Celts and Romans In Great Britain
Celts arrived in Britain in 700BC. Celtic tribes were more technically advanced than Neolithic Britons. They brought new techniques of working with metals such as iron. Their weapons were better than bronze ones. Celts soon started to control whole southern region and after few years Celts spread into Highland Scotland, Wales, Ireland or Cornwall. Celtic languages are still spoken in these regions. Celts were good warriors, traders and successful farmers. Celts traded between tribes and also beyond Britain. Trading routs led through the sea and rivers. They used iron bars as a money until they saw coins used in Gaul. Celts also brought new techniques of ploughing heavier and richer soils. They used cattle for pulling the plough. Celts produced enough food for larger population and for export. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55BC and came next year to defeat the native forces. By AD47 Romans controlled whole region from Humber River to Severn River. They also tried to conquer Caledonia (Scotland), but unsuccessfully, at last they built strong wall against raiders from the north. The wall was called after emperor Hadrian, who designed it – Hadrian’s wall. In ad61 there was a bloody rebellion led by Celtic queen Boadicea. She destroyed Londonium (London) and almost drove Romans out of Britain, but she was killed and defeated. Most visible mark of Roman culture were Roman cities in Britain, which were basis of administration and civilisation. There was three different kinds of cities: Coloniae – towns peopled by Roman settlers, Municipia – large cities where all people were given Roman citizenship and Civitas – former Celtic towns. Romans also founded lot of farms called villas in the countryside. The native tribes became familiar with many features of Roman civilization, including its legal and political systems, architecture, and engineering. Numerous towns were established, and these strongholds were linked by a vast network of military highways, many remnants of which survive. Romans brought their entire culture to Britain. In general, however, only the native nobility, the wealthier classes, and the town residents accepted the Roman language and way of life, while the Britons in outlying regions retained their native culture. At the end of the 3rd century, the Roman army began to withdraw from Britain to defend other parts of the Roman Empire. In 410, when the Visigoths invaded Rome, the last of the Roman legions were withdrawn from the island.
Celtic culture again became predominant, and Roman civilization in Britain rapidly disintegrated. Roman influence virtually disappeared during the Germanic invasions in the 5th and 6th centuries.