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Historical Timeline of Roman Britain

125BC-75BC Tribes from the Continent spread into southeast Britain. Notably the Atrebates, Belgae and Parisi tribes.
55BC Julius Caesar's first expedition to Britain.
54BC Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain. Britons led by Cassivellaunus of the Atrebates, fought the Romans as they landed. Despite early Roman advances, the British continued to harass the invaders. A deal between the Romans and the Trinovantes, tribal enemies of the Atrebates, and the subsequent desertion of other British tribes, finally guaranteed the Roman victory.

Caesar's first two exploits are regarded as expeditions rather than invasions, as they were obviously badly planned and executed.

54BC-43AD Roman influence manages to increase in Britain during this time, despite the absence of Roman troops, as a direct result of trade and other interaction with the continent. Sometime during this period, the Catuvellauni occupied the lands of the Atrebates, Trinovantes and Cantium and made Camulodunum (Colchester) the capital of this new territory  this is known by the distribution of coins found by archaeologists
5AD Rome acknowledges Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni, as King of Britain. Catuvellauni influence is now prevalent in Britain.
40AD Caligula's abortive threat to Britain.
43AD Romans, under Aulus Plautius, land at Richborough, Kent for a full-scale invasion of the island. In the south-east of Britain, Togodumnus and Caratacus have been whipping up anti-Roman feeling and have cut off tribute payments to Rome. The Romans take the entire southeast of England. They capture the capital of Britain, Camulodunum (Colchester) and make Britain into a Roman province. The Romans name the island Britannia.
43-47AD The governor Aulus Plautius extends occupation to the Severn and Wash; establishes good relations with the Regni, Iceni and Brigantes beyond the province.
43-51AD The Catuvellauni, under Caratacus, continue British resistance to the invasion, but they are finally defeated in 51 AD. Caratacus is arrested and taken to Rome.
47-52AD Ostorius Scapula disarms all tribes south of the Fosse Way, checks the Silures (legionary base at Kingsholme, Gloucester) and Brigantes, and defeats Caratacus (51). Roman colony at Colchester.
58-59AD Suetonius Paulinus campaigns in South Wales.
60AD Suetonius defeats Deceangli, and the Druids in Anglesey
60-61AD Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, leads an uprising against the Roman occupiers, The Romans under their governor, Suetonius Paulinus. battle the Iceni and Trinovantes warriors from Colchester (Camulodunum), London (Londinium) and St. Albans (Verulamium) but is defeated. The final battle is believed to have taken place near Manchetter. Boudicca is believed to have taken her own life.
63AD Joseph of Arimathea came to Glastonbury on the first Christian mission to Britain.
71AD Petilius Cerealis moves Legio IX from Lincoln to York and defeats Brigantes under Venutius.
74-78AD Sextus Julius Frontinus governor. He moves Legio II from Gloucester to Caerleon, defeats the Silures and attacks the Ordovices; establishes many forts and roads in Wales.
c.75-77AD The Roman conquest of Britain is complete, as Wales is finally subdued; Julius Agricola is imperial governor until 84AD
78-84AD (78AD) Agricola defeats the Ordovices and-Brigantes, and reaches the Tyne-Solway (78AD) Occupies Scottish Lowlands.
(78AD) Consolidates and builds roads and forts
(81AD) Turns to southwest Scotland
(82AD) Advances into the Highlands with legionary fortress at Inchtuthil
(83AD) Defeats the Caledonians at Mons Graupius
(84AD).Recalled to Rome
(84-85AD).Romamsation and urbanisation of Britain intensified.
(85AD) Growing importance of London and other towns, including tribal capitals.
c. 87AD Highlands of Scotland abandoned. Northern Roman frontier along Clyde-Forth line.
c. 90-98AD Roman colonies at Lincoln (c. 90AD) and Gloucester (c. 96-98AD)
c. 105AD Lowlands of Scotland abandoned. New frontier under Trajan along the Stanegate.
118AD Revolt among the Brigantes suppressed.
122AD Construction of Hadrian's Wall ordered along the northern frontier, for the purpose of hindering raids by the aggressive tribes from Scotland into Britannia
133AD Julius Severus, governor of Britain, is sent to Palestine to quell a revolt
139AD Reoccupation of southern Scotland and building of Antonine Wall started.
150-160AD Sometime in decade revolt in north Britain quelled. Antonine Wall temporarily evacuated, but reoccupied c. 158-163AD.
c. 163AD More trouble in north and final abandonment of Antonine Wall. Hadrian's Wall strengthened.
167AD At the request of King Lucius, the missionaries, Phagan and Deruvian,were said to have been sent by Pope Eleutherius to convert the Britons to Christianity. This is, perhaps, the most widely believed of the legends of the founding of Christianity in Britain.
180AD Tribes from north overrun Hadrian's? Wall.
184AD Lucius Artorius Castus, commander of a detachment of Sarmatian conscripts stationed in Britain, led his troops to Gaul to quell a rebellion. The theory says that Castus' exploits in Gaul, at the head of a contingent of mounted troops, are the basis for later, similar traditions about 'King Arthur,' and, further, that the name 'Artorius' became a title, or an honour, which was given to a famous warrior in the fifth century.
c. 191AD Clodius Albinus governor of Britain.
193AD Clodius claims the imperial throne and is grudgingly recognised by Septimius Severus. Some British towns strengthened with earth ramparts.
196AD Clodius crosses to France, removing troops from Britain. Northern tribes break through Hadrian's Wall.
197AD Clodius defeated and killed by Septimius Severus.
197-202AD Governor Vinus Lupus restores situation in north Britain. Britain divided into two provinces, Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
205-207AD Governor Alfemus Senecio restores Hadrian's Wall and forts.
208AD Severus arrives to defend Britain, and repairs Hadrian's Wall
209AD St. Alban, first British martyr, was killed for his faith in one of the few persecutions of Christians ever to take place on the island, during the governorship of Gaius Junius Faustinus Postumianus. There is controversy about the date of Alban's martyrdom. Some believe it occurred during the persecutions of Diocletian, in the next century, although the general opinion is for the for the earlier date.
211AD Septimius dies at York. Scotland evacuated. Hadrian's Wall remains the frontier
212AD Caracalla grants Roman citizenship to nearly all the Roman Empire, including Britain.
c. 217-270AD Britain peaceful. Much rebuilding. Towns provided with stone walls.
259-273AD Britain part of an independent empire based on France.
c.270AD Beginning (highly uncertain dating) of the 'Saxon Shore' fort system, a chain of coastal forts in the south and east of Britain, listed in a document known as 'Notitia Dignitatum.'
c. 275 Increase of Saxon raids on southeast British coasts. Most of the forts of the Saxon Shore built around 276-282AD).
286-287AD Carausms, naval commander in the English Channel, establishes an independent rule in Britain and northern France.
287AD Revolt by Carausius, commander of the Roman British fleet, who rules Britain as emperor until murdered by Allectus, a fellow rebel, in 293 AD.
303AD Diocletian orders a general persecution of the Christians
293AD Carausius murdered by Allectus, who succeeds him in Britain. Diocletian's reorganization of the Roman Empire; Britain becomes one of twelve dioceses under a vicar; divided into four provinces. The office of Dux Britanniarum, commander offerees, stationed at York, probably established now.
296AD Constantius defeats Allectus and recovers Britain; perhaps campaigns in Scotland and begins repairing damage to Hadrian's Wall.
306AD Emperor Constantius returns to Britain and campaigns in Scotland. He dies at York, where his son Constantine is proclaimed emperor. Constantine, before leaving, carries out reconstruction in Britain, which enters a period of peace and prosperity till c. 342AD. Office of Count of the Saxon Shore perhaps established now.
311AD Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire ends.
312AD Constantine defeats and kills Maxentius at battle of Milvian Bridge; Constantine realises Christian God may be a powerful ally and decides to attempt to co-opt him for his own purposes.
313AD The Edict of Toleration proclaimed at Milan, in which Christianity is made legal throughout the empire, is passed.
314AD For the first time three British bishops attend a continental church gathering, the Council of Arles.
324AD Constantine finally achieves full control over an undivided empire. He was a skilful politician who is popularly believed to have made Christianity the official religion of the empire because of his personal convictions. In actuality, that act was intended to harness the power of its 'God' for the benefit of the state. He relocates the imperial capitol to Byzantium, whose name he then changes to Constantinople.
337AD Constantine received 'Christian' baptism on his deathbed. Joint rule of Constantine's three sons: Constantine II (to 340AD); Constans (to 350AD); Constantius (to 361AD)
360sAD Series of attacks on Britain from the north by the Picts, the Attacotti and the Irish (Scots), requiring the intervention of Roman generals leading special legions.
369AD Roman general Theodosius drives the Picts and Scots out of Roman Britain
383AD Magnus Maximus (Macsen Wledig), a Spaniard, was proclaimed Emperor in Britain by the island's Roman garrison. With an army of British volunteers, he quickly conquered Gaul, Spain and Italy
388AD Maximus occupied Rome itself. Theodosius, the eastern Emperor, defeated him in battle and beheaded him in July, 388, with many of the remnant of Maximus' troops settling in Armorica. The net result to Britain was the loss of many valuable troops needed for the island's defence (the 'first migration').
395AD Theodosius, the last emperor to rule an undivided empire, died, leaving his one son, Arcadius, emperor in the East and his other son, the young Honorius, emperor in the West. At this point the office of Roman Emperor changed from a position of absolute power to one of being merely a head of state
342-343AD Disturbances north of Hadrian's Wall.
343AD Emperor Constans visits Britain and restores position. Office of Count of the Saxon Shore established now, if not earlier.
350-353AD Britain deprived of more troops by Magnentius in his abortive attempt to seize control of the Roman Empire.
396AD The Roman general, Stilicho, acting as regent in the western empire during Honorius' minority, reorganised British defences decimated by the Magnus Maximus debacle. Began transfer of military authority from Roman commanders to local British chieftains.
397AD The Roman commander, Stilicho, comes to Britain and repels an attack by Picts, Irish and Saxons.
c. 400AD End of Hadrian's Wall.
401AD Troops withdrawn from Britain to defend Italy against the Visigoth Alaric.
402AD Events on the continent force Stilicho to recall one of the two British legions to assist with the defence of Italy against Alaric and the Visigoths. The recalled legion, known as the Sixth Victrix, was said by Claudian (in 'De Bello Gallico,' 416) to be 'that legion which is stretched before the remoter Britons, which curbs the Scot, and gazes on the tattoo-marks on the pale face of the dying Pict.' The barbarians were defeated, this time, at battle of Pollentia.
403AD Victricius, Bishop of Rouen, visited Britain for the purpose of bringing peace to the island's clergy, who were in the midst of a dispute, possibly over the Pelagian heresy.
405AD The British troops, which had been recalled to assist Stilicho, were never returned to Britain as they had to stay in Italy to fight off another, deeper penetration by the barbarian chieftain, Radagaisus.
406AD In early January, 406, a combined barbarian force (Suevi, Alans, Vandals & Burgundians) swept into central Gaul, severing contact between Rome and Britain. In autumn 406, the remaining Roman army in Britain decided to mutiny. One, Marcus was proclaimed emperor in Britain, but was immediately assassinated by his sucessor, Gatian
407AD In place of the assassinated Marcus, Gratian was elevated 'to the purple' but lasted only four months. Constantine III was hailed as the new emperor by Roman garrison in Britain. He proceeded to follow the example of Magnus Maximus by withdrawing the remaining Roman legion, the Second Augusta, and crossing over into Gaul to rally support for his cause. Constantine's departure could be what Nennius called 'the end of the Roman Empire in Britain.'
408AD With both Roman legions withdrawn, Britain endures devastating attacks by the Picts, Scots and Saxons.
409AD Prosper, in his chronicle, says, 'in the fifteenth year of Honorius and Arcadius (409AD), on account of the languishing state of the Romans, the strength of the Britons was brought to a desperate pass.' Under enormous pressure, Britons take matters into their own hands, expelling weak Roman officials and fighting for themselves.
410AD Britons appeal for help to emperor Honorius, who tells them to arrange their own defence. The Romans abandon Britain.
c. 417-425AD A temporary Roman reoccupation of Britain very improbable.
c. 426AD Emergence of some local leaders, such as Vortigern, in west and north of Britain
Civilised life in most towns has now disappeared, but a .few places still endeavour to hold onto the Roman ways. Under the Saxons the Celtic culture, language and religion in England dissappears. But survival of Celtic Church and British/Celtic dialects in highland areas.
429AD St Germanus sent to Britain to combat Pelagianism; he defeats Picts and Saxons in the 'Alleluia victory'. St Ninian (d. c. 432AD) active as Christian missionary in Scotland, and St Patrick in Ireland (431-461AD)
430-446AD Decline of towns and villas very gradual. The method of trading of barter, once so popular before the Roman invasion, replaces money by 430AD. According to Bede, some prosperity and successes in the 20 years before 448AD (his date for the main Saxon landing)In many ways Britain goes back in time 400 years.
446AD Last appeal by Britons to Aetius, the effective ruler of the Western empire. With the Roman Empire now in tatters, this request is refused
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