Thursday, February 26, 2009

South-eastern Britain after Caesar's Departure

B.C. 54—A.D. 43. For nearly a century after Cæsar's departure Britain was left to itself. The Catuvellauni recovered the predominance which they had lost. Their chieftain, Cunobelin, the original of Shakspere's Cymbeline, is thought to have been a grandson of Cassivelaunus. He established his power over the Trinobantes as well as over his own people, and made Camulodunum, the modern Colchester, his headquarters. Other tribes submitted to him as they had submitted to his grandfather. The prosperity of the inhabitants of south-eastern Britain increased more rapidly than the prosperity of their ancestors had increased before Cæsar's invasion. Traders continued to flock over from Gaul, bringing with them a knowledge of the arts and refinements of civilised life, and those arts and refinements were far greater now that Gaul was under Roman rule than they had been when its Celtic tribes were still independent. Yet, in spite of the growth of trade, Britain was still a rude and barbarous country. Its exports were but cattle and hides, corn, slaves, and hunting dogs, together with a few dusky pearls.

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