|Queen Boudica, by John Ospie|
On the present is not easy to imagine the British Isles with a mainly Latino cultural heritage. But it could have happened like this. There was a time when most of those lands known as Britain, were part of the Roman Empire... When Rome began to extend to the north, by the hand of Julius Caesar, they conquered and anexed Gaul (France), in 58 BC. The celts from the northern islands had good trade relations with the gallics, so they tried to help them. But it caused frictions with the romans, starting the military pressure over Britain.
|Julius Caesar. Rimini, Italy.|
Photo by: Georges Jansome, 2006.
Soon the romans were sailing across the strait (the English Channel) between them and the islands. After a failure, Caesar legions could enter in Britain (54 BC). Counting on a huge military force, he crushed all who tried to resist, from the south coast to the Thames river. It seems likely that he was only warning the britons, about the power of Rome. They returned to Gaul, without leaving a post or garrison, leaving those people as free as they ever had been.
|The Roman Empire in 50 BC, after the conquer of Gaul.|
All in all, the progress and civilization of Gaul, had brought important benefits to Britain. They began to feel a civilizing impulse; somehow they were "romanizing". Southeners lived like any roman, but they still were independent...
Those were hard times for Rome. Civil wars and the permanent threat of Germanic tribes, at the borders, kept the legions busy and far from British Lands for awhile.
|Fort Londinium, by 41 AD. The future city of London.|
Rome kept on advancing triumphant over the lands of Britain. Everywhere they lifted a fortress, to ensure their control. The rebel tribes still persisted, but the pressure from the roman eagles made them move to northern lands. The legions would always have an advantage over the celtic armies: it was their discipline.
|Celtics and romans...|
But the new masters permited the presence of local rulers, provided they were allies of Rome... Soon this system began to show its cracks, mainly due to the abusive behavior of the foreigners. This gave rise to serious problems.
|Boudica and her daughters, at Cardiff City Hall.|
|Queen Boudica, by Chris Rawlins. At http: http://chrisrawlins.deviantart.com|
|Boudica, by Gordon Napier. At http://www.dashinvaine.co.uk|
|The Temple of Claudius burning, at Camulodunum. By Peter Frost.|
|Boudica Triumphant. The Embankment, at Westminster Bridge. London|
|Romans in wedge formation.|
|Boudica and her army. by Joseph Martin Kronheim, 1868.|