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Temat: Zjednoczone Królestwo
Despite the famous claim that he had come, seen and conquered Britain ("Veni, Vidi, Vici"), in 55BC, Julius Caesar's attempted invasion of Britain was more of an armed visit. He led raids on the southeast coast in 55 and 54 BC and managed to gain some tribute in exchange for hostages. Although the Romans won their battles, the "invasion" force was more or less defeated by the weather in the channel. There were a few aborted invasion attempts during Augustus's and Caligula's reigns, but it was not until 43 AD that the Romans, under Emperor Claudius, really invaded Britain.
Claudius, was the uncle of the much-hated Caligula. When Caligula was finally assassinated (after a reign that was murderous even by the standards of Roman emperors) Claudius came to power. He was generally seen as a stuttering old fool, but proved to be an effective emperor. After two years, he ordered the invasion of Britain. There were several factors contributing to this decision. They include:
An immediate cause for the invasion in AD 43 was that war between the Celtic tribes of the southeast threatened to disrupt trade with Rome. This situation offered both a reason for invading and an opportunity to build an alliance with one tribe by offering military aid. Roman military superiority combined with local fighting skills would ensure victory for the chosen tribe and create a British ally, who could be disposed of later, if necessary.
The Atrebates (a Roman ally since Julius Caesar's time) were threatened by the Catuvellauni and appealed to Rome. Claudius sent 4 legions (20,000 men) with about another 20,000 auxiliaries, commanded by Plautus. The Romans are thought to have landed near Richborough (which still has the remains of a Roman shore fort.) The British were led by Caractacus, Togodumnus and Cunobelinus. After a two day battle near present-day Rochester, the Romans drove the British back as far as Essex. Claudius himself arrived with a force that included war elephants, supposedly to finish off the battle, but, more likely, to ensure that the already-certain victory was accredited to him, in support of his Imperial reputation.
According to Ian Andrews, in Boudicca against Rome, 1972, many tribes surrendered without fighting or actively welcomed the Romans. All the tribes of the Southeast surrendered to Rome. Over the next 16 years, Rome completed the conquest of the rest of England, having successfully defeating the only serious threat to their power, Boudicca's rebellion.
Author: H Wake