|The Roman Era
55 - 410 BC
55 - Julius
Caesar's first invasion of Britain.
54 - Julius Caesar's second invasion of
Britain. British forces led, this time, by Cassivellaunus, a capable commander.
Despite early Roman advances, British continued to harass the invaders,
effectively. A "deal" with the Trinovantes (tribal enemies of
Cassivellaunus), and the subsequent desertion of other British tribes, finally
guaranteed the Roman victory. Caesar's first two expeditions to Britain were
only exploratory in nature, and were never intended to absorb Britain into the
Roman sphere, at that time.
54 BC-43 AD - Roman influence manages to
increase in Britain during this time, eventhough Roman troops are absent, as a
direct result of trade and other interaction with the continent.
5 - Rome acknowledges Cymbeline, King of the
Catuvellauni, as king of Britain
43 - 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. Caratacus leads main British resistance
to the invasion, but is finally defeated in 51.
51 - Caratacus, British resistance
leader, is captured and taken to Rome
61 - Boudicca, queen of the Iceni,
led uprising against the Roman occupiers, but is defeated and killed by the
Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus
Despite his outward enthusiasm for Christianity and its powerful God, he
didn't close many pagan temples during his reign. He did, however, strip them of
their former wealth, which was then shifted to various Christian churches. This
produced the result that many of the fledgling churches were put on a very firm
financial footing and many of their members enjoyed great prosperity. The
persecution of Christianity had stopped, perhaps, but its co-opting had just
Early Christianity had no official hierarchies and functioned best as a
series of small church groups worshipping with and caring for their own members
while spreading the Gospel in their local areas. Constantine's move created a
top-heavy structure that would quickly depart from its original purity; a church
beholden to the state, out of touch with the needs of its adherents and
concerned only with its own comfort. Eusebius, the early Christian historian,
has given us some additional insights into the motivations of the Emperor
Constantine in his "Ecclesiastical History"
337 - Constantine received
"Christian" baptism on his deathbed. Joint rule of Constantine's three
sons: Constantine II (to 340); Constans (to 350); Constantius (to 361)
360's - 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.
369 - Roman general Theodosius drives the
Picts and Scots out of Roman Britain
383 - 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.
388 - 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 defense (the "first migration").
395 - 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.
396 - The Roman general, Stilicho, acting as
regent in the western empire during Honorius' minority, reorganized British
defenses decimated by the Magnus Maximus debacle. Began transfer of military
authority from Roman commanders to local British chieftains.
397 - The Roman commander, Stilicho, comes
to Britain and repels an attack by Picts, Irish and Saxons.
402 - Events on the continent force Stilicho
to recall one of the two British legions to assist with the defense 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.
403 - 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.
405 - 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,
406 - 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.
407 - 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 Britian. 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. . ."
408 - With both Roman legions withdrawn,
Britain endures devastating attacks by the Picts, Scots and Saxons.
409 - Prosper, in his chronicle, says,
"in the fifteenth year of Honorius and Arcadius (409), 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.
410 - Britain gains "independence"
from Rome. The Goths, under Alaric, sack Rome.
Timeline of Darkage