The Ancient History of Roman Britain


Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 21 June 2023

Britain was a significant addition to the ever-expanding Roman Empire. For decades Rome had been conquering the Mediterranean Sea - defeating Carthage in the Punic Wars, overwhelming Macedon and Greece, and finally marching into Syria and Egypt. At long last, they gazed northward across the Alps towards Gaul and ultimately setting their sights across the channel (they believed it to be an ocean) into Britannia. After Claudius' invasion in 43 CE, part of the island became a Roman province in name, however, conquest was a long process. Constantly rebellious and twice reorganized, it was finally abandoned by the Romans in 410 CE.

At the time of the Roman arrival, Britain (originally known as Albion) was mostly comprised of small Iron Age communities, primarily agrarian, tribal, with enclosed settlements. Southern Britain shared their culture with northern Gaul (modern day France and Belgium); many southern Britons were Belgae in origin and shared a common language with them. In fact, after 120 BCE trading between Transalpine Gaul intensified with the Britons receiving such domestic imports as wine; there was also some evidence of Gallo-Belgae coinage.



0:00​ Introduction
0:53 Britain and Rome - The Beginning
1:44 The Invasion of 43
2:53 Boudicca’s Revolt of 60/61
3:53 Battle of Mons Graupius in 83
5:18 Romanization and Hadrian’s Wall
6:31 Septimius Severus and The Crisis of the Third Century
9:01 The Fourth Century and Withdrawal
10:40 Outro

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The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

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#history #ancientrome #romanhistory #englishhistory

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, June 21). The Ancient History of Roman Britain. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Ancient History of Roman Britain." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 21, 2023.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Ancient History of Roman Britain." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 21 Jun 2023. Web. 22 Jun 2024.