Roman Britain Archaeological Sources

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Roman Britain Archaeological Source Evaluations

-What they can tell us:

Roman views of pre-conquest Britain: Caesars' invasions, Celtic societies and links up with Rome up to AD 43:

British Coins [LACTOR 1-6]:

British coinage from the years 40-20 BC, following Caesars' invasions shows a somewhat mixed attitude towards the Romans by the Celts. On one hand, It can be argued that the earliest signs of Romanisation in Britain can be seen in the coins of kings like Verica; whose use of Roman imagery such as knights on horseback and vine-leaves suggest a pro-Roman outlook, if not, a willingness to accept cultural ties. The use of Roman imagery and Latin is similarly used on many other coinages suggesting acceptance and even trade-links with Rome (backing up Strabos' Geography which suggested this in south-eastern Britian)

On the other hand, some other coinages might be indicative of an anti-Roman sentiment, with non-Romanising imagery such as ears of wheat or corn, and possibly Celtic words, this could indicate a Celtic-nationalism, a people that wanted to retain their cultural identity and be free of Roman influence.

Claudius' invasion and the early conquest period, to c. AD 60:

Claudian and early Flavian Tombstones [LACTOR 8-11]:

Longinus Sdapeze:- Camulodunum

Dannicus:- Corinium (Cirenchester)

Sex. Valerius Genialis:- Corinium

Rufus Sita:- Glevum (Gloucester)

All four tombstones follow the same theme of a cavalryman on horseback bearing down his weapon on a defeated barbarian

M. Favonius Facilis [LACTOR 18]:

This gravestone found in Camulodunum shows a likeness of the centurion in full armour. He was a member of the Twentieth Legion before the legion had won itself the titles 'Valeria Victrix' -brave and victorious, which it probably had bestowed on it around AD 61, following its' conduct in the suppression of the Boudiccan Uprising.

Aureus of Claudius [LACTOR 20]:

A gold coin Claudius had minted following his invasion of Britain in AD 43, showing his use of the achievement to boost his reputation and standing back in Rome. The side showing his portrait names him imperator eleven times, reaffirming Dio's comments that he had himself declared that title “several times, contrary to precedent” while the other side shows the Arch of Claudius in Rome.

Arch of Claudius [LACTOR 22]:

Reaffirming Cassius Dios' account that he had two triumphal arches built in celebration of the AD 43 invasion- one in Gall and one in Rome; the Roman arch still stands.

The arch's inscription dates it in the eleventh year of Claudius' Tribunician power (in AD 53) and at that time names him imperator 22 times and states that he received the submission of eleven British kings; it is most likely that this was talking about the current situation by AD 51, rather than what actually happened at the time of the invasion. This further shows Claudius' capitalising on the AD 43 invasion and the existing mysterious reputation of Britain to create a godlike reputation for himself.

Mendip Lead Pig [LACTOR 23]:

Found near Wookey hole, commemorative tablet or ingot shows how the


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