Skip to comments.Romans' Brutal Crackdown on Celts
Posted on 07/10/2005 12:04:17 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Norfolk acted as a hub of resistance against Roman occupation, new analysis of archaeological finds has revealed.
But the empire's military might eventually eclipsed native East Anglians in a brutal crackdown described as a "lost holocaust".
A sprawling Celtic 'proto-city', as significant to its Iceni occupants as modern-day London, sprawled across eight square miles of West Norfolk, almost certainly providing a regular home to Boudicca.
David Thorpe, from the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (Sharp), is excavations director for the site - the exact location of which is not being disclosed.
Speaking yesterday, he explained the team have discovered burnt fragments of wattle and daub and stains in the earth. They believe these are the remains of a roundhouse which was razed to the ground by Roman invaders almost two millennia ago.
Much of this evidence has been available over the nine years excavations have taken place. But it is only now that the team feels confident enough outline their analysis in full after the conclusion of excavations.
Mr Thorpe said: "It seems there was a thriving population in the area and then, in about 60 or 70AD, the record completely stops. There is also a lack of Roman finds in the area.
"When you compare this to other areas across the country, it is extremely unusual. Most communities were conquered or peacefully accepted Roman rule so there are Roman finds.
"It seems this was a strong-minded population doing everything it could to resist the Roman empire - probably the last place to remain independent.
"But the Romans did not tolerate insurgency and they would have stamped down on it hard, destroying the settlements and selling the population into slavery."
As the Celts left no written records, much of the story remains informed speculation.
But structures unearthed include signs of palisaded boundaries separating areas and an oval of banks and ditches suggesting a fortress. Finds of exquisitely crafted jewelry suggest this would have been a centre for the Iceni's aristocratic caste, hinting at Boudicca's regular presence.
When the Romans invaded there was initially little conflict in East Anglia. A lack of Roman finds suggests the Iceni not only resisted their rule but also refused to trade with the empire in a form of ancient anti-globalisation.
The Iceni later revolted, joining forces with the Trinovantes of Essex. Their efforts were ultimately doomed.
"The Romans had contempt for the Iceni as barbarians who they believed by definition would always lose," said Mr Thorpe.
Sharp began in 1996 and its work has included the extensive excavation of a Saxon cemetery in the valley of the Heacham. For more information visit www.sharp.org.uk
Hey, in all liklihood those were my ancestors. Can I sue the Italians?
Yeah, the "Scots" -- name invading Romans to Britain called the people to the north and west -- were "fierce" to the Romans and so they stopped their occupation at a Southern-to-Mid point in England.
Thus, their land was called, "Scotland." Which, originally, was both Northern England and Ireland to the West...all those unconquerable, fierce folks to the Romans called "Scots," the origination of that name and (part of) the land itself.
And the Welsh? Were there no people in Wales? Were they
not Celtic? Do they not count?
Short version: The Romans were REALLY pissed off!
No more than usual. As an offshoot of their descendants might say, "It's just business".
Never go to a fire fight naked and painted blue.
The Romans found that the same policy also worked in the Middle East.
Something to consider.
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The Romans knew of the Picts, which is what they called some of the inhabitants of Caledonia. The Romans didn't call it Scotland.
The Scot tribe didn't enter Scotland from Ireland until after the Romans abandoned Britain, as the Empire disintegrated. Rome needed the three legions more than it needed the province of Britain. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes began to arrive in Britain, and eventually took over all of the islands, withdrawing from most of Ireland after 800 years or so.
The Romans in Ireland
Archaeology Today | 2000? | L.A. Curchin
Posted on 07/18/2004 8:54:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
I couldn't help but chuckle at seeing the headline under current events.
The Iceni revolt:
"After the rape of her daughters, her own lashing and the outright theft of Iceni lands at their Roman masters, Boudicca inspired an army of some 100,000 to break out from their oppressive yolk. Perhaps a more important factor, however, than any leadership qualities of the Iceni Queen, or feelings of vengeance among the Iceni, was the simple fact that the Legions were nowhere near the Iceni lands at the time of the uprising."
"One of two British women to be mentioned by the ancient sources. She was the wife of king Prasutagus who was granted the kingship of the Iceni, along with clientship of Rome after the Icenian war of AD47. Following her husbands death c.AD60 her kingdom was pillaged by the imperial procurator Decianus Catus, and when she made complaint, she was personally flogged and her daughters raped. Indignant at her treatment she fomented a rebellion within her tribe and, joined by their neighbouring tribe the Trinovantes, plundered the Romano-British towns of Camulodunum, Verulamium and Londinium before being beaten in a pitched battle with the forces of the governor, Suetonius Paullinus, near Manduessedum in the midlands."
i'm sure that some of the roman soldiers found the celt women attractive!
I know I do. ;')
Indeed, and the Romans did not cease their marches in Pictum (Scotland) because they found the place unconquerable, nor did they choose not to invade Ireland because of Roman terror of the Celt.
It was a business decision.
There were not many people in Pictum, they were spread out over a huge area. They had nothing of value. The Romans did a calculation of what it would cost to march to the end of the island, and what it would cost to build roads and legionary camps there, compared with what they thought the land would yield, and what they could get from the sale of Pictish slaves, and decided - rightly - that this would be a long, expensive campaign into a barren wilderness that would extend Roman lines and add nothing of value to the Empire.
In other words, Pictum remained free for the same reason the Mojave is empty: it was worthless.
Ireland wasn't worthless, but the Irish were worth more as trading partners than as slaves. Again, there just wasn't a lot there, and it would have taken a major committment of legions, 6 to 8, to conquer it, and a substantial permanent committment to garrisoning it. The place did not offer potential taxes or anything else worth the effort.
Actually, the same was probably true of Germania. Rome lost only three legions in the Teutoberger Wald. The Germans were hardly invincible, at least not for the first couple of hundred years of the modern era. The problem was that it would have been a massive undertaking, requiring large numbers of legions. Barbarians had to be contantly policed: they required a permanent troop deployment so that they would see the forces and remain obedient. Eastern Mediterranean civilized people would reason that a revolt today would bring legions and destruction in 6 months and pay their taxes. Barbarians didn't have all that much in the way of a silver and gold money economy anyway, rendered low useful taxes, and had to be constantly policed.
Now, as things turned out, it probably would have been better for Rome, in the long, long, long term, to have conquered Germania and civilized it (eventually). But when the Romans were making the decision to not complete the conquest of Germany, Pictum or Hibernia, it was not due to fear, or any great sense of German, Pictish or Irish unconquerability, but because the Romans decided it wasn't worth it, or even close to be worth the bother.
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