Friday, February 27, 2009

The Colony of Camulodunum

In 47 Aulus Plautius was succeeded by Ostorius Scapula. He disarmed the tribes dwelling to the west of the Trent, whilst he attempted to establish the Roman authority more firmly over those whose territory lay to the east of that river. Amongst these later were the Iceni, who had been hitherto allowed to preserve their native government in dependence on the Roman power. The consequence was that they rose in arms. Ostorius overpowered them, and then sought to strengthen his hold upon the south-east of Britain by founding a Roman colony at Camulodunum, which had formerly been the headquarters of Cunobelin. Roman settlers—for the most part discharged soldiers—established themselves in the new city, bringing with them all that belonged to Roman life with all its conveniences and luxuries. Roman temples, theatres, and baths quickly rose, and Ostorius might fairly expect that in Britain, as in Gaul, the native chiefs would learn to copy the easy life of the new citizens, and would settle their quarrels in Roman courts of law instead of taking arms on their own behalf.

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