- Romano-British culture
Romano-British culture is that of the Romanized Britons under the
Roman Empireand later the Western Roman Empire, and of those exposed to Roman culture in the years after the Roman departure.
Arrival of the Romans
The Romano-British were originally a diverse group of
Celtic (mostly or wholly Brythonic) peoples living, and frequently fighting, with each other. They first united when Roman troops, mainly from nearby Germanic provinces, under Emperor Claudiusinvaded Britanniain 43 AD. Kinder, H. & Hilgemann W. "The Penguin Atlas of World History", Penguin Books, London 1978, ISBN 0140510540 ] Defeated and conquered, the various tribes were assimilated into the Roman Empire as the province of Britannia. Roman businessmen and officials came to Britannia to settle by the thousands along with their families. Roman troops from all across the Empire as far as Spain, North Africa, and Egypt, but mainly from the Germanic provinces, Bataviaand Frisia(modern Netherlands, Belgium, and the Rhinelandarea of Germany) were garrisoned in Roman towns, taking local Britons for wives and intermarrying. This diversified Britannia's cultures and religions, while the populace remained mainly Celtic with a Roman way of life.
Britain was also independent of the rest of the Roman Empire for a number of years, first as a part of the
Gallic Empire, then a couple of decades later under the usurpers Carausiusand Allectus. Christianitycame to Britain in the third century. One early figure was Saint Alban, who was martyred near the Roman town of Verulamium, on the site of the modern St Albans, by tradition during the reign of the emperor Decius.
One vector of Roman influence into British life was the grant of
Roman citizenship[http://www.romanempire.net/romepage/Citizenship/Roman_Citizenship.htm] . At first this grant went out very selectively: to the council members of certain classes of towns, which Roman practice made citizens; to veterans, either legionaries or soldiers in auxiliary units; and to a number of natives whose patrons were able to obtain it for them. Some of the local Celtic kings, such as Togidubnus, received citizenshipin this manner. However, the number of citizens steadily increased over the years, as people inherited citizenship and more grants were made. Eventually all people who were not slaves or freed slaveswere granted citizenship by the " Constitutio Antoniniana" in 212.
The other inhabitants of Britain, who did not enjoy citizenship, the "Peregrini", continued to live under the laws of their ancestors. The principal handicaps were that they could not:
* own land with a Latin title,
* serve as a legionary in the army (although they could serve in an auxiliary unit, and become a Roman citizen upon discharge)
* in general, inherit from a Roman citizen But for the majority of British inhabitants, who were peasants tied to the soil, citizenship would not dramatically alter daily operation of their lives.
The Roman withdrawal
Britannia became one of the most loyal provinces of the Empire until its decline, when Britannia's manpower started to be diverted by civil wars, eventually leading Honorius to bring Roman troops back home to help fight the invading hordes.
After the withdrawal of Roman troops, the Romano-British were commanded by Honorius to "look to their own defences". A written plea to General
Flavius Aëtiusknown as "The Groan of the Britons" may have seen some brief naval assistance from the fading Roman Empire of the West, but otherwise they were on their own. In the early stages the lowlands and cities may have had some organisation or "council" and the Bishop of Londonappears to have played a key role, but they were divided politically as former soldiers, mercenaries, nobles, officials and farmers declared themselves kings, fighting amongst each other and leaving Britain open to invasion. Two factions could have emerged; a pro-Roman faction and a traditionalist faction. The only named leader at this time was Vortigernwho may have held the position of "High King". The depredations of the Pictsfrom the north and Scotti (Scots) from Ireland forced them to seek help from pagan Germanic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who decided to settle. Some of the Romano-British may have migrated to Brittanyand possibly Ireland.
Some histories (in context) refer to the Romano-British people with the blanket term "Welsh". The term Welsh is an
Old Englishword meaning 'foreigner', referring to the old inhabitants of southern Britain. [http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/welsh.htm] . Historically Wales and the Cornish peninsula were known respectively as North Wales and West Wales. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A10686710] The Celtic north of England was referred to as Hen Ogledd.
The struggles of this period have given rise to the legends of
Uther Pendragonand King Arthur. It is sometimes said that Ambrosius Aurelianus, the leader of the Romano-British forces, was the model for the former, and that Arthur's court of Camelot(Camelod or Camelodonum is the old name for modern Colchester) is an idealised Welsh memory of pre-Saxon Romano-British civilisation.
Roman sites in the United Kingdom
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Romano-Germanic culture — The term Romano Germanic describes the conflation of Roman culture with that of various Germanic peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It is also sometimes used to describe Germanic kingdoms that were established upon territories previously … Wikipedia
British cuisine — This article is part of a series on British cuisine … Wikipedia
British Isles — This article is about the archipelago in north western Europe. For the group of territories with constitutional links to the United Kingdom, see British Islands. British Isles English: British Isles Irish: Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór or… … Wikipedia
British Iron Age — In Britain and Ireland the Iron Age lasted from about the 7th century BC until the Roman conquest and until the 5th century in non Romanised parts such as Scotland and Ireland. This period is also called the era of Celtic Britain cite web… … Wikipedia
Culture of Europe — The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of North as opposed to South; West as opposed to East; Orthodoxism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism; many have… … Wikipedia
Culture of Malta — The culture of Malta is the culture of the Maltese islanders and reflects various societies that have come into contact with the Maltese Islands throughout the centuries, including neighbouring Mediterranean cultures, and the cultures of the… … Wikipedia
Genetic history of the British Isles — Population research using DNA is initiating research into the genetic history of the British Isles. Genetically, the population native to the British Isles is closely associated with the larger region of Western Europe, and in particular with the … Wikipedia
Miami Vice in popular culture — Since its incarnation, the popular 1984 television series, Miami Vice has become a popular culture icon. It has been made referenced to in television shows, comics, music videos, and video games, as well as its influence on men s fashion.… … Wikipedia
Stephen Hawking in popular culture — Professor Stephen Hawking has entered popular culture as a crossover figure from the academic world. He is widely known largely due to his contributions to science and endurance of severe disabilities. Television and FilmAppeared as himself* The… … Wikipedia
Roman Britain — History of the British Isles This box: view · talk · edit … Wikipedia