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’s first invasion
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’s second invastion
Caesar crossed the English Channel a second time 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).
43 CE (May)
Roman Invasion
A force of 40,000 men 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)
Fall of Colchester
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
Roman Roads
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
Iceni Tribe
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 soon defeated. Prastagus took over as King of the Iceni.
48 CE
The Romans defeated the Deceangli tribe of North Wales
47 – 50 CE
London Founded
The town of 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’ Rebellion
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 new revolt by the Iceni tribe.
61CE
Boudicca’s 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
Battle of Mons Graupius, Scotland
The Romans defeated a Caledonian (Scottish) force.
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
Hadrian’s Wall
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
The wall between England and Scotland was completed.
142 CE
Antonine Wall
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
Much of Verulamium (St Albans) was destroyed after a fire broke out.
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 rebelled 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
Gallic Empire
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 to be introduced.
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 launched a series of raids on Roman Britain. The Romans were forced to abandon Hadrian’s Wall.
369 CE
A large reinforcement army arrived in Britain from Rome.
382 CE
Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Emperor, defeated 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
There were a new series of barbarian raids on Britain. Reinforcements were sent from Rome to Britain.
401 CE
Roman Troops Recalled to Rome
Roman troops were 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
Romans Recalled to Rome
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.

 

Published Jul 23, 2016 @ 11:14 am – Updated – Nov 22, 2019 @ 11:08 am

 

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2019) . Roman Britain 55 BCE – 410 CE. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/roman-britain-55-bce-410-ce. Last accessed December 7th, 2019