Rome leaves the British Isles in 410 A.D.; gives up attempt to take Hadrian’s wall with them.
Caesar returned the next year in 54 BC. This time he had 30,000 soldiers and the Britons were not prepared to fight the Romans on the beach. This gave the Romans an opportunity to establish themselves as a military force in Britain. Once they had done this, they took on Briton tribes one by one.
Caesar’s success in Britain meant that he neglected Gaul. This encouraged the Gauls to rise up against the Romans and Caesar had to leave Britain with his army to put down the rebellion in Gaul. The Roman Army did not return to Britain for over 90 years.
However, traders from Rome did come to Britain and traded with the tribes that lived there. They realized that Britain was potentially a very wealthy place and if the island was properly controlled by the Romans, Rome itself could do very well out of it.
The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43. This was not as a punishment for helping the Gauls. It was to take over the island. The Romans were to stay for many years. The emperor Claudius sent an army of 40,000 men. It landed safely. The emperor sent not only foot soldiers but cavalry as well. Many tribes in Britain realised the sheer power of this army and made peace quickly with the Romans. Some took on the might of the Roman army. These clashes went on for many years and in parts of Britain, the Romans never actually gained full control. Though the Roman army has achieved fame for its effectiveness as a fighting force, the Britons were skilled and ferocious warriors. Caesar, in particular, was impressed by their skill with chariots
Julius was a genius. And he knew the area we know now as England was worth something; but within a year or so of his entry into that island he got the hell out of there because he had to put down other revolts in the lands he had already secured; those lands he called Gaul.
Julius Caesar, the man who had wept at age thirty that Alexander had already conquered the world at that time in his life, knew the limitations upon his powers by the time he had reached his 40’s.
I like this land of the Brits, Caesar thought, but I have to have Gaul secured or I will never be granted the dictatorship over the entire Roman empire by securing our defensible borders.
By the time Emperor Claudius shows up on the scene and finds himself the head of a Golden Empire, it was time for more forays into strange new lands; to go where no Italian had gone before.
Claudius really ‘conquers’ the southern and middle portions of the Island.
But the battles continue for decades and decades; with the greatest fighting coming from northern warrior tribes with painted faces and really good spirits.
Seventy years later, the Emperor Hadrian comes to the conclusion that the Picts and the other yahoos from the more northern parts will never be subdued; those folks are just barbarians that should be eschewed; so he comes up with what we might call a ‘Korean Solution’ and draws a line in the sand limiting further Roman expansion north of a certain latitude.
He then initiates the building of the Great Wall where that line indicated; separating Scotland from England. Two later emperors did some further work on that magnificent fortification and permanent troops were established there in a systematic manner. The Romans even built another wall two decades later some distance to the north of Hadrian’s Wall, kind of creating the first demilitarized zone!
I can imagine Hadrian thinking that these types of tribal disagreements and local enmity just will not be beneficial or at least not that beneficial to the Empire in any meaningful manner.
As a result of these impressive steps taken by Roman Emperors, Rome reigned over England for four and a half centuries.
Now H.W. Bush, the American Emperor of a couple of decades ago decided to initiate a foray into the Iraqi-an fields in retaliation for that barbarian clan’s forays into our empire’s golden fields of oil.
I know this because that great depicter of epic poetry, Mr. Clooney showed me how this foray went.
A decade ago, H.W.’s son is tendered his father’s crown under our Supreme Law of the Land; thinking he is the new Caesar.
W. Bush finds his Gaul in Afghanistan but is not satisfied. Thinking that all is about to be secured, the Second Emperor Bush rushes into another unconnected land called Iraq.
He would conquer the land his father had only visited for a brief period of time.
Unlike Julius Caesar, Emperor W felt he could take on two land wars at once; paying for all this by hiring accountants to cook the books. At least the Romans made money in the form of grains and ale and such from their subjugation of England.
What we need at this time in our history is an Emperor Hadrian or an Emperor Ike who will draw a line in the sand and discover some manner in which we might find a cease fire; some manner in which we might build a wall even if it is metaphorical; some manner in which we might cease finding ourselves in the midst of barbarian tribal warfare.