English History/Roman England

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The Romans controlled England from 43 AD until c. 410. "Britain" in Latin (the language the Romans spoke) was "Britannia." The capital of this Roman province was Camelodunum/Londinium.

Before the Roman invasion, Iron Age Britain had already established significant cultural links with Continental Europe. In 43 AD, Emperor Claudius organised the final and successful Roman invasion of Britain. General Aulus Plautius led four legions with 25,000 men, plus an equal number of auxiliary soldiers. They crossed the Channel in three divisions, landing at Richborough, Dover, and Lympne. The Romans fought many battles with Britons. The biggest battle was fought on the banks of the River Medway, close to Rochester. It went on for two days before the Celtic tribes retreated. Many tribes tried to resist the Romans. One tribe called the Icenis had a leader named Boudica, a woman who is well known as one of the bravest leaders to ever resist the Romans. There is a statue of her in London. Unfortunately she lost her battle to the Romans, so she poisoned herself instead of being captured. It took about four years for the invaders to finally gain control over southern England, and another 30 years for them to conquer all of the West Country and the mountains and valleys of Wales. The battle for Yorkshire and the remainder of northern England was still underway in 70 AD. It is not certain why the Romans invaded Britain. Two reasons have been suggested: 1) the Britons helped the Gauls fight the Romans, 2) Britain had many natural resources - iron, lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold.