Written by MonkeyInTheBath
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

image for Roman Britain: A Lesson From History "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" Marcus Septus, 407 AD

Britannia was known throughout the Roman Empire as being one of the most difficult provinces to govern. It required three entire legions to maintain order, compared with only one for the larger area of Hispania.

The problem lay largely with the unruly natives, which the Romans named the Chavium. All we know about these people comes from Roman writers, as the native Britons were completely illiterate.

The Roman chronicler Tacitus wrote "they [the Britons] drink vast amounts of wine and sit around Camulodunum town centre (modern day Colchester) shouting obscenities, fighting and fornicating."

The Romans did not particularly enjoy occupying "Fracta Britannia" (Broken Britain), but it was rich with tin. British tin miners - also known as bling merchants - used to cover themselves in tin necklaces, tin earrings and tin rings, which seemed to impress the British ladies of the time.

The Britons were led by Queen Boudicea, or Lady B as she liked to be known. She would affix ornaments coated with squirrel fur to the front of her chariot, this being the first historical record of furry dice.

Tacitus also described a bizarre ritual he had heard about. "They drive their chariots to a wood, where they will dismount and gather around another chariot containing a couple. Then they will embark upon a disgusting sexual act which I cannot describe. They call this 'caninus'." It is interesting to note that native Britons were considered too depraved even to invite to a Roman orgy.

It was only a few centuries before the Romans tired of such depravity and left. A contemporary poet wrote, "Come friendly ballistas and rain on Camulodunum. It isn't fit for any populum."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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