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Claudius and the Conquest of Britain

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The emperor Claudius started off his reign as emperor with some instability and a lack of support from all the people. He was in dire need of a military victory to sure up his public support. In order to achieve this he decided to invade Britain, a place that Julius Caesar visited but never ended up trying to conquer. Claudius sent in four legions under the control of Aulus Plautius, who became the first governor of Roman Britain. The main army was put ashore at Richborough, ventured across the Medway and the Thames and captured Colchester, capital of the Catuvellaunian kingdom.

In years after their initial invasion the Romans steadily expanded their control over the rest of southern Britain and into Wales. The Romans suppressed two revolts, one of which was led by Caratacus the leader of the Iceni in 47 AD, who were allies with the Romans and the other by Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, in 60-61 AD.

At first, the Romans attempted to gain control of all of Britain with their allies, the Brigantes. But in 69 AD, an anti-Roman faction gained control of the tribe and as a result forced the Romans to invade and take it under Roman rule. In 79 AD, Agricola embarked on a voyage to conquer Scotland. He had fought four years and gathered several significant victories including a great victory over the natives at Mons Graupius. However, at this point, there was trouble at the Danube and Domitian was forced to withdraw his troops for Britain. By the end of the century, the frontier had been pushed back to the Tyne-Solway isthmus, where Hadrian was to build his wall.

     
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