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Lundy, Isle of Avalon by Les Still ePublished by Mystic Realms
 

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Roman conquest of Britain

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In 43 AD the Emperor Claudius despatched Aulus Plautius with four legions, the IInd Augusta, the XIVth Gemina, the XXth Valeria and the IXth Hispana, and an equal number of auxiliaries to invade and conquer Britain.  Little realising that on this island Roman traditions and values would be preserved long after the rest of the empire, indeed even the eternal city, Rome, had succumbed to the barbarians.

After the subjugation of the south east and the capture of Camoludunum ( Colchester) the Roman army separated; the IXth moved North against the Coritani,  the XIVth moved northwest to the lands of the Cornovii, the IInd moved west to subdue the Atrebates, the Dobunni and the Belgae.

By 47 AD, under Aulus Plautius, the Romans had secured the English lowlands. To defend their conquests they established a deep military frontier zone from the estuary of the Exe on the south coast to the estuary of the Humber in the North. As had been done elsewhere in the empire the frontier used rivers as part of the defences; the lower Severn, the Avon and the Trent. Plautius or Ostorius Scapula, his successor as Imperial Governor, built the Fosse Way, a military road linking Exeter and Lincoln for lateral communication through the militarised zone

Behind this frontier between 47 and 50 in the face of continuing threats from the west and the north, as recorded by Tacitus in his 'Annals of Imperial Rome', Scapula started the process of disarming all the tribes south of the Fosse Way.

 

Roman Helmet exploded view Picture- airbrush illustration by Les Still

Roman Helmet

The future emperor Vespasian was in command of the IInd Augusta legion during their advance across southern Britain. According to Suetonius he reduced more than twenty 'oppida' - 'Hill-forts' and subdued 'two powerful tribes'.  By 49 AD Vespasian and the II Augusta were besieging the 'oppidum' or fortress at Exeter. It fell in eight days. Exeter, 'Isca Dumnoriun', was a Roman possession by 50 AD.

 

By 51 AD all England south of the Fosse Way, including what was to become Glastonbury, was part of the Roman Empire. The kingdom of Dumnonia lay to the west of this line, beyond the Roman frontier, and seems to have been a client kingdom of Rome as there are no records of conflict.

Not so with the Silures of South Wales who fought on against subjugation.

read about the rebellion of the Silures

 

 

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