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History: The Romans

Gorgon's Head from Bath Temple

In 55 BC (55 years Before the birth of Jesus Christ) the Roman general Julius Caesar invaded Britain. Earlier the Belgae, who were Celts from Gaul (what is now France) had settled in southern England. Now they were helping fight the Romans alongside tribes who had stayed behind in Gaul. This is one reason Caesar invaded Britain. He also wanted gold, siver and tin from Britain. His armies won victories against the British tribes, but his boats were wrecked by storms, so he went back to Rome empty-handed. He tried again a year later, in 54 BC, but once again his ships were damaged.

Almost a century later, in 43 AD (43 years after the birth of Jesus Christ), the Roman emperor Cladius decided to invade Britain, and sent 40,000 soldiers. The soldiers were scared of the Britons at first, but eventually the Romans conquered most of the country. Some of the Roman soldiers rode elephants. The British had never seen such amazing animals, and were very frightened of them.

Britain was part of the Roman Empire for almost 400 years- nearly twice as long as the US has existed!

Gradually the parts of Britain the Romans ruled became peaceful, though early on there were many rebellions. The most famous was led by Queen Boudicca in 61 AD. The Romans were good rulers. They built magnificent roads, many of whose routes are still followed today. You can still see remains of Roman buildings in Britain. The most amazing are the Roman Baths at Bath in England.

Here's another great website about the Romans in Britain:

Romans in Sussex


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