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SUPPRESSION OF THE REVOLT.
Chester at the head of the fourteenth legion, and a few picked soldiers from the twentieth, had deliberately left London to its fate, and stood at bay with his back to the sea, having probably been intercepted on his march to Colchester. This position, in which the Roman flanks were secured by wood, hill, and fortified lines, gave no advantage to the numbers of the Britons. Their disorderly masses were soon penetrated by the Roman wedge, and a fearful massacre of eighty thousand1 avenged the seventy thousand Roman colonists whom the insurrection had slain. Boadicea died by her own hands. Order reigned again in Britain; but the Romans had learned by fearful experience that they were not dealing with the soft men of the south. Suetonius was speedily recalled, and a milder policy inaugurated.
The next critical epoch in British history, is the government of Caius Julius Agricola, A.D. 78. Agricola found the marches of Wales in insurrection, and the country north of the Humber still unsubdued. In a series of masterly campaigns, he reduced the whole of the island south of the Tay, forced the passage of the Grampians, and secured the northern frontier of the empire by a line of forts, between the Frith of Forth and the Clyde. It is strange that a statesman so able, and as reckless of human life as his countrymen in general, should not have exterminated the tribes of the north, whom no barrier could long restrain from forays upon the Lowlands. The difficulty,
1 Mr. Merivale (Romans under the Empire) thinks that only the Iceni took part in this insurrection, and infers that they were of a different race to the other tribes. Their position on the Anglian coast certainly favours the surmise of a Teutonic origin. But it is difficult to believe that an army of one hundred thousand men could be recruited exclusively from Norfolk and Suffolk, and yet maintain itself in Essex and Hertfordshire, unless either supported by the natives or preying upon them. If, indeed, the Catieuchlani were Teutonic, as Mr. Kemble conjectures, they may have furnished recruits or provisions. But the more we extend the area of Teutonic races, the more difficult it is to understand why their presence was not recognized. Moreover, the capital of the Iceni, Gwenta Icenorum, has a distinctly Keltic name. If the tribe was nearly extirpated in this rebellion, their place may have been supplied by Frisian colonists, perhaps from the Coritavi, who, of all people settled in England before the time of Agricola, appear to have the best claim to Teutonic ancestry.
THE POLICY OF AGRICOLA.
in fact, applies to the whole policy of the Romans in Great Britain. It seems as if less labour than constructed the two fortified lines of the north, and less expenditure of men than the perpetual presence of an armed foe involved, would have carried roads through the Highlands, and destroyed every barbarous clan in the mountain glens. The answer probably is, that without an efficient fleet, the Romans could not pursue the fugitives into the Hebrides, or hope to prevent a fresh immigration from Ireland. The disappearance of several tribes in the south of Scotland, of the Attacotti and the Mæatæ, from history, and their replacement in the third and fourth centuries by the Picts of the Cumbrian districts, looks very much as if the Roman sword did its work with terrible thoroughgoingness at times. Indeed, we find that the Irish difficulty did actually suggest itself to Agricola. He resolved to conquer that island, in order that his British subjects might no longer see any free country from their own shores. He even entertained a fugitive Irish chief, as a pretext for invasion. But the jealousy of Domitian recalled the successful governor, a. D. 86, while his work was yet undone.
Nevertheless, the eight years of Agricola's government had effectually reduced England to a province of the empire. By a fresh arrangement of the taxation, the people had been relieved of their heaviest burdens, and men of character had been chosen as officials. Hitherto the public granaries had been grossly mismanaged; districts had been compelled to send their con
1 Mr. Herbert (Britannia after the Romans), whose view has been followed by the best modern critics, regards the name Pict (painted) as merely the Latin translation of Briton. What we know of the language and history of the people, indicates that they belonged to the Kymric variety.
The words of Tacitus (Agricola, cap. 19) are very difficult. I translate them: "They (the Britons) were constrained in mockery to sit before closed granaries, and to buy whether they wanted or not. Bye-paths and distant places were assigned, so that the cities might carry the supplies commanded for the next winter-quarters into distant and difficult parts." It would seem that the communes were compelled to furnish rations to the Roman troops; and that the corn thus supplied was called in, in a vexatious manner, and sometimes forced back upon the natives at arbitrary prices by the officials.
THE WARS OF SEVERUS.
tributions of corn to a distance, and even to buy it back again from private speculators at fancy prices. Agricola crushed the whole system at a blow. As fortified towns sprung up everywhere in the tracks of the legions, the tribes were awed into peace. Conciliated by a sound policy, and dazzled by the magnificence of their civilized conquerors, they began to copy the arts they saw around them. The sons of the chiefs learned to speak Latin, affected the use of the toga, and began to accustom themselves to the bath and banquet. The largeminded statesman was civilizing a new people, while he seemed to be only attaching them to the empire.
For two centuries after the time of Agricola, the history of Roman Britain is without a single dramatic episode. Between the Forth and the Tyne there was almost incessant war with the northern tribes. In 120 A.D., Hadrian thought it necessary to visit the island in person, and constructed a vallum, or fortified earthen mound, strengthened with a ditch, from Bowness to Tynemouth, across the Northumbrian hills.' Twenty years later, under Antoninus, the prætor Lollius Urbicus completed the lines of Agricola by a similar rampart between Caer-riden on the Forth and Alcluith (Dunbarton) on the Clyde. The disorders of the empire, in which the British legions took a full share, under Commodus, A. D. 190, encouraged the northern marauders to renew their attacks. But their dangerous success provoked the Emperor Severus to take the field in person. He found a Roman province, probably Valentia, comprising the Lowlands and Northumberland, overrun by the barbarians; they retired before the Roman army, and Severus dictated peace at the Frith of Cromarty. But he had bought his success dearly: fifty thousand soldiers had perished in that terrible war, in which the enemy never appeared in the field, never ceased to pursue the march, and spared none whom they overtook. Severus retired to York, and strengthened the work of Hadrian with a new vallum. The fatigues of the late campaign were fast killing him; his last moments were disturbed with the
1 Quarterly Review, No. 213, "The Roman Wall in Britain.”
LAST WORDS OF SEVERUS.
news of a fresh incursion by the barbarians, and his last advice to his son was to extirpate the whole race mercilessly. That advice Caracalla neglected, and withdrew, leaving Britain to the care of its præfects.
THE ROMANS IN ENGLAND.
ROMAN PROVINCES.-MUNICIPAL CHARACTER OF THE ROMAN OCCUPATION. CONSTITUTION OF THE TOWNS.-ROMAN ROADS.-ROMAN ARTS AND INSTITUTIONS.-NATIONALITY OF THE COUNTRY DISTRICTS.-GENERAL INFLUENCES OF THE OCCUPATION.
THE Roman divisions of Britain are the great territorial landmarks of our history. The country, before they came, was parcelled out among different tribes, who had come in on every side, and were struggling in the centre for supremacy. The Romans seem to have disregarded the limits of the existing kingdoms, and the more natural features of mountain chains. In all, they constituted five great provinces:-Britannia Prima, south of the Thames, the Saxon Wessex; Flavia Cæsariensis, between the Severn and the sea, the Mercian kingdom of Offa; Britannia Secunda, west of the Severn, comprising Wales and the Welsh Marches; Maxima Cæsariensis, between the Humber and the Tyne, the Northumbrian kingdom of Edwin; and Valentia, between the Tyne and the Frith of Forth, comprising the Lowlands of Scotland and Northumberland. The capitals of these provinces were Canterbury or Winchester in the south, Verulam or London for Flavia; and Caerleon (Isca Silurum), York and Whithern for the west and north. But the real capitals of the country were York and London; and in these probably the two præfects resided, when the jealousy of Severus divided what had at first been a single command. Even if Verulam were the official capital of the south, London is his