Page images

from his horse, and threw off his imperial robe to conceal himself.

"The Britons now pursuing, and shouting as though already victorious, they say that Lætus, one of Severus's commanders, came in sight with the army he commanded fresh and untouched from not having yet been in action ..... Severus's party took courage, placed him on his horse, and again clad him in his imperial robe. Albinus's troops supposing themselves already victorious, and, in consequence, having their ranks somewhat disordered, when this noble and fresh army fell suddenly upon them, gave way after but little resistance. A desperate rout ensuing, the soldiers of Severus pursued, and slew them until they threw themselves into the city. The number of the slain and captive on either side is differently recorded, as the inclination of the several historians of those times dictated.

"Severus's army having plundered and burnt the city Lugdunum, and captured Albinus, they cut off his head, and brought it to Severus... ... . Such was the end of Albinus, who for a little time had partaken of honours which led to his own destruction."

A.D. 201. Virius Lupus purchases peace from the Meatæ P, who had joined the Caledonians.

A.D. 204. Southern Britain, now considered as conquered, is by the emperor's order divided into two provinces; Virius Lupus being still proprætor.

A.D. 205 or 206. Alfenus Senecio appointed proprætor.

The Meatæ occupied the country in the immediate neighbourhood of the Wall of Antoninus.

A.D. 207. The wall of Severus in progress of construction.

An insurrection of the Britons; the proprætor requests further forces or the presence of the emperor.

A.D. 208. Severus repairs to Britain.

A.D. 209. Severus, leaving Geta, his younger son, in the southern part of Britain, advances into Caledonia, refuses all treaty with the natives, and subdues them, not, however, without severe loss to his army.

[ocr errors]

'Severus," says Xiphiline, "advanced into Caledonia, and in traversing the country underwent indescribable labour in cutting down woods, levelling hills, making marshes passable, and constructing bridges over rivers: for he fought not a single battle, nor did he see any army in array. The enemy moreover threw sheep and oxen in our track, on purpose that the soldiers might seize them, and thus being enticed farther onward, might be worn out by their sufferings. From the waters too they suffered dreadfully, and ambuscades were laid for them when dispersed. And if no longer able to proceed they were dispatched by their very comrades lest they should be taken: so that by this means 50,000 of them perished."

A.D. 210. The wall of Seyerus finished.

Severus assumes the surname of Britannicus.
Caracalla, the emperor's son, attempts his life.

A.D. 211. Death of Severus at Eboracum (York), February 4. His sons Caracalla and Geta succeed him.

This strengthening of the Wall of Hadrian is to be taken as an evidence of the unconquered spirit of the Britons, and not as indicating any advance of the Roman power, which on the contrary was already giving way, as is shewn by the conduct of Virius Lupus. * See Coin, p. 16.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

Caracalla appoints Papianus præfect of Britain, makes a treaty with the natives, and leaves the island.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed]

Very slight mention is made of Britain by historians for a period of more than 60 years after this time. The names of a few of its governors (given hereafter) have been preserved to us by inscriptions, but nothing is certainly known of the part taken by them, or by the legions in Britain, in the struggles which for the greater part of the time convulsed almost every other part of the empire, where aspirants to the purple rose and fell in rapid succession. It is probable that the governors were in reality almost independent; for it is not till the year 276 that any act of sovereignty over Britain is ascribed to a Roman emperor.

A.D. 212. Geta is put to death, February 17. A.D. 217. Caracalla assassinated, April 8. Macrinus succeeds.

A.D. 218. Macrinus killed, June 8. Succeeded by Heliogabalus.

A.D. 219. M. D. Junius, proprætor.

A.D. 221. Marius Valerianus, proprætor.

A.D. 222. Heliogabalus killed, March 11. Alexander Severus succeeds.

A.D. 235. Alexander Severus assassinated, March 19. Maximinus succeeds.

Gordian the

A.D. 238. Claudius Paulinus, proprætor. Maximinus assassinated, in March. Younger succeeds.

A.D. 240. Gn. Lucilianus, proprætor.

A.D. 244. Gordian assassinated, in March. Philip succeeds, and takes his son as colleague.

A.D. 249. Philip and his son slain in October; Decius proclaimed emperor.

A.D. 251. Decius dies, in November. Succeeded by Gallus Hostilianus.

A.D. 252. Volusianus associated to the empire. A.D. 253. Gallus and Volusianus slain, in May. Valerian and Gallienus emperors.

A.D. 255. Desticius Juba, proprætor.

A.D. 260. Valerian being taken by Sapor, Gallienus becomes sole emperor.

A.D. 267. Gallienus assassinated, March 20. Clauthis becomes emperor.

A.D. 270. Claudius dies of the plague, in Mav. Aurelian succeeds.

A.D. 273. Constantius Chlorus (afterwards emperor) marries Helena, a British princess; their son Constantine is born in Britain about 275.

A.D. 275. Aurelian assassinated, in January. Tacitus succeeds.

A.D. 276. Tacitus assassinated, in April; his brother Florianus holds the empire for 83 days, ruling in Britain among other countries.

Florianus is killed, in July.

Probus succeeds.

A revolt in Britain quelled by Victorinus, a Moor.

A.D. 277. Probus having conquered the Burgundians and Vandals, settles colonies of them in the eastern part of Britain.

A.D. 282. Probus is slain, in November. Succeeded by Carus, who associates his sons Carinus and Numerianus, assigning Britain to the former.

A.D. 283. Carus dies, in December. Succeeded by his sons.

A.D. 284. Numerianus is killed, in September. Diocletian chosen emperor.

A.D. 285. Carinus is killed.

A.D. 286. Maximian is associated in the empire with Diocletian.

The Franks and Saxons infest the coast of Gaul. Carausius, to whom the command of a fleet against them had been intrusted, being suspected of conniving at their ravages, retires to Britain, taking the fleet with him, and assumes the purple.

She is said by Henry of Huntingdon to have been the daughter of Coel, whom he styles king of Colecestre (Colchester); William of Malmesbury, on what ground is unknown, asserts that she was a tender of cattle (stabularia).

« PreviousContinue »