How Fully Was Britain Romanised? Between 1bc and 5 Ad

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  • Topic: Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Roman army
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  • Published : November 5, 2008
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Between the 1st century BC and the 5th Century AD there was a slow, but increasing cultural changing sweeping through out Celtic Britain as contact, then trade, followed ultimately with invasion by the Romans. Yet both before and in the aftermath of Rome’s official occupation of most of Britain there had been signs of, not forced change, but an accepted compromise of between the two cultures, the administration and governing of Britain was a shared role and the urbanisation of the various tribes to create a hybrid Roman town.

Rome’s administration and governing of Britain was carried out in a similar way to the previous states it had occupied with a ‘layer cake’ system integrating both Roman and local alike. Especially notable was the usage of ‘client kings’ by the Roman’s. By giving collaborating tribes rewards such as titles, land and money, such as King Cogidumnus who was made a Roman citizen, not only did the Romans manage to acquire a powerful local leader in the command chain, through which the governed people would listen, but this would be a source of military reliance, to control the civitas so Roman soldiers could move up north to ‘inaugurate’ more of Britain to the Roman lifestyle. Of course the higher echelons of this command structure was still held by the Romans, with the main centre of control being in Colchester and later on, Londinium where top position would be held by a Young Senator, hoping to gain prestige through his work, he would be seconded by a procurator, such as Agricola, who was in charge mostly with running the economy, as we see with Agricola’s reformation of the tribute and grain taxation system.

On a more local level the Romans sectioned off vast areas of lands into provinces, much like our counties today, naming these civitas, each with at least one client king inside them, with a state-town named a ‘ratae’ where most of the communication went through. The administration was broken down further into smaller (but still...
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