Roman Britain 55 BCE – 410 CE

Roman BritainThis timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in Roman Britain 55B CE – 410 CE

Please note: we have chosen to use BCE (Before Common Era) rather than BC (Before Christ) and CE (Common Era) rather than AD (Anno Domini)

55 BCE (26th – 31st August)
Julius Caesar crossed the English Channel with an army of around 10,000 men and landed at Deal, Kent. A force of Britons prevented them from leaving the beach so Caesar decided to wait for his cavalry force to arrive. A storm in the Channel meant that the back up fleet never arrived and Caesar had to abandon his invasion.
54 BCE (July – September)
Julius Caesar crossed the English Channel with an army of around 27,000 men and landed at Deal, Kent unopposed. The Roman army marched north and met the Britons led by Cassivellaunus north of the River Thames. A battle was fought and the Romans defeated the Britons. Julius Caesar was unable to make further conquests because he was recalled to Gaul (France)
5 CE
Rome formally acknowledged Cymbeline as King of Britain
43 CE (May)
Roman Invasion – A force of 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent. They defeated the Britons led by Caratacus in the South East and took control of the region. Caratacus fled to Wales.
43 CE (September)
Emperor Claudius arrived in Britain with more Roman troops. Colchester fell to the Romans when eleven local Kings surrendered.
43 CE (Autumn)
Aulus Plautius was made Governor of Britain and Claudius returned to Rome.
44 CE (June)
The Romans captured the hill forts in Dorset.
44 CE
Construction of the Roman roads Watling Street, Ermine Street, Stane Street and Fosse Way began
47 CE
Publius Scapula became Governor of Britain
47 CE
The Romans were in control of South Britain and had incorporated the region into the Roman Empire.
47 CE
Scapula ordered the Iceni tribe to surrender their weapons even though they had agreed to support the Romans. A number of the Iceni rebelled but were put down by the Romans. Prastagus took over as King of the Iceni.
48 CE
The Romans defeated the Deceangli tribe of North Wales
47 – 50 CE
London (Londinium) was founded and a bridge built across the River Thames. Roads were built across the South of England.
49 CE
The Silures tribe of Wales attacked the Romans but were pushed back.
49 CE
The Romans founded Camulodunum (Colchester)
51 CE
Caratacus and his force of rebels met the Romans near the River Severn but were defeated. Caratacus escaped and was taken in by the Brigantes tribe. The Queen of the Brigantes, Cartimandua betrayed Caratacus and he was taken prisoner by the Romans and sent to Rome.
51 CE
The Romans founded Verulamium (St Albans)
52 CE
Aulus Didius Gallus became Governor of Britain
52 CE
Aulus Didius Gallus built a legionary base at Wroxeter
57 CE
Quintus Veranius became Governor of Britain
58 CE
Gaius Suetonius Paulinus became Governor of Britain
58 CE
Gaius Suetonius Paulinus lanched a new invasion of Wales
60 CE
The Romans took Anglesey in Wales. They were unable to complete the conquest as forces were needed to put down a revolt by the Iceni.
61CE
Boudiccas Revolt
After the King of the Iceni tribe, Prasatugas, died, his wife, Boudicca had intended to keep peace with the Romans but when the local Roman authority seized Prasatugas’ property and raped their two daughters Boudicca vowed revenge. She formed an alliance with the Trinovantes tribe. Boudicca’s army took Colchester, London and St Albans but the Roman Governor Suetonius Paulinus raised a massive army and defeated the rebels. Boudicca poisoned herself to avoid capture.
63 CE
Marcus Trebellius Maximus became Governor of Britain
69 CE
Marcus Vettius Bolanus became Governor of Britain
69 CE
Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes tribe was overthrown by the Romans
71 CE
Quintus Petillus Cerialis became Governor of Britain
71 CE
The Brigantes tribe were defeated by Quintus Petillus Cerialis
74 CE
Sextus Julius Frontinus became Governor of Britain
74 CE
Sextus Julius Frontinus built a fort at Caerleon
75 CE
A Roman palace was built at Fishbourne, W. Sussex
77 CE
The Romans conquered South Wales
78 CE
Gnaeus Julius Agricola became Governor of Britain
79 CE
Agricola tried to conquer Scotland.
79 CE
A legionary fort was built at Deva Victrix (Chester)
79 CE
Agricola completed the conquest of North-West England
80 CE
Agricola built fortifications at Carlisle
82 CE
Agricola took Galloway
84 CE
The Romans defeated a Caledonian force at the Battle of Mons Graupius, Scotland
84 CE
Sallustius Lucullus became Governor of Britain
93 CE
Aulus Vicirius Proculus became Governor of Britain
96 CE
Publus Metilius Nepos became Governor of Britain
97 CE
Tiberius Avidius Quietus became Governor of Britain
100 CE
Emperor Trajan ordered a Roman withdrawal from Scotland
101 CE
Lucius Neratius Marcellus became Governor of Britain
115 CE
Marcus Appius Bradua became Governor of Britain
117 CE
There was a revolt against Roman rule in the North of England
118 CE
Quintus Pompeius Falco became Governor of Britain
118 CE
A revolt by the Brigantes tribe was successfully put down
122 CE
Aulus Platorius Nepos became Governor of Britain
122 CE
Emperor Hadrian made a visit to Britain and ordered a wall be built between England and Scotland to keep the rebellious Scots in Scotland.
122 CE
The forum in Londinium (London) was completed
127 CE
Trebius Germanus became Governor of Britain
131 CE
Sextus Julius Severus became Governor of Britain
133 CE
Publius Mummius Sisenna became Governor of Britain
138 CE
Quintus Lollius Urbicus became Governor of Britain
139 CE
Hadrian’s wall was completed
142 CE
A new Roman invasion of Scotland had some success and a second wall, the Antonine Wall, was built between the Forth and Clyde rivers.
145 CE
Gnaeus Papirius Aelianus became Governor of Britain
154 CE
Gnaeus Julius Verus became Governor of Britain
155 CE
There was a new rebellion against the Romans and they were forced to retreat
158 CE
Longinus became Governor of Britain
160 CE
The Antonine Wall was abandoned by the Romans
161 CE
Marcus Statius Priscus became Governor of Britain
163 CE
Sextus Calpurnius Agricola became Governor of Britain
175 CE
Quintus Antistius Adventus became Governor of Britain
178 CE
Caerellius Priscus became Governor of Britain
180 CE
Northern tribes breeched Hadrian’s Wall and raided the North of England
181 CE
Ulpius Marcellus became Governor of Britain
182 CE
The Brigantes and other northern tribes rebel against Roman rule. Sporadic fighting continued for years.
185 CE
The Roman army in Britain mutinied
185 CE
Publius Helvius Pertinax became Governor of Britain and put down the army mutiny
191 CE
Decimus Clodius Albinus became Governor of Britain
197 CE
Virius Lupus became Governor of Britain
201 CE
Pollienus Auspex became Governor of Britain
205 CE
Lucius Alfenus Senecio became Governor of Britain
206 CE
Senecio made repairs to Hadrian’s Wall and called on Rome for reinforcements to defend Britain against Northern tribes
208 CE
Junius Faustinus Postumianus became Governor of Britain
208 CE
Emperor Septimus Severus ordered a new conquest of Scotland and the Antonine Wall was re-occupied
209 CE
Emperor Septimus Severus and his son Caracalla led an expedition against the Caledonii of Scotland. They built forts at the Tay estuary and Cramond
210 CE
The Emperor’s son, Caracalla led an expedition against the Maeatae tribe
211 CE
Emperor Septimus Severus died at York. His son, Caracalla became the new Emperor and returned to Rome
211 CE
The Romans were unable to advance beyond the Antonine wall and so abandoned their advance and fell back to Hadrian’s Wall
214 CE
The Romans split Britain into two provinces, South (Britannia Superior) and North (Britannia Inferior). Britannia Superior was administered from London while Britannia Inferior was administered from York.
214 CE
Gaius Julius Marcus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
216 CE
Marcus Antonius Gordianus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
219 CE
Modius Julius became Governor of Britannia Inferior
220 CE
Tiberius Claudius Paulinus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
220 CE
Forts were built at Reculver and Branodunum (Brancaster) to protect against Saxon raids
221 CE
Marius Valerianus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
223 CE
Claudius Xenophon became Governor of Britannia Inferior
223 CE
Tiberius Julius Pollienus Auspex became Governor of Britannia Superior
225 CE
Maximus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 227 CE
Claudius Apellinus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 230 CE
Calvisius Rufus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 230 CE
Gaius Junius Faustinus Postumianus became Governor of Britannia Superior
c 233 CE
Valerius Crescens Fulvianus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 237 CE
Tuccianus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 239 CE
Maecillius Fuscus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
c 242 CE
Nonius Philippus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
245 CE
A great flood left much of modern day Lincolnshire flooded
c 250 CE
Marcus Martiannius Pulcher became Governor of Britannia Superior
253 CE
Titus Desticius Juba became Governor of Britannia Superior
255 CE
A stone wall around the city of London was completed. It was designed to protect the city against attacks by seaborne Germanic tribes.
259 CE
Britain, Gaul and Spain split from the Roman Empire to become the Gallic Empire
c 260 CE
Octavius Sabinus became Governor of Britannia Inferior
274 CE
The Gallic Empire is re-absorbed into the Roman Empire
275 CE
Saxons began raiding South East England. Southern defences were strengthened
296 CE
Emperor Diocletian divided Britain into four provinces each governed by a Governor overseen by a vicarius.
301 CE
Emperor Diocletian ordered fixed prices for wool and beer
304 CE
Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of all Christians throughout the Empire. Alban was a recent convert to Christianity who exchanged places with a wanted priest and, when discovered, was executed. He was made a Saint and the place of his execution was named St Albans after him.
312 CE
Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire when Emperor Constantine converted.
367 CE
Barbarian tribes from Scotland, Ireland and Germany launch a series of raids on Roman Britain. The Romans were forced to abandon Hadrian’s Wall.
369 CE
A large reinforcement army arrives in Britain from Rome.
382 CE
Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Emperor, deteated the Picts and Scots
383 CE
Magnus Maximus took troops from Britain to help his bid to take control of the whole Empire
396 CE
A new series of barbarian raids on Britain. Reinforcements are sent from Rome to Britain.
401 CE
Roman troops are withdrawn from Britain to protect Rome from attack by Alaric I
402 CE
The last Roman coins were minted in Britain
405 CE
The Irish made a series of raids along the South coast of England
409 CE
The Saxons made new raids on England
410 CE
With Rome facing attack by numerous barbarian tribes, Emperor Honorious recalled all Romans to Rome. The British people were told that they had to defend their land by themselves.

 

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016). Roman Britain 55 BCE – 410 CE. Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/roman-britain-55-bce-410-ce. Last accessed February 19th, 2018

 

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