The Britons known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh and Bretons. They spoke the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages; the traditional view that the Celtic Britons migrated from the continent across the English Channel, with their languages and genes in the Iron Age has been undermined in recent decades by the contention of many scholars that Celtic languages had instead spread north along the Atlantic seaboard during the Bronze Age, the results of genetic studies, which show a large continuity between Iron Age and older British populations, suggesting trans-cultural diffusion was very important in the introduction of the Celtic languages. The earliest evidence for the Britons and their language in historical sources dates to the Iron Age. After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, a Romano-British culture emerged, Latin and British Vulgar Latin coexisted with Brittonic.
During and after the Roman era, the Britons lived throughout Britain. Their relationship with the Picts, who lived north of the Firth of Forth, has been the subject of much discussion, though most scholars now accept that the Pictish language was related to Common Brittonic, rather than a separate Celtic language. With the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement and Gaelic Scots in the 5th and 6th centuries, the culture and language of the Britons fragmented, much of their territory was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots Gaels; the extent to which this cultural and linguistic change was accompanied by wholesale changes in the population is still a matter of discussion. During this period some Britons migrated to mainland Europe and established significant colonies in Brittany, the Channel Islands as well as Britonia in modern Galicia, Spain. By the beginning of the 11th century, remaining Brittonic Celtic-speaking populations had split into distinct groups: the Welsh in Wales, the Cornish in Cornwall, the Bretons in Brittany, the Cumbric speaking people of the Hen Ogledd in southern Scotland and northern England, the remnants of the Pictish people in the north of Scotland.
Common Brittonic developed into the distinct Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric and Breton. The earliest known reference to the inhabitants of Britain seems to come from 4th century BC records of the voyage of Pytheas, a Greek geographer who made a voyage of exploration around the British Isles between 330 and 320 BC. Although none of his own writings remain, writers during the time of the Roman Empire made much reference to them. Pytheas called the islands collectively αἱ Βρεττανίαι, translated as the Brittanic Isles; the peoples of these islands were called the Πρεττανοί, Pritani or Pretani. The group included Ireland, referred to as Ierne "inhabited by the race of Hiberni", Britain as insula Albionum, "island of the Albions"; the term Pritani may have reached Pytheas from the Gauls, who used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, compiled by the orders of King Alfred the Great in 890, subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th century, starts with this sentence: "The island Britain is 800 miles long, 200 miles broad, there are in the island five nations: English, Scottish and Latin.
The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, first peopled Britain southward." The Latin name in the early Roman Empire period was Britanni or Brittanni, following the Roman conquest in AD 43. The Welsh word Brython was introduced into English usage by John Rhys in 1884 as a term unambiguously referring to the P-Celtic speakers of Great Britain, to complement Goidel. "Brittonic languages" is a more recent coinage intended to refer to the ancient Britons specifically. In English, the terms "Briton" and British for many centuries denoted only the ancient Celtic Britons and their descendants, most the Welsh and Bretons, who were seen as heirs to the ancient British people. After the Acts of Union 1707, the terms British and Briton came to be applied to all inhabitants of the Kingdom of Great Britain, including the English and some Northern Irish; the Britons spoke an Insular Celtic language known as Common Brittonic. Brittonic was spoken throughout the island of Britain, as well as offshore islands such as the Isle of Man, Scilly Isles, Hebrides, Isle of Wight and Shetland.
According to early medieval historical tradition, such as The Dream of Macsen Wledig, the post-Roman Celtic-speakers of Armorica were colonists from Britain, resulting in the Breton language, a language related to Welsh and identical to Cornish in the early period and still used today. Thus the area today is called Brittany. Common Brittonic developed from the Insular branch of the Proto-Celtic language that developed in the British Isles after arriving from the continent in the 7th century BC; the language began to diverge.
Hadrian's Wall called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, was the northern limit of the Roman Empire north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts, it had a stone wall. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, military way and vallum, another ditch with adjoining mounds, it is thought the milecastles were staffed with static garrisons, whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry. In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates may have been customs posts. A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path; the largest Roman archaeological feature anywhere, it runs a total of 73 miles in northern England.
Regarded as a British cultural icon, Hadrian's Wall is one of Britain's major ancient tourist attractions. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. In comparison, the Antonine wall, thought by some to be based on Hadrian's wall, was not declared a World Heritage site until 2008, it is a common misconception that Hadrian's Wall marks the boundary between Scotland. In fact Hadrian's Wall lies within England and has never formed the Anglo-Scottish border. While it is less than 0.6 mi south of the border with Scotland in the west at Bowness-on-Solway, in the east at Wallsend it is as much as 68 miles away. Hadrian's Wall was 117.5 km long. East of the River Irthing, the wall was made from squared stone and measured 3 metres wide and 5 to 6 metres high, while west of the river the wall was made from turf and measured 6 metres wide and 3.5 metres high. These dimensions do not include the wall's ditches and forts; the central section measured eight Roman feet wide on a 3 m base. Some parts of this section of the wall survive to a height of 3 m.
South of the wall, a large ditch was dug, with adjoining parallel mounds, one on either side. This is known today as the Vallum though the word vallum in Latin is the origin of the English word wall, does not refer to a ditch. In many places – for example Limestone Corner – the Vallum is better preserved than the wall, robbed of much of its stone. Hadrian's Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending a short but unknown distance west of the village of Bowness-on-Solway; the A69 and B6318 roads follow the course of the wall from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle along the northern coast of Cumbria. Although the curtain wall ends near Bowness-on-Solway, this does not mark the end of the line of defensive structures; the system of milecastles and turrets is known to have continued along the Cumbria coast as far as Risehow, south of Maryport. For classification purposes, the milecastles west of Bowness-on-Solway are referred to as Milefortlets.
Hadrian's Wall was planned before Hadrian's visit to Britain in 122. According to restored sandstone fragments found in Jarrow which date from 118 or 119, it was Hadrian's wish to keep "intact the empire", imposed on him via "divine instruction". Although Hadrian's biographer wrote " was the first to build a wall 80 miles long to separate the Romans from the barbarians", reasons for the construction of the wall vary, no recording of an exact explanation survives. Theories have been presented by historians of an expression of Roman power and Hadrian's policy of defence before expansion. On his accession to the throne in 117, there was unrest and rebellion in Roman Britain and from the peoples of various conquered lands across the Empire, including Egypt, Judea and Mauritania; these troubles may have influenced Hadrian's plan to construct the wall as well as his construction of limites in other areas of the Empire, but to what extent is unknown. Scholars disagree over how much of a threat the inhabitants of northern Britain presented and whether there was any economic advantage in defending and garrisoning a fixed line of defences like the Wall, rather than conquering and annexing what has become the Scottish Lowlands and defending the territory with a loose arrangement of forts.
The limites of Rome were never expected to stop tribes from migrating or armies from invading, while a frontier protected by a palisade or stone wall would help curb cattle-raiders and the incursions of other small groups, the economic viability of constructing and keeping guarded a wall 72 miles long along a sparsely populated border to stop small-scale raiding is dubious. Another possible explanation for the wall is the degree of control it would have provided over immigration and customs. Limites did not mark the boundaries of the empire: Roman power and influence extended beyond the walls. People within and beyond the limites travelled through it each day when conducting business, organised check-points like those offered by Hadrian's Wall provided good opportunities for taxation. With watch towers only a short distance from gateways in the limites, patrolling legionaries could have kept track of
Coleraine is a large town and civil parish near the mouth of the River Bann in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is 55 miles northwest of Belfast and 30 miles east of Derry, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections, it is part of Glens district. Coleraine had a population of 24,634 people in the 2011 Census. Disposable income is well above the Northern Ireland average; the North Coast area has the highest property prices in Northern Ireland, higher than those of affluent South Belfast. Golf courses and leisure facilities and attractions are to be found, it has an attractive town centre, a marina. Coleraine during the day is a busy town, however at night the town is quiet, with much of the nightlife in the area located in the nearby seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart. Coleraine is home to the one of the largest Polish communities in Northern Ireland. Coleraine is situated at the lowest bridgeable point of the River Bann, where the river is 90 metres wide; the town square is the location of the Town Hall.
St. Patrick's Church of Ireland is situated nearby; the University of Ulster campus was built in the 1960s and has brought a theatrical space to the town in the form of the Riverside Theatre. Coleraine has been designated as a major growth area in the Northern Ireland Development Strategy. Although the population of the town is only 25,000, Coleraine has a large catchment area; the town has the advantage of being near some of the most extraordinary landscape in the whole of Europe. In 2002, Coleraine won the Best Kept Ulster in Bloom awards. In 2003, it was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition. In the 2010 SuperValu Best Kept Awards, Coleraine was named the Best Kept Large Town in Northern Ireland, it has its own local radio station: Q97.2FM Coleraine has a long history of settlement. The Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel, which dates from 5935 BC is some of the earliest evidence of human settlement in Ireland; the 9th century Hagiography Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick records.
When Patrick arrived in the neighbourhood, he was received with great honour and hospitality by the local chieftain, who offered him a piece of ground on which to build a church. The spot was next to the river Bann and was overgrown with ferns, which were being burned by some boys to amuse themselves; this incident led to the area being called Cúil Raithin, anglicised as Colrain and Coleraine. It was translated by Colgan into Latin as Secessus Filicis; the town was one of the two urban communities developed by the London Companies in County Londonderry in the Plantation of Ulster at the start of the 17th century. The skewed street pattern of Coleraine's town centre is legacy of that early exercise in town planning, along with traces of the lines of the ramparts that provided the Plantation town with its defences. In 1637 the Surveyor General of Customs issued a report compiled from accounts of customs due from each port and their "subsidiary creeks". Of the Ulster ports on the list, Carrickfergus was first, followed by Bangor and Strangford.
Carlingford and Coleraine each had equal ranking. During the War of the Two Kings Coleraine was a centre of Protestant resistance to the rule of James II. Richard Hamilton's Irish Army was repulsed; the Protestants withdrew to Derry. The same year, following the failed Siege of Derry, Sir Charles Carney and his Jacobite garrison fled the town on receiving news of the advance of Percy Kirke's Enniskillen forces and the landing at Carrickfergus of Marshal Schomberg; the Williamites controlled Coleraine for the remainder of the war. With some industrialisation, the expansion of the river port, the development of the railway, the town expanded throughout the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century after the Second World War; the population doubled due to a number of factors: major industrial development on extensive suburban sites. There has been a steady expansion of the urban area from the mid 20th century compact town of less than 2¼ square miles, to the present much more dispersed area of 7 square miles.
During the Northern Irish Troubles 13 people were killed in or near Coleraine, ten of them in two separate car bomb explosions. Since 1980 growth has continued but at a more modest pace. In the twenty years to 2001 the town's population increased by 22% to 25,000 but the rate of increase fell from 12% in the 1980s to 8% in the 1990s. Coleraine was the headquarters of the former Coleraine Borough Council, before this was amalgamated in 2015 to form the Causeway Coast and Glens District Council, now based in the former Coleraine Borough Council headquarters; the Borough Council area together with the neighbouring district of Limavady, forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly, despite some of the borough being in County Antrim. Up until 2014 there was a separate Coleraine Borough Council but the district now forms part of the larger Causeway Coast and Glens Boro
The River Bann is the longest river in Northern Ireland, its length and Lower Bann combined, being 129 km. However, the total length of the River Bann, including its path through the 30 km long Lough Neagh is 159 km. Another length of the River Bann given is 90 mi; the river winds its way from the southeast corner of Northern Ireland to the northwest coast, pausing in the middle to widen into the enormous Lough Neagh. The River Bann catchment has an area of 5,775 km2; the River Bann has a mean discharge rate of 92 m3/s. According to C. Michael Hogan, the Bann River Valley is a settlement area for some of the first human arrivals in Ireland after the most recent glacial retreat; the river has played an important part in the industrialisation of the north of Ireland in the linen industry. Today eel fisheries are the most important economic features of the river; the river is used as a dividing line between the eastern and western areas of Northern Ireland labelled the "Bann divide". Towns and businesses "west of the Bann" are seen as having less investment and government spending than those to the east.
It is seen as a religious and political divide, with Catholics and Irish nationalists being in the majority to the west, Ulster Protestants and unionists in the majority to the east. The Lough Neagh catchment drains 43% of the landmass of Northern Ireland, as well as some border areas in the Republic of Ireland, all in Ulster; the Rivers Agency manages the water level in the lough using a barrage at Toome. The current drainage scheme was engineered by Major Percy Shepherd and was enabled by the Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Drainage and Navigation Act 1955; the levels are regulated between 12.45 metres to 12.6 metres above Ordnance Datum, as defined in the Lough Neagh Scheme 1955. The Upper Bann rises at Slieve Muck in the Mourne Mountains, County Down and flows directly into Spelga Reservoir before continuing through a number of towns until after 64 kilometres it joins Lough Neagh at Bannfoot, County Armagh; this stretch is one of the most popular coarse fishing rivers in Europe. At Whitecoat Point near Portadown it is joined by the Cusher River and connects with the now disused Newry Canal, which once gave access south to the Irish Sea.
Although the Upper Bann was abandoned as a navigation in 1954, it is still possible to navigate between Whitecoat Point and Lough Neagh. Entrance to the river from Lough Neagh is not easy, as the river is quite shallow at this point, there are no navigation markers to assist. Once on the river, the jetties for the Bann Ferry are soon reached, it is possible to moor there, to visit the villages of Columbkille to the west or Bannfoot to the east. Bannfoot was called Charlestown after its builder, Charles Brownlow, who built it around 1830; some 6 miles from the mouth, the river is crossed by the M1 motorway. The bridge is the lowest on the navigable section, with an air draught of around 10 feet, although in strong northerly winds, water backs up in the river and the headroom is reduced. From the bridge it is around 3 miles to Portadown, the river passes through pleasant rural scenery. Exploration of the town from the river is difficult, because water levels at Shillington Quay and at the jetty a little further upstream are shallow.
The river is crossed by the railway line from Portadown to Lurgan and road bridges carrying the A3 road and the A27 road. The junction with the Cusher River and the entrance to the derelict Newry Canal is just over 1 mile from the final bridge, navigation of the river is possible for a short distance beyond that point; the Lower Bann flows from Lough Neagh at Toome to the Atlantic Ocean at Portstewart? Castlerock; the river is 64 kilometres long and is a canalised waterway with five navigation locks at Toome, Movanagher and Castleroe. The river is popular with water sports enthusiasts and cruisers and has minimal commercial traffic, it acts as most of the border between County Londonderry. The only commercial port on the river is at Coleraine. Ships from Londonderry Port and the Port of Belfast transfer coal and scrap metal; the water level on the Lower Bann is controlled by the Rivers Agency using gates situated at Portna and The Cutts at Coleraine. Ptolemy's Geography described; the Lower Bann provides the only outlet for Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, fed by six major rivers, including the Upper Bann.
The ability of the lake to absorb large quantities of flood water is limited, the areas around the lake are prone to flooding. The Lower Bann encountered a large shoal of rock at Portna, which reduced the effectiveness of the outflow, in 1738, Francis Hutchinson, the Bishop of Down and Connor petitioned the Irish Parliament to do something about the shoals, hence the annual flooding that affected his people. Although Parliament responded encouragingly, no actual work was done, the problem remained. In 1822, the Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo proposed a radical solution; the Newry Canal provided a route southwards from Lough Neagh to Carlingford Lough, but it rose to a summit and descended again. His proposal was to lower the summit level so that it was below the level of Lough Neagh, remove all the locks, so provide a second outlet to the sea. Not only would it solve t
Middle Irish is the Goidelic language, spoken in Ireland, most of Scotland and the Isle of Man from circa 900–1200 AD. The modern Goidelic languages—Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx—are all descendants of Middle Irish; the Lebor Bretnach, the "Irish Nennius", survives only from manuscripts preserved in Ireland. Middle Irish is a VSO, nominative-accusative language. Nouns decline for two genders: masculine, though traces of neuter declension persist. Adjectives agree with nouns in gender and case. Verbs conjugate for three tenses: past, future. Verbs conjugate for an impersonal, agentless form. There are a number of preverbal particles marking the negative, subjunctive, relative clauses, etc. Prepositions inflect for number. Different prepositions govern different cases, depending on intended semantics; the following is a poem in Middle Irish about King of Connacht. Dún Eogain Bél forsind loch forsrala ilar tréntroch, ní mair Eogan forsind múr ocus maraid in sendún. Maraid inad a thige irraibe' na chrólige, ní mair in rígan re cair nobíd.
Cairptech in rí robúi and, innsaigthech oirgnech Érenn, ní dechaid coll cána ar goil, rocroch tríchait im óenboin. Roloisc Life co ba shecht, rooirg Mumain tríchait fecht, nír dál do Leith Núadat nair co nár dámair immarbáig. Doluid fecht im-Mumain móir do chuinchid argait is óir, d’iaraid sét ocus móine do gabail gíall dagdóine. Trían a shlúaig dar Lúachair síar co Cnoc mBrénainn isin slíab, a trían aile úad fo dess co Carn Húi Néit na n-éces. Sé fodéin oc Druimm Abrat co trían a shlúaig, nísdermat, oc loscud Muman maisse, ba subach don degaisse. Atchím a chomarba ind ríg a mét dorigne d’anfhír, nenaid ocus tromm ’malle, conid é fonn a dúine. Dún Eogain. MacManus, Damian. "A chronology of the Latin loan words in early Irish". Ériu. 34: 21–71. McCone, Kim. "The dative singular of Old Irish consonant stems". Ériu. 29: 26–38. McCone, Kim. "Final /t/ to /d/ after unstressed vowels, an Old Irish sound law". Ériu. 31: 29–44. McCone, Kim. "Prehistoric and Middle Irish". Progress in medieval Irish studies. Pp. 7–53.
McCone, Kim. A First Old Irish Reader, Including an Introduction to Middle Irish. Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts 3. Maynooth. Dictionary of the Irish Language
Dál nAraidi or Dál Araide was a Cruthin kingdom, or a confederation of Cruthin tribes, in north-eastern Ireland during the Middle Ages. It was part of the over-kingdom of Ulaid, its kings contended with the Dál Fiatach for the over-kingship of the province. At its greatest extent, the borders of Dál nAraidi match those of County Antrim, they seem to occupy the same area as the earlier Robogdii of Ptolemy's Geography, a region shared with Dál Riata, their capital was Ráth Mór outside Antrim, their eponymous ancestor is claimed as being Fiachu Araide. Dál nAraidi was centered on the northern shores of Lough Neagh in southern County Antrim. Dál nAraidi was one of the more prominent sub-kingdoms of Ulaid, with its kings contending with the Dál Fiatach for the over-kingship of the province for some centuries. To the north of Dál nAraidi in County Antrim lay the Dál Riata, the boundary between, marked out by the River Bush to Dál Riata's west, the southern boundary running from Ravel Water to just north of Glynn on the east Antrim coast.
In the mid-7th century the Dál nAraidi of Magh Line, ruled by the Uí Chóelbad dynasty, conquered Eilne to their north-west and a branch of their dynasty seems to have settled there. This branch of the Uí Chóelbad descended from Fiachra Cáech, brother of Fiachnae Lurgan, king of Dál nAraidi and over-king of Ulaid. Dungal Eilni, great-grandson of Fiachra Cáech and king of Dál nAraidi, was the first of this branch to be based in Eilne, however in 681 was killed at Dún Ceithern; this branch of the Magh Line Dál nAraidi became known as the Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt and Dál nAraidi Mag nEilne. The first reference to Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt can be found in the Annals of Ulster under the year 824. Between 646 and 792, the Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt held the overkingship of Dál nAraidi seven times, with two of that number becoming overkings of Ulaid. Cathussach mac Ailello, king of Eilne and Dál nAraidi, claimed as having ruled the over-kingdom of Ulaid for sixteen years, was killed at Ráith Beithech in 749.
Eochaid mac Bressal, who died in 832, was the last known king of the Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt to hold the over-kingship of the Dál nAraidi. The last known king of Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt is recorded in 883; the church of Cuil Raithin on the shore of the River Bann lay in Eilne and was said to have been founded by Cairbre, who subsequently became its bishop. According to the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, written in the 9th century, the Dál nAraidi had granted this church to Saint Patrick; the Airgíallan dynasty of Uí Tuirtrí that lay west of the River Bann had been active east of it from as early as 776, by the 10th century had taken control of Eilne. Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt is said to have corresponded to the baronies of Dunluce Lower and North East Liberties of Coleraine, appears to correspond to the trícha cét of An Tuaiscert, it became an Anglo-Norman cantred called Twescard, which would absorb the cantred of Dalrede, with these two combined cantreds forming the basis for the rural deanery of Twescard.
A sub-division of in Tuaiscirt called Cuil an Tuaiscirt, meaning the "nook/corner" of Dál nAraidi in Tuaiscirt, was located in the north-west of the petty-kingdom near Coleraine. Its territory would form the basis of the barony of North East Liberties of Coleraine; the Dál nAraidi Magh Line, or the Dál nAraidi of Moylinny was the predominant dynasty of the Dál nAraidi. It was centered with Ráith Mór its royal seat. In the 10th century they are counted as one of twelve tuatha of Ulaid. Line may represent the name of an original population grouping, it was known as Mocu Aridi. Their territory at its height spanned southern County Antrim and northern County Down containing the tuatha of Magh Line, Dál mBuinne, Dál Sailni, it was known as Trian Congaill, meaning the "third of Congal Claen", became an alias for the territory of Clandeboye, named as such after the Clandeboye O'Neill's who conquered the area in the late 14th century. By the 10th century Dál mBuinne was counted amongst the twelve tuatha of Ulaid.
After the Viking era, Dál Sailni and its church at Connor, the principle church of Dál nAraidi was lost to the encroaching Uí Tuirtri. The royal seat of the Dál nAraidi Magh Line was Ráith Mór, located near Lough Neagh in the civil parish of Donegore, it is first recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters under the date 680 as Ratha moiré Maighe Line. Neighbouring Ráith Mór was Ráith Beag, is attested location where Áed Dub mac Suibni, king of Dál nAraidi and Ulaid, killed High King Diarmait mac Cerbaill in 565. By the 16th century Ráith Mór became known as Ráth Mór Mag Ullin, meaning "great fort of the MacQuillans", was burnt to the ground by Art mac Hugh O'Neill in 1513 after which it was never restored. Cráeb Telcha linked to modern-day Crew Hill near Glenavy, was the inauguration site of the Dál Fiatach kings of Ulaid, however it appears to have been the same for the Dál nAraidi prior to the 9th-century contraction of their territory. By the late 8th century, Dál Fiatach expansion had cut off the County Antrim and Down branches of the Cruthin from each other.
As a result, the County Down branch consolidated into the kingdom of the Uí Echach Cobo, based at Magh Cobo, "the plain of Cobo". They were styled as kings of Cuib. According to the medieval genealogies they are desc
Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain, governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies, he received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells according to Suetonius as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates; the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way.
Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded northward. The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side; the bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are high figures. Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century. For much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders; the final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, architecture; the Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.
Britain was known to the Classical world. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", placed them near the west coast of Europe; the Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. It was regarded with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all; the first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honour the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent; the second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace.
A friendly local king, was installed, his rival, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows. Strabo mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees; when some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 AD, they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.
This policy was followed until 39 or 40