedition to discipline the troops. Bicknell's interpretation goes in a similar direction. He suspects, however, that the relevant passages in Suetonius have so far been misinterpreted. He thinks it is more likely that Caligula's undertaking was a minor campaign against tribes on the Lower Germanic coast (now Holland).17 The episode with the mussels was a discipline between two legions for cowardice. Regardless of this, Caligula actually planned a campaign against Britain, but it did not come to fruition.

Claudius plans to conquer Britain

In the year 41 AD, Caligula, who had become intolerable because of his despotism, was murdered by two members of the imperial guard. On the same day, his uncle Claudius was surprisingly proclaimed emperor. At first glance, the 51-year-old Kaiser doesn't seem like an ideal cast. When appointing offices, he was almost completely ignored by his relatives Augustus and Tiberius. Suetonius:

"Throughout his youth he struggled with persistent illnesses, which weakened both body and mind to such an extent that, even in advanced manhood, he was not considered fit for any public or private function." (Suetonius, Claudius, 2.9).

He was also unable to gain any military experience - in contrast to other prominent members of his ruling house such as Emperor Tiberius, who was a general for many years, or Germanicus, the father of Caligula. In addition, Claudius' character does not come off well in the ancient sources. Suetonius describes him as a learned, but also a cruel, suspicious and senile emperor.

It is easy to forget that Claudius was one of the most energetic emperors of the first century AD, only surpassed by Augustus and Vespasian. During his reign numerous new buildings were built in Rome, such as the “Anio Novus” aqueduct. He had border security expanded, incorporated the provinces of Mauritania, Thrace, Lycia and Norikum into the empire and centralized administration.18 And he conquered Britain. However, many historians consider these deeds to be the work of his skillful advisers, the most important of which is the freed Narcissus, his secretary. This is also supported by Suetonius:

“Ruled by these people and by his wives, he didn't actually play the role of an emperor, but that of a servant. As it suited the interests of each of these people or their inclination and mood, he distributed honorary positions, military commands, pardons or punishments, mostly without really knowing what he was doing. " (Suetonius: Claudius, 29, 1).

However, here too the question is whether the senators' old suspicion of the Julio-Claudian emperors does not play a role in Sueton's description, especially since Claudius placed men of low social status like Narcissus, but also many other freed slaves, in influential positions.19

The motives for this campaign are not easy to understand. The impetus is again a prince who has fled Britain: Bericus, called "Verica" ​​on local coins. He was probably also a chief of the Atrebates. The scattering of the coin finds suggests that he had considerable territory from the Canal to the Thames.20 Here, too, it is uncertain why he was expelled; Cassius Dio only speaks of an internal conflict. Dio reports that this Bericus or Verica persuaded Emperor Claudius to send an army to Britain.21 Suetonius gives further reasons:

“The Senate had awarded him the ornamenta triumphalia; but since this honorary award of the majesty of the emperor did not seem to correspond to him and he wanted the award of a proper triumph, he chose to achieve this, especially Britain, against which no one had tried again since the deified Julius, and that just then was quite restless because defectors had not been extradited. " (Suetonius, Claudius, 17.2).

From this short section two motives can be deduced: First and foremost, the emperor's desire to achieve more military fame and to emulate the oversized role model for all emperors, Julius Caesar (it is not for nothing that the expression “emperor” emerged from the fact that all emperors after the enthronement led the nickname "Caesar"). The year before, in AD 42, Claudius had to put down a revolt of military leaders in Dalmatia.22 Perhaps he wanted to strengthen his reputation through a successful campaign of conquest.

Second, Britain appears to have granted asylum to political refugees from Gaul. This could well have played a role, for the Gallic provinces were very restless in the first hundred years of their existence; up to the year 70 there were several uprisings in Gaul - such as those that prevented Augustus from moving into Britain.The Britons may have offered ringleaders shelter after revolts, as was evidently the case under Caesar.

Perhaps the British defectors in Rome also made the invasion economically palatable to Emperor Claudius. In the "Agricola" Tacitus reports on "Gold, silver and other metals as a reward for victory" (Agricola 12.6). So the Romans could have expected rich spoils of war.

Inner-dynastic reasons in the kingdom of the Belgians, one of the largest Celtic states in Britain, could also have played a role: the powerful, Rome-friendly King Cunobelinus died around 40 AD; now the empire, which lay mainly in eastern England, was divided among his sons. Perhaps the "inner conflict" that Cassius Dio meant and that led to the flight of Adminius - one of at least five sons - already under Caligula, relaxed here. Bericus could also have fled to Rome because his empire was attacked or destroyed in the process23. The fight against the druids is sometimes also mentioned as a possible reason; However, references to this can only be found in ancient sources in the Neronian era and it could be more likely that religious disputes only arose after the founding of the province. However, in their work "The conquest of Roman Britain", Dudley / Webster represent the somewhat meager opinion that Rome did not need any special motives for a campaign:

"No classical writer discusses at any length the roman motives for the invasion. The fact is significant: it was not thought to require elaborate justification. This has not deterred modern scholars from propounding numerous and conflicting theories. "24

Preparing for the invasion

The campaign against Britain was carefully planned by Claudius and his advisors. Claudius brought together at least four legions for his undertaking: the Legio II Augusta was previously stationed in Argentoratum (Strasbourg), the Legio XX Valeria in Novaesium (Neuss), the Legio XIV Gemina in Moguntiacum (Mainz) and the Legio IX Hispana (probably from Siscia / Sisak in Northern Yugoslavia). Perhaps another legion, the VIII Augusta, stood as a reserve on the Gallic coast.25 There were also numerous auxiliary troops, including Batavian cohorts. These units, raised from a Lower Germanic tribe, were considered "special troops" for amphibious missions. In addition, Gauls and Thracians fought in the auxiliary troops, which were raised from provincial residents without citizenship.26. In all, perhaps 40,000 men were drawn together. For the company, the military reduced the number of troops, particularly on the Rhine, which in the early 1st century was one of the empire's endangered borders. An attempt was made to compensate for this by creating a continuous military border with numerous new camps for auxiliary troops there and on the Danube for the first time.27 In any case, these auxiliary troops seem to have been deployed and raised on a large scale for the first time under Claudius. The following pattern emerged: While the large units of the legions were used in the future primarily for conquest campaigns and wars, the auxiliary troops served to secure the border. They also consisted of special troops such as cavalry or archers. The Rhine border seems to have been calm, although punitive actions and smaller campaigns repeatedly occurred on the Lower Rhine under Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius.28 Aulus Plautius was appointed commander of the invading army. Plautius was distantly related to the first wife of Emperor Claudius. Most of all, he was a high-ranking civil servant and military leader. 29 AD he held the consulate, after the emperor the highest office in the state. After that - perhaps from 36 AD - he was governor in the Danube province of Pannonia (in today's Hungary and Northern Yugoslavia). Other high-ranking officers, including the later emperor Vespasian and perhaps also Galba, his brother Sabinus and the experienced military leader Cnaeus Hosidius Geta or the later British governor Didius Gallus commanded legions and cavalry.29 Little is known about the fleet. Bricks prove that a separate unit, the "classis britannica", was created for use. There must have been a thousand ships. The Romans seem to have oriented themselves to the construction of Gallic ships for the operations in the rough North Sea, since galleys were too unstable for the crossing.30

Opponents and allies

Who did the Romans deal with in Britain? Tacitus describes the Britons impressively in his "Agricola":

“Their physical appearance is not uniform and one can draw conclusions from that. Because the red-blonde hair of the inhabitants of Caledonia and their powerful limbs speak for Germanic descent; the dark complexion of the Silurians, their very often curled hair and the fact that Spain is opposite lead to the belief that Iberians crossed and occupied this area in prehistoric times; the seeds that are closest to the Gauls are also similar to them, be it that the strength of their ancestry still persists or that the climate in the countries extending in different directions has given their shapes the same appearance. Overall, however, one can assume that the Gauls have occupied the neighboring island. Their religious customs can be found there because of the persuasiveness of superstitious beliefs. The language shows no great differences, they are just as daring in conjuring up dangers and, when they have occurred, they evade them just as fearfully ”(Tacitus, Agricola 11.2-11.4).

While the British tribes probably neither had much to do with Teutons nor Iberians, Tacitus' latter theses are also supported by archaeological finds. In the period from 900 to 500 BC, Celtic tribes slowly migrated from Gaul to the British Isles.31 Island and mainland Celts kept in close contact until well into Roman times. Some tribes such as the Atrebates are recorded in both Gaul and Britain. The British tribes were more likely to have a rural way of life with small farms and hamlets. But there were also a number of places fortified with mighty walls, such as Camulodunum, which were also "seats of government". Nevertheless, the Celtic "cities" cannot be compared with the Greek and Roman cities of the same time; they were less populated and there was a lack of urban facilities that the Romans and Greeks had such as water pipes, baths, stone temples, etc.32. As in Gaul, these principalities did not form a unit with one another. Tacitus:

“In ancient times the Britons obeyed kings, now they are divided over leading men in passionate party arguments. But nothing else brings us greater benefit in dealing with these extremely vigorous peoples than that they do not discuss issues that affect them together. Only rarely do two or three tribes combine to avert a common danger; so they fight individually and are defeated together. " (Tacitus, Agricola, 12.2).

Claudius and his generals also find this condition. The most powerful opponents are the Trinovantes and Catuvellauners. They form the alliance of the Belgians. They are led by two sons of Cunobelinus, Caratacus and Togodumnus: The two peoples settle in the flat, fertile area around London and Colchester. The politics of the Belger king Cunobelinus was actually friendly to Rome. There was a lively trade and the Belgians even adopted Latin letters and terms on their coins.33 That is why Haversfield assumed in his book "The Romanization of Roman Britain" that the Roman Empire exerted a great influence on the Britons even before the conquest.34 But after the death of Cunobelinus it seems that there was a break with Rome. Perhaps because the energetic Caratacus, the main leader of the anti-Roman opposition until his capture in AD 51, waged war against allies of Rome.35 They could possibly raise an army of 80,000 men.36 Again Tacitus to the Celtic warriors : “Their strength lies in the rank and file; some tribes also fight from the wagon. The charioteer is more respected, followers fight for him. " (Tacitus, Agricola 12.2). Other tribes who were more hostile to the Romans were the Dobunners and Durotrigers.37

But there were also friendly peoples who did not take up arms against Rome. These include the Iceni (East Anglia), Regner and above all the Atrebates. The latter people were an important ally for Rome. Eventually they settled on the south coast and thus enabled the Romans to build harbors there after the invasion and to secure supplies for the troops. The refugee Verica / Bericus was also an Atrebate. The political constellation here again summarized: The Catuvellauner, Trinovante and Dobunner, who apparently formed an alliance, were definitely hostile to the Romans, as well as the Durotrigers and Dumnones in the southwest. Roman allies were certainly Atrebaten, Regner and Iceni - interestingly enough, all neighbors of the coalition of Trinovants and Cautvellauners. The status of the Corieltauver (in the area of ​​the River Nene) and Cantiacen (in Kent) is uncertain38. Tribes that dwelt deeper in the country, such as the Brigantes or the mighty Welsh Silurians, initially seem to have shown no interest in the conflict. In any case, they are not mentioned in the relevant sources by ancient authors and were not warred by the Romans in the early phase of the invasion.

The invasion of the island

The invasion started in the spring of 43. It actually begins with a bad omen: a mutiny almost breaks out when the troops are supposed to embark.39 The soldiers feared the dangers of the stormy English Channel, which the Romans kept in mind in the literary sources.

Than "End of the world" Horace referred to the island in one of his Carmina; in one of his hymns of praise for Augustus it says: "Obey you, full of monsters, the ocean that laps distant Britain."40 The island, located in the far north of the geography known to the Romans, is a different world for them.41 You have to keep in mind that the Romans did not know any other island of this size and Britain also swam in the Ocean, which delimited the known countries in the ancient world view.

Not even Aulus Plautius can appease the panicked troops. He calls on Narcissus, Claudius' most important advisor. The angry soldiers do not allow the released slaves to speak a single word. Suddenly they mock him with the cry “Io Saturnalia!” (The Saturnalia was a festival in which slaves and masters swapped roles on one day). But now, according to Cassius Dio, "They followed Plautius of their own free will".42 The generals have learned from Caesar's experience and now know good landing sites and the problems of such an amphibious invasion. They head for the cheap natural harbor of Rutupiae (Richborough) and probably another one in Lymbne and divide their troops into three waves. However, there has been controversy about the landing site for several years: archaeologists such as John Manley even suspect that another landing site was near Fishbourne, where, in addition to the remains of a palace from the Flavian era, older wooden buildings and trenches apparently of a military nature lay.43 The thesis meets with well-known English researchers such as Barry Cunliffe, who even believe that Fishbourne was in fact the main landing site. There seems to be a consensus that at least some of the troops landed at Fishbourne.44 The new discussion, based on an article by John Hinds in 1989, shows that the circumstances of the invasion are far from clear, and that the Dios report says something about the course and drama of the fighting, but unfortunately it is not of great help concerns temporal and spatial data of the invasion. In Richborough, the trenches of a camp for around 2,500 soldiers were found on the beach with finds from the Claudian era - the excavator Bushe-Fox believed that the trenches should protect the unloading of the troops.45 If the first wave encountered resistance, the other two could have avoided the difficult stretch of beach and landed in a safe place. But unlike with Caesar, the crossing and landing are completely smooth. Cassius Dio: “So they landed on the island without encountering any resistance. Because of their inquiries, the Britons did not expect them to come and therefore did not meet beforehand, but even so they did not engage in a fight with the Romans, but instead took refuge in their swamps and forests. " (Cassius Dio, 60,19,4) Suetonius also mentions the delay in the campaign; According to him, an illness of the general Galba, a close friend of the emperor, played a role.46

Perhaps the key to the later Roman victory lay here, because thanks to the undisturbed landing, the troops had enough time to secure their supplies from the mainland.In addition, it seems as if the tribes in the relevant landing sections were all allies of the Romans. The Fishbourne advocates here refer to the proximity of the Atrebaten tribe, whose ruler Verica had asked the Romans to intervene. Before it came to the battle with the opposing main army, Plautius accepted the surrender of the tribe of the Bodunnen (probably confusion with Dobunnen). Meanwhile, Caratacus's army has holed up behind a river: "The barbarians now thought that the Romans could not cross the water without a bridge and therefore camped on the other bank rather carelessly," is what Dio says.47 The only river in Kent, according to modern historians, that could fit the description is the Medway. It follows that the Romans probably advanced along "Watling Street", an old, always important road to the northwest.48 In a classic encirclement maneuver, the Romans take the British by surprise: Water-tested Teutons - one can assume that they are the Batavian auxiliary troops - cross the river unnoticed and further away. They bypass the British and destroy their chariots, which are posted behind the foot troops. At the same time - to take advantage of the element of surprise and to relieve the Germans - Vespasian and his brother Sabinus advance across the river. There they formed a bridgehead. This unit is certainly the "Legio II Augusta" commanded by Vespasian, the best documented unit for the early phase. The next day the battle continues; the British did not flee during the night, but rather put the Romans in dire straits. The legate Gnaeus Hosidius Geta finally put the troops to flight. From this it can be concluded that at least a second legion was involved, regardless of additional auxiliaries. It can therefore be assumed that a great battle took place here and that at least 12,000 men were deployed on the Roman side alone.49 The archaeological finds that should point to this, however, are very sparse so far. The only but significant evidence is a coin treasure that was found a few kilometers east of the Medway. The youngest of the 34 gold coins date from just before the invasion, from years 41 and 42.50 Perhaps a soldier buried them there before marching to the battlefield and then fell in the fighting.

Nevertheless, it is not possible to provide the whole army of Caratacus - at least according to Cassius Dio: "The Britons only retreated as far as the Tamesa (Thames), to the point where it joins the ocean and forms a lake at high tide." Here, too, the Romans can form a bridgehead thanks to the Germanic auxiliary troops. Other troops crossed one further "Upward bridge" and thus bypassed the Britons. These retreat further north through swamps that make the Roman advance more difficult.51 After the Battle of the Medway, Cassius Dio's information became increasingly cryptic and difficult to identify. Dudley / Webster believe that a second army landed in southern England, built a bridge over the Thames and thus bypassed the Britons. The swamps can be identified with those in southern Essex.52

Also, according to Dio, a second battle must have taken place. Namely, he describes that Togodumnus, Caratacus brother, was defeated and killed. This brought the British even closer together.53 There are no further details or descriptions of this battle; it is localized by Dudley / Webster north of the Thames, but the authors could not rely on archaeological finds.54

After Aulus Plautius ran into trouble north of the Thames, he had his troops stopped. Dio: “Aulus Plautius now asked Claudius to appear himself. He had been instructed to act in this way in the event of particularly stubborn resistance, and in fact a strong force - including elephants - had already been assembled for the campaign. " (Cassius Dio, Book 60,21,2) Today's historians dispute the credibility of this statement. Cassius Dio reports that Claudius was absent from Rome for six months but only spent 16 days in Britain. During this time his co-consul Lucius Vitellius took over the affairs of government in Rome.55 Brodersen suspects: "In fact, the opposite is more true: personally achieving a military success was the emperor's top priority, and Aulus Plautius had to prepare the ground for him, so that the emperor could only be requested for the well-prepared and ultimately risk-free decision." .56 This theory also seems to support a statement made by Suetonius: "Claudius subjugated part of the island within a few days without a blow of the sword or bloodshed".57 In contrast, Cassius Dio describes that there was a battle north of the Thames with Britons who were gathering behind the river.58 This statement seems contradictory because, according to him, some of the legions had already crossed the river and this line of defense was now pointless. Without further sources, however, it cannot be clarified what happened there. It seems certain: Claudius was in Britain. Dudley / Webster see his arrival as an act of state. They refer to the fact that Claudius was apparently accompanied by numerous other dignitaries. Plautius "canceled" the conquest of Camulodunum for the emperor. Furthermore, the emperor had accepted the surrender of British princes. The inscription on his triumphal arch suggests this.59 This version is also supported by the fact that it must have taken Claudius at least four days from the ports to Colchester at the daily speed at that time. Since he was only in Britain for 16 days, it is unlikely that there would be any major fighting during that time. The length of his trip - it took him half a year to get to Britain and back - can hardly be seen as a spontaneous reaction to an unexpected military situation. Still, there could be a grain of truth in Dio's report. Perhaps Plautius was expecting new troops or supplies at this time, which could be arranged with a trip by the emperor. After all, the conquest of Camulodunum was only the first act of the conquest of Britain. Dio: "He took the weapons from the vanquished and handed them over to Plautius, commissioning him to conquer the rest as well."60 Then he returned to Rome. It was not until 44 AD that he reached the city and held his triumph there. He had previously sent his sons-in-law Magnus and Silanus ahead to report the victory.61

The triumph in Rome

Suetonius describes the triumph in Rome, a year after the legions left for Britain, succinctly but vividly: “For this spectacle he allowed not only the governors of the provinces, but even several exiles to come to Rome and, in addition to hostile armor, he attached a ship's crown to the gable of his house on the Palatine Hill in addition to the citizen's crown as a sign of the people he had traveled through tamed ocean as it were. Behind his triumphal chariot his wife followed Messalina in a splendid car. He was also accompanied by all those who had received the triumph badges in this war, but on foot and in the usual senatorial robe, only Marcus Crassus Frugi on a richly strutted horse and in a palm-embroidered robe, because it was the second time that he had received that record would have." (Suetonius, Claudius, 17). Cassius Dio describes further details of the triumph: The Senate awarded Claudius and his son the honorary title "Britannicus". An annual victory festival should be held. There were also plans to erect triumphal arches in Rome and Gaul. The triumph was celebrated in several places in the city; ten horse races, animal fights, and theatrical performances were included.62

Claudius also had coins minted as a sign of his victory63. Eight poems of fame on the occasion of the triumph have been preserved.64 Claudius celebrated the enterprise in Britain with considerable effort; further evidence of a primarily propagandistic orientation of the campaign? After all, this triumph was the first of an emperor since 29 BC.65 Apparently all high officials of the Roman state took part - this shows that Claudius also invited the provincial governors. Important civil servants - including the two military men and later emperors Vespasian and Galba - were allowed to take part in the triumphal procession. The people should be entertained by many games and get their money's worth. In any case, the emperor loved the organization of magnificent games; this is attested by Suetonius. In one of the praise poems, three motifs in particular are emphasized: Claudius had conquered the "Oceanus", won the campaign at lightning speed and he added a new world to known: "Coniunctum est, quod adhuc orbis et orbis erat", it says in one of the Poems: "Connected is what was before the world and the world."66 At least two triumphal arches have been erected; their inscriptions have been preserved in parts from Rome (built around 52) and the city of Kyzikos on the Black Sea. There was probably a third one in Gaul, because Cassius Dio mentions him. Perhaps it was in the city of Gessoriacum (Boulogne), the most important Roman port on the North Sea and presumably the starting point. The arch is depicted on coins from the years 46 and 49 - 51.67 An equestrian statue was between two victory signs. The Claudius Temple, which was built in Camulodunum (probably after 49) and was later a special target during the Boudicca uprising, is certainly also related to the triumph.68 Certainly it also served the imperial cult. In a variety of ways, Claudius was already trying to quickly spread his success in the media of the time. He is always in the foreground personally; Aulus Plautius, who commanded the troops, is not mentioned on the triumphal arch in Rome.69 The governor himself seems to have had his hands full in Britain; he obviously did not take part in Triumph 44 - otherwise Suetonius or Dio would certainly have mentioned him in their reports about it. But after his return to Rome in 47 he got a small triumph of his own, the so-called "ovatio", which was an unusually high distinction for a non-member of the imperial family.70

Further conquests under Aulus Plautius

In the meantime the Roman soldiers were busy conquering Britain and "shaping" it into a province, as Tacitus put it in the Agricola - "In formam provinciae redqcta".71 It is questionable whether the conquest of the whole island was planned under Claudius, although he had instructed Plautius to "conquer the rest". For one thing, even at the time of the invasion, the Romans still had a vague idea of ​​the size and shape of the island; In 44, the geographer Pomponius Mela thought it was about the size of Sicily72. Well known through the trade and the expeditions of Caesar were probably only the south and south-east coast. On the other hand, the battle plan of Claudius and Aulus Plautius seemed to be geared to firstly destroying the most powerful empire, that of the Belgians, and secondly to conquering the fertile area in England's south-east. When Camulodunum was conquered, probably in the autumn of 43, there was probably only a small area under Roman rule that barely reached across the Thames.

There seems to have been at least one major campaign during and after that. Suetonius writes about Emperor Vespasian: “Under Claudius, on the recommendation of Narcissus, he was sent to Germania as commander of a legion and later transferred to Britain, where he fought thirty battles against the enemy. He subjugated two very warlike peoples, over twenty cities and the island of Vectis near Britain ” (Suetonius, Vespasian 4). According to today's view, these observations are covered by archaeological finds. From the east, the Legio II Augusta, which he commanded, crossed the territory of the Durotrigers (now Dorset) and Dumnonians (around Exeter). There seems to have been fighting over the hill fortresses of the Durotrigers. The castles of the Durotriger were partly huge ring walls like "Maiden Castle" not far from the British south coast. Dudley / Webster believe Vespasian captured them with a ship-supported campaign.73 Vespasian took part in the triumph of Claudius in the spring of 44, from which it can be concluded that he must have conquered southern England in a lightning campaign - as we know, he first joined the main army and fought in the Battle of the Medway. On four of the ramparts there are traces of fighting: 28 warriors were hastily buried in “Maiden Castle”; one had the projectile of a Roman projectile stuck in his spine. Numerous projectiles were also found in "Hod Hill". In "Spettisbury Rings" - probably by the Romans "- a kind of mass grave was laid out for the fallen; In addition to skeletons, there were also Roman weapons. Roman weapons were also found in Ham Hill.74 According to Dudley / Webster, the Dumnotrigers were initially included in their fortresses; With the help of sling guns, the Romans shot the walls ready to attack before they climbed the earth walls and put down the garrisons.75 Apparently a fleet supported the II Legion. This is indicated by the remains of a port from the Claudian period near Hamworthy. Other such ports could have been in Noviomagus / Chichester and Topsham. In general, these places are difficult to track down because the coastline has changed and most of the remains probably slipped into the sea.76 After that, the Legion was apparently stationed in Isca / Exeter. However, the archaeological remains indicate that the camp there was only built around 55 AD. The Second Legion was safely in this area; the exact location remains unknown at first.77 According to Millett, this area was very difficult to pacify, which is why many smaller camps were set up there, some even within native fortifications such as Hod Hill.78

Less is known about the advance of the other legions. While the XX Valeria Victrix remained in the area of ​​Camulodunum, the other two apparently advanced from Camulodunum to the west and northwest.79 The XIV. Legion Gemina is later attested far west on the border with Wales in Viroconium / Wroxeter, the IX Hispana in Lindum / Lincoln.80 The construction of these two camps was apparently at the end of their “marching routes”. The path of the 14th Legion is the worst documented. A legionnaire's helmet was found near Verulamium / St. Albans; apparently it was supposed to occupy this important regional center before moving to the edge of the Welsh Highlands. However, it could not have been stationed in Wroxeter until after 47, during the fighting against the Deceanglers, Silurians and Ordovisians. The place would be very exposed and far west of the assumed border of the province. Perhaps the 14th was more in Mancetter or Leicester. The remains of large camps were also found there.81

The 9th Legion, on the other hand, was in Lindum / Lincoln from at least 46 AD; before that she was most certainly stationed in Longthorpe.82

According to Millett, 43 starting bases were established for the further campaigns of the three legions in the year.83 Longthorpe, right on the River Nene and apparently on the tribal border with the Coritans, could have been such a camp; the Lake Farm camp apparently had the same meaning for the II: Legion. It is still completely open whether there were major battles on the way of the other legions; so far it doesn't seem like much to suggest. There is some evidence that at least the 9th Legion has been busy longer: it won't be in Lincoln until 46 at the earliest; In addition, it is rated in the secondary literature as a kind of "house legion" of Aulus Plautius, because it was previously in his province of Pannonia.84 But Plautius probably did not take part in the triumph in Rome in 44; maybe because he was still fighting with his legion in the north and was indispensable? It is astonishing that the reports by Suetonius and Cassius Dio about Claudius ‘triumphal procession mention some participants like Galba and even Claudius's wife Messalina by name, but not Plautius as commander-in-chief. By 47 AD at the latest, however, the Romans seem to have completed their first conquests; the newly created province seems to be pacified for the time being. Aulus Plautius returns to Rome and makes room for his successor Publius Ostorius Scapula - as already mentioned, Claudius rewarded him with a small triumph on his return.

The new province of Britain

So in 47 Plautius returned to Rome, leaving behind the new province of Britain. One thing is certain: not all of Britain, but initially only about a third, is occupied by the Romans at this point in time. The construction of a defensive line around the Fosse Way and the short-term cessation of the fighting suggests that at the time of Claudius it was not yet intended to conquer the entire province. Rather, the conquest of the state-like and powerful territory of the Trinovanten and Catuvellauner seems to have been the main goal of the operations. The Claudius arch from the year 52 names 11 kings who submitted to him.85 When the Civitates, the parish districts, were created later, exactly eleven happened to be in the area of ​​the presumed Claudian conquests: those of the Corieltauvier (also Coritaner), Iceni, Catuvellauner, Trinovanten, Dobunner, Atrebaten, Belger, Regner, Cantiac, Durotriger and Dumnonen.86 These tribes settled on fertile, flat land in the south and south-east of England. The Romans stopped where geographical obstacles arose - in front of the Highlands in Wales and Central England, as well as along the Severn and Trent rivers.

In the first phase of a province, the Romans tried to militarily secure the conquered area. Cornerstones in Britain were the legionary camps Isca / Exeter (?), Lindum / Lincoln, Mancetter or Leicester (?) And Camulodunum / Colchester. However, these positions are controversial among newer authors.87 One thing is certain: three of the four legions, the 2nd, the 14th and the 9th, lay along a diagonal line formed by the prehistoric road of the "Fosse Way". Exeter was the southern starting point, Lincoln the northern starting point. On the one hand, the troops were stationed on the border of the province, so that further actions against enemies could easily be undertaken from here. Second, navigable rivers were always nearby. The road network was first expanded by the legionnaires, and in addition, despite the paved and easily navigable routes, traffic on the inland waterways always played a greater role, as goods could be transported more easily, more cheaply and in larger quantities than with carts.88 The 20th Legion, on the other hand, was stationed far inland in Camulodunum. It was apparently intended to control the Trinovantes and Catuvellauners as the most powerful opposing peoples. To the left and right of Fosse Way were additional, additional forts of the auxiliary troops, at a distance of a day's march. They formed a loose line of defense. On the one hand, this sounds likely, but above all it arises from the doctrines of researchers of the 20th century, who were inspired by the later “Limites” such as Hadrian's Wall.89 However, there have also been new views on this from the last few years. According to a map from the book "Roman Castles" by Anne Johnson, the castles from the Claudian era are concentrated in certain areas. Eight of them are in the Coriel Tauner area; eight around Camulodunum / Colchester and Verulamium / St. Albans around; four in the area of ​​the Durotriger; and only three along the middle part of the Fosse Way.90 From this one seems to be able to conclude that the military presence was increased especially in the area of ​​warlike and strong tribes. In contrast, in the kingdoms of the allied Atrebates and Iceni, no forts were built except for ports on the Channel coast. As tempting as this idea is, it must be added that Britain's early military phase has not yet been adequately explored. There are certainly other camps that have not yet been excavated; It is also difficult to distinguish between the forts that were built after the invasion and the camps from the Boudicca uprising.

Milett takes a radically different view.According to him, at the time of Claudius there were no fixed boundaries; Camps were set up either as accommodation for the respective unit or as the basis for a campaign. This is supported by the fact that two of the four legions were already called in 47 for the fighting in Wales, later the legion from Camulodunum.91 Milett writes: "A critical analysis of the evidence of forts along the line of the supply road known as Fosse way supports neither the idea of ​​any regular spacing nor any contemporaneity of foundation for those that lie on this line."92

But this would again indicate that the conquest in the governorship of Plautius was not yet considered to be complete. If you take this theory further, his successor Scapula may even have been tasked with conquering Wales.

The Roman troops at that time were housed in camps made of wood and turf. The legionaries not only had military tasks, but also developed the infrastructure in a new province. Roads and public buildings in the border provinces of the empire were built mainly by the legionnaires, as numerous inscriptions from Germany and Britain show. The main task in this early phase was probably road construction. The main connections besides Fosse Way were Watling Street (runs from Richborough inland until it meets Fosse Way near Leicester) and Ermine Street (from London towards the Tynes). These prehistoric paths were paved by the soldiers and turned into wide streets.

Britain was given provincial administration early on. The Treasurer (Procurator augusti), whose main task was to collect taxes, was housed in Londonium. Camulodunum became the seat of the “Legatus augusti pro praetore”. The legions were subordinate to him.93 He also commissioned construction work, spoke law among the Roman citizens and took care of relations with the client kings, often referred to in Latin as "socii". The Roman province comprised two semi-autonomous kingdoms of allies: that of the Iceni in Essex / East Anglia and that of the Regner and Atrebates around Silchester and Fishbourne. The king of the sprinklers in Claudian times is known by name: his name was Cogidubnus. He became very old (death probably around 80 AD); Remnants of a great palace near Fishbourne are to be ascribed to him. Cogidubnus received the honorary title "Rex Magnus" from the Romans and even took the first name of the emperor "Tiberius Claudius" - thanks to the Romans for his loyalty?94 After his death, his territory with the capital Calleva / Silchester seems to have been inherited by the Romans. With the other "socii", the iceners and later the brigands, there were still difficulties under Claudius: Both revolted against Roman rule, for which Roman economic policy may be responsible. The Britons had no monetary system comparable to that of the Romans. After the Romans introduced their currency, all of the purchasing power lay with their soldiers and traders. The locals, on the other hand, were taxed, including the Iceni, and had to sell a lot of goods in order to be able to pay the taxes to be paid in coins. The establishment of the Camulodunum colony, for which indigenous land was certainly expropriated in favor of the Roman citizens, is likely to have caused displeasure.

Little statements can be made about the civilian population of the early province. After all, even under Claudius, there was a concentration in the cities that were sparsely populated at the time of the Britons. In 49 AD, Camulodunum was named "Colonia".95 These "coloniae" were centers of the Romanization of the province. Roman citizens were given the right to settle in the old trinovant seat. The Romans built over old facilities in Camulodunum; so a Claudius temple was built over the old tribal shrine.96 Rich houses are known from many Coloniae; they were places of trade and magnificent public buildings. Each Colonia had public thermal baths, mostly an amphitheater, a stage theater, a forum (market) and a capitol in which the most important imperial deities Jupiter, Mars and Minerva were worshiped. They were the only cities allowed to build fortification walls in the 1st century. Only the Capitol in Camulodunum is likely to date from the Claudian phase. The Municipia had a somewhat lower legal status, in which mostly locals who were Roman citizens lived with less civil rights. Londonium was one of those cities, but Verulamium was definitely. Residential buildings from the Claudian era are known in Verulamium. They were made of wood. Older house floor plans suggest that they were not built by the locals, who lived in small round huts made of clay and sod. Rather, the Roman houses seem to have been built by the army that maintained a base in Verulamium.97 The Romans largely tied in with older, important tribal settlements in their choice of settlement sites. However, apparently the fortified "Oppida" had to be abandoned; the Roman cities were then laid out in the immediate vicinity.98 As in Verulamium, street planning in Durovernum Cantiacorum / Canterbury goes back to Claudian times.99 Presumably it was not until 49, with the elevation of Camulodunum to a colony, that the population began to flow into the cities. Certainly, the basic conditions for this were already met under Plautius. In the course of the Boudicca uprising, Verulamium, Camulodunum and many other cities were destroyed again. Therefore, the "real" Romanization began only under the Flavians from 70 AD.100 After all, under Claudius and Nero, very many citizens seem to have lived in the towns, as the - albeit certainly exaggerated - statement of the losses of 70,000 civilian deaths at Tacitus during the Boudicca uprising suggests.

Lead ingots with inscriptions, however, indicate that shortly after the conquest, the island's mineral resources were exploited by the Romans.101

The conquest of Britain and its consequences - a

Claudius celebrated his victory over the Britons as a tremendous success. Without loss he subjugated eleven kings of the Britons and brought the tribes across the ocean under his power. But what kind of province had he created there?

The whole island was not taken by Aulus Plautius - by no means. Nevertheless, the Romans had achieved a decisive victory - the second attempt at such a mighty landing after Caesar's last expedition had succeeded; a province could be founded. The strategy of eliminating the Trinovantes and Catuvellauners with the help of allied tribes worked. In AD 47, Britain seemed to be pacified. But this harmony only lasted for a short time. In the same year in which Plautius returned to Rome after successful work, there was a conflict with the powerful and warlike tribes from Wales - the Silurians, Ordovizians and Deceangeln. Caratacus, the Trinovante king, fled there and led the Silurians as general. Previously, Scapula had to put down an uprising by the allied Iceni. Whether the war in Wales was a planned Roman campaign or a response to attacks by the Welsh is not to be discussed here. In any case, it was a sign that the political concept for Britain was not working and was to mark the beginning of a decade-long series of wars and revolts. After the war in Wales, the brigands rose up in AD 52, then the Iceni - both actually allies of the empire. The suppression of the revolt was to last until 70 AD; the young province was almost completely devastated at least once. So you can ask yourself whether it was really worth conquering the distant island at the other end of the world. After all, four legions - one sixth of the Roman core troops - were needed for the invasion. Economically, the Romans were not dependent on owning the island. Besides metals, it didn't bring in much either. An attack by British tribes on the mainland was also not threatened; they would hardly have been able to invade Gaul.

On the other hand, the invasion benefited the image of Emperor Claudius very well. His prestige as a general was assured: he had led the most powerful military operation since Augustus' German Wars for at least 16 days and had been successful. As a result, he had even indirectly surpassed Caesar, who did not succeed in taking the island. That certainly impressed the Romans - after all, Caesar was a kind of role model for all emperors.

Secondly, Claudius was able to present his success so outstandingly because Britain was the "old orbis" - the distant island in the ocean, which actually no longer belonged to the known world. Important politicians such as Plautius, Vespasian and Galba were involved in the invasion. It was certainly also of use to the emperor, who was always ignored and ridiculed by his family, if he included these important personalities in the triumph, some of whom, like Vespasian, were not nobles. In any case, Claudius (or at least his advisors) appears to be a skilled propagandist from today's point of view: even in his triumph, he overlooked the fact that there was still fighting in Britain. also afterwards the subject of Britain seems to have been politically done or only of interest to its image. He was no longer there or even sent reinforcements when the uprising broke out. He benefited from the fact that the Roman Empire was seldom as safe as it was in the middle of the 1st century. Under his rule war was waged on the borders around the empire, in Mauritania, in the Middle East and in Germania.102 However, these were all minor conflicts that did not seriously endanger the interior of the empire.

Thus the campaign in Britain meant a calculable military risk for the empire despite the novel problem of a large amphibious invasion in the stormy North Sea; nevertheless it was carefully planned. So there is much to suggest that it was primarily domestic political considerations that led Claudius to conquer Britain.

Today it is difficult to assess the course of the campaign and the early phase of Romanization. The sources are poor. In the passages that have been preserved, neither Tacitus nor Cassius Dio report in detail about the conquest of the island; Suetonius seems to consider them completely irrelevant: "Claudius only undertook one campaign and it was not very important."103 For the time immediately after the conquest, there are only a few references in the literature; It is a pity that the corresponding book of the "Annals" of Tacitus has not survived for this period. Even archeology is not yet able to provide better information. This is also shown by the current debate in England about the landing sites of the Claudian army. The archaeological invasion is nowhere near as well documented as, for example, the German Wars of Augustus.104 Hypotheses therefore play a major role in research on this; Even small new discoveries of buildings or even corresponding legionnaires' weapons can create or overturn theories, as the current discussion about the landing site at Fishbourne shows. In the end, all that remains is the comparison with other, better documented companies from the early imperial era. The German Wars and the conquest of the Alpine region under Augustus should be mentioned here in particular. Certainly the experiences of the campaigns in Germania, which lasted over a period of almost 30 years, were costly and ultimately unsuccessful, still shaped the considerations of Claudius and his generals. As already mentioned, he had the Rhine and Danube secured with fort chains exactly at the time of the invasion - the first early military border, which later became the common defensive concept on all borders of the empire. In addition, the Roman generals seem to have been more deliberate in Britain as well. After the Romans finally lost their grip on the attempt to conquer a huge area in Germania as far as the Elbe, the invasion of Britain indicates that they were now proceeding more cautiously and initially contented themselves with controlling the economically, politically and transport-wise more important territory. instead of looking for a conflict with the Highland tribes in unfamiliar terrain. From a purely military point of view, the concept was also very successful - the sources suggest that the first victories were not particularly difficult. Economically speaking, however, Britain was probably not particularly attractive to Roman settlers. Even if there were some important cities, Camulodunum remained the only "Colonia", so the only real "city" in the Roman sense.

In the case of the conquest of Britain, from today's perspective the question arises almost inevitably whether the invasion of the island made sense. Today's politicians tend to need a justification to start a war. And this does not seem to exist in the case of the campaign of 43: The Britons did not threaten the “Pax Romana”, or at most very indirectly, by accepting rebels. This was not a campaign that would have better secured the borders of the empire. Owning the island was not economically necessary, and the cost of the operation was certainly higher than the spoils of war. The fact that Claudius' prestige was increased by the campaign was indirectly an important point for the Roman system: Since the emperor had full authority and absolute power, his unrestricted authority was important for the internal security of the empire. In the Roman Empire, crises occurred again and again after the death of "weak" emperors, for example after that of Nero 68 or that of Commodus in 192. In such cases, ambitious politicians and military officials tried to fill the power vacuum and become emperors themselves, which is synonymous was with civil wars. But even this argument does not seem to explain the conquest of Britain satisfactorily for us. Perhaps it really was as Dudley and Webster suspected: the empire, which at the time of Claudius had no strong external enemies, no economic competition, no structural problems such as inflation or unemployment, needed no justification because of its almost absolute power in the ancient world : If the emperor decided a campaign, it was carried out. There are certainly critical comments on this in historiography; but even with Tacitus, who saw through imperial foreign policy, this criticism seems restrained.

Used literature

Ancient authors

Cassius, Dio: Roman History.London 1961-1970. In the bilingual edition of "The Loeb Classical Library".

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius: Agricola. Lat. and German transl., ext. u. with e. Epilogue ed. v. Robert Feger. Stuttgart 1983.

C.Suetonius Tranquillus, All surviving works. Based on the transfer by Adolf Stahr, revised by Franz Schön and Gerhard Waldherr Essen 1987.

Modern secondary literature

Baatz, Dietwulf / Herrmann, Fritz-Rudolf (eds.): The Romans in Hessen, Munich 1982

Bicknell, Peter: The emperor Gaius military activities in A.D. 40, Historia 17 (1968), pp. 496-505.

Brodersen, Kai: Das Roman Britannien, Darmstadt 1998.

Cornell, Tim / Matthews, John, World Atlas of Ancient Cultures: Rome, Munich 1982

Dudley, Donald R./Webster, Graham: The Roman Conquest of Britain, London 1965.

Fischer, Thomas: The Romans in Germany, Darmstadt 2001

Frere, Sheppard: Verulamium and the towns of Britannia, ANRW II, 3, 1975, pp. 138-175.

Haverfield, Francis John: The Romanization of Roman Britain, Oxford 1923.

Horn, Heinz-Günter (Ed.): The Romans in North Rhine-Westphalia, Stuttgart 1987

Johnson, Anne: Roman forts, Mainz 1987.

Jones, Barri / Mattingly, David: An atlas of Roman Britain, Oxford 1990.

Milett, Martin: The Romanization of Britain, Cambridge 1990.

Salway, Pete: Roman Britain, Oxford 1998.

Salway, Pete: History of Roman Britain, Oxford 1997.

Internet, page by Peter Lichtenberger, as of August 27, 2003, January 20, 2003, January 19, 2003, October 16, 2003, 13. October 2003, by Jona Lendering from the Sussex Archaeological Society, 2000 from the Sussex Archaeological Society, 2000


1 Figures from the Internet site

2 on Mela: see excerpt in Brodersen, Kai: Das roman Britannien, Darmstadt 1998, pp. 79/80.

3 Data on Dio from the website

4 Data on Tacitus and his works from the website

5 About Suetonius and his work: Introduction by Franz Schön in: C. Suetonius Tranquillus, All preserved works, Essen 1987, pp. XI - XL.

6 Jones / Mattingly: An atlas of Roman Britain, Oxford 1990, p. 18. Maps are used to explain the geographical ideas of ancient authors.

7 Martin Milett, The Romanization of Britain, Cambridge 1990, p. 44.

8 Cassius Dio, book 53, 25, 2

9 Number from the Internet site

10 Res Gestae Divi Augustorum 32, in: Kai Brodersen: Das Roman Britannien, p. 49

11 For coin spread, see maps 3: 7, 3: 8 in Jones / Mattington: An atlas of Roman Britain, p. 52. The distribution of the tribes within England is shown on map 3: 2 on p. 43

12 Strabon, Geographie 4,5,3 C200, in: Brodersen, K .: Das Roman Britannien, p. 48.

13 Tacitus, Annalen 11, 1,4: ... consilium coercendi intra fines imperii ...; in Brodersen, K .: Das Roman Britannien, p. 54

14 Suetonius: Caligula 50, 16: "He had noticed his mental illness himself, and he repeatedly thought of retreating somewhere and taking a cure."

15 Quoteösungen/kaiser/gaius_07.htm

16 Text passage in Cassius Dio: book 59,25,3; for Suetonius: Caligula 46.

17 Bicknell, Peter: The emperor Gaius ‘military activities in A.D. 40. Historia 17 (1968), p.505: "I imagine that in the early months of 40 the army of the Lower Rhine, in the presence of the emperor, carried out minor operations against the Canninefates from the insula Batavorum." Bicknell's theory is supported by some recent finds on the Dutch coast.

18 On the merits of Claudius see the websiteösungen/kaiser/claudius_06.htm

19 see also Cornell, Tim / Matthews, John: World Atlas of Ancient Cultures: Rome, Munich 1982, p. 78: “The preference for freedmen can be explained by the fact that Claudius had no base of his own in the Senate or in palace circles. When he ... was proclaimed emperor, the Senate was discussing a restoration of the republic and was not very happy about his appearance. "

20 Jones / Mattingly: An atlas of Roman Britain, Map 3: 7, p. 52

21 Cassius Dio, book 60, 19, 1-2)

22 Suetonius, Claudius, 13th

23 Dudley, Donald R./Webster, Graham: The Conquest of Roman Britain, London 1965, pp. 40/41. According to them, a conflict would have developed between Rome-friendly feet and the sons of Cunobelinus, Caratacus and Togodumnus, which would have started at least in the year of the flight of Adminius 39 AD.

24 Dudley / Webster: The Conquest of Roman Britain, p. 51.

25 The participating legions are taken from Dudley / Webster: The Conquest of Roman Britain, p.16. There is still no evidence that the 8th Legion was in reserve on the Gallic coast. It is believed possible because she left her location in Poetovio in Pannonia and did not appear until 44 in Novum / Moesia. See

26 Dudley / Webster: The conquest of Roman Britain, p. 16.

27 In Baatz / Hermann: Die Römer in Hessen, Stuttgart 1982, p. 65. There it says: “The invasion of Britain had a significant impact on the Rhine army. The number of legions was again reduced to eight and the troops redistributed. " The establishment of a border line on the Danube is probably also connected with the establishment of the province of Raetia, see Filtzinger / Planck / Kämmerer: Die Römer in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 41-42-

28 For example the uprising of the Frisians around 28 AD, Galba's chat campaign in 41 AD or the war against the Chauken around 47 AD. See Horn (Ed.): Die Römer in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 56 - 57, and Baatz / Herrmann: Die Römer in Hessen, p. 63.

29 It is not certain whether Galba was in Britain. Dudley / Webster interpret a passage in Suetonius in their book "The Roman conquest of Britain" to the effect that Galba accompanied the emperor to Britain as an advisor. Vespasian is attested by Suetonius and Dio as a general in Britain. Sabinus and Geta also appear at Dio.

30 For the fleet, see Dudley / Webster: The Roman conquest of Britain, pp. 28/29. The authors relate the number of ships and their appearance to a place in Tacitus, in

31 according to the chronological table from Herm, Gerhard: Die Kelten, Hamburg 1977, p. 248.

32 Jones / Mattingly postulate in “An atlas of Roman Britain” that an urbanization process began among the British tribes on the south coast in the early 1st century AD. See An atlas of Roman Britain, pp. 46-50-

33 The first coins with Latin inscriptions appeared under Commius, who once fled Gaul from Caesar and ruled the Atrebates. The coins appeared before the turn of the century, but remained limited to the south-east of England. Jones / Mattingly: An atlas of Roman Britain, p. 50.

34 Haversfield, The Romanization of Roman Britain, 74.

35 Dudley / Webster: The conquest of Roman Britain, p. 44.

36 there, p.50.

37 The Dobunners sat in the west in the Bristol area and are known by Cassius Dio, probably incorrectly, as "Bodunner". The Durotrigers sat in the southwest; they were fought by Vespasian in 43/44.

38 There is nothing to be found in the ancient sources about the cantiacene; they may have been allies, since the landing of the Romans in Kent was not hindered. The Coritans could have been warred by the Romans in a second phase of the conquest; the large camp Longthorpe from Claudian times lies exactly on their tribal border. But there is still no evidence for this either.

39 Cassius Dio, 60,19,2-4

40 First quote from Horace, Carmina 1,35,29-30; second quote from Horace, Carmina 4,14,47-48). Both in: Brodersen. Roman Britain, pp. 50/51.

41 see the hymn of praise to Claudius quoted in Dudley / Webster: The Roman conquest of Britain on page 83.

42 Cassius Dio, 60, 19.4

43 see and In his book, Manley aims at the difficult archaeological source situation and considers a landing in Fishbourne to be just as likely as one in Richborough.

44 see comments by Nigel Nicolson and Brian Philp at

45 Dudley / Webster: The Roman Conquest of Britain, p. 62.

46 Suetonius, Galba, 7.3

47 Cassius Dio, book 60,20,2

48 Dudley / Webster: The Roman Conquest of Britain, p. 67

49 Battle report according to Cassius Dio, book 60, 20,2-4.

50 Dudley / Webster: The Roman Conquest of Britain, p.69.

51 Cassius Dio, book 60, 20.5

52 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, 70/71.

53 Cassius Dio, book 60, 21.1

54 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, p. 71

55 Cassius Dio, book 60,21,3

56 Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p. 64

57 Suetonius, Claudius, 17.1

58 Cassius Dio, book 60,21,4

59 Dudley / Webster: The Roman Conquest of Britain, pp. 74-75 and pp. 78-79

60 Cassius Dio, book 60,21,4

61 there, 60.21.5 - 23.1

62 there, 60, 23, 4-6

63 Imprint of a coin in Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.70. The obverse shows Claudius with the laurel wreath, the reverse a triumphal chariot and the signature "De Britannis."

64 I found the only reference to these poems in Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, p. 83.

65 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, p. 80. In 29 Augustus celebrated - at that time still as Octavian - the triple triumph over the Dalmatians, the Egyptians and Mark Antony.

66 there, p. 83.

67 Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.70

68 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, pp. 84-85.

69 Copy of the Arch of Claudius in Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p. 71.

70 Suetonius, Claudius 24.

71 Tacitus, Agricola, 14.1

72 Melas text passage on Britain in Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, pp. 79-80

73 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, map on page 111.

74 there p. 98 - 101.

75 ibid there, pp. 97-98. The authors refer to the siege of a Germanic rampart fortress, described by Tacitus.

76 there, p.104/105

77 Milett, The Romanization of Britain, p. 50

78 there, p. 50

79 The presence of the 20th legion and a cavalry unit in Camulodunum / Colchester is attested by two soldiers' gravestones, which are described in Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.82. According to Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, p.112, these stones were overturned and broken during the Boudicca revolt, so they probably come from the Claudian times.

80 also Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, pp. 82/83.

81 There are different views on this. Brodersen (Das Roman Britannien, p. 82) and Dudley / Webster (the Conquest of Roman Britain, p. 115) locate the 14th Legion early on in Wroxeter, S.S. Frere (Verulamium and the towns of Britain, p. 291), on the other hand, was still 47 in Leicester, while the Dutch historian Jona Lendering suspects that she was in Mancetter from 43 - 47 ( /legio/xiv_gemina.html)

82 Dudley / Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain, p.115 (about Longthorpe) and p. 118 (Lincoln; they assume the 9th Legion there from 46/47).

83 Millet, The Romanization of Britain, 50.

84 see Dudley / Webster, The conquest of Roman Britain, p. 16, and Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.82.

85 Inscription in Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.

86 Jones / Mattingly, An atlas of Roman Britain, p. 154. Map 5:11 shows the extent of the Civitates. These types of parishes were almost always named after the ethnic groups who lived there.

87 Between 43 and 47, only Camoludunum and Leicester were definitely occupied. For the discussion about the legionary camps see chapter "Further conquests under Aulus Plautius".

88 see Baatz / Herrmann, Die Römer in Hessen, p. 97: "Ship transport was far cheaper than land transport; depending on the size of the ship, the costs were only a tenth to a twentieth of the land transport costs." The section deals with Roman economics in the provinces.

89 among the authors who completely deny the “Fosse Way” limit see Milett, The Romanization of Britain, p. 55: “ First, the concept itself is anachronistic, as there is no evidence for any idea of ​​fixed frontiers this early in the first century. the exceptation was for continued expansion by a mobile and victorious army. "

90 Anne Johnson, Römische Kastelle, Mainz 1987, map p. 263. It should be noted, however, that this map only refers to excavated and datable forts.

91 The 14th Legion and parts of the 2nd, later the 20th.

92 Milett, The Romanization of Britain, 55

93 Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p.74

94 there, p.77/78.

95 Tacitus mentions this in Annals 12, 32, 2. In: Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, p. 72.

96 Jones / Mattingly, An atlas of Roman Britain, p. 47.

97 S.S. Frere: Verulamium and the towns of Britain. In: ANRW II, 3, 1975, p.303

98 there, p. 293

99 Jones / Mattingly, An atlas of Roman Britain, p. 155

100 S.S. Frere, Verulamium and the Towns of Britain. In: ANRW II, 3, p. 294

101 Brodersen, Das Roman Britannien, pp. 75/76. According to this, lead mines were used in Cornwall at least from 49.

102 Annexation of Mauritania 42, campaign against the Germanic Chauken 47, fighting and annexation of Lyciens (Asia Minor) from 42 - 47, fighting in Armenia 49.

103 Suetonius, Claudius 17.

104 In addition to numerous military camps, the battlefield of the Varus Battle is now also known; there are also more extensive reports by Cassius Dio, Velleius Paterculus and above all Tacitus.