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BRITARCH  July 2006

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Subject:

Re: Roman invasion of 43 (again)

From:

Patrick Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 29 Jul 2006 16:32:05 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

From: "Rob" <[log in to unmask]>


> My first view without taking a long look at this is as such.
>
> The Rhine area of Germany was really never a stable part of the Roman
empire
> and as such to mass a force there and send it on its way across to Britain
> would have given the "barbarians" within Germany a lift.  They would have
> seen this mass disappearing and possibly this would have led to an attack
on
> what forces were left.

The Rhine was the border of the Empire at this point, wasn't it? Can you
suggest an alternative route to get your ships to the sea? Claudius reached
Boulogne overland, so I assume there's not a suitable navigable river route
there.

> Another point to consider is the tides and the winds.  Would this amount
of
> ships with a minimal wind have managed to row the extra mileage that would
> have been required?

A very good point. I'm a complete landlubber, so my knowledge of tides and
winds is nil. As the crow flies the Rhine to Richborough is quite a bit
longer than Boulogne to Richborough, and comparable in distance to Boulogne
to the Solent. Although, as I look at the area in Google maps, Boulogne to
the Solent strikes me as militarily not very sensible. You're skirting the
British coast most of the way, which presents your flank to the enemy and
gives them plenty of warning you're coming. Boulogne to Richborough skirts
the east coast of Kent, although for a much shorter distance.

Another possibility if we're looking for a westward voyage to Richborough is
from Antwerp via the Western Scheldt estuary, which would shorten the trip,
although not by a huge amount.

> It is an interesting thought though and one that could be looked into more
> and I guess somewhat relies on Richbrough as being the only UK landing
site.
> Something which a growing number of us find hard to accept

It is supposition, I know, but I don't think Dio's three divisions were
three separate invasions. I don't think it was normal Roman tactics to
divide your efforts like that, and Dio's account suggests a single assault
on Kent to the Thames as the first phase of the conquest. If they didn't all
land at Richborough, it would seem the three divisions landed at three sites
close enough together to allow them to converge. Once the Catuvellauni have
been knocked out and the Thames crossing secured, there's plenty of time
while waiting for Claudius to send Vespasian out west to recover Verica's
territories, and no doubt other forces to other outlying areas. Claudius
marched into Camulodunum unopposed, so I don't think Plautius was entirely
idle while he waited for him.

> Rob
> http://acorngenealogy.co.uk
> http://www.enchantedtimes.co.uk
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Patrick Brown" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2006 1:11 PM
> Subject: [BRITARCH] Roman invasion of 43 (again)
>
>
> > Hello list. I'm aware this issue has been discussed quite a lot, but I
> > couldn't find the particular query I have in the archives, so here goes.
> >
> > The standard version says that the invasion force left Boulogne and
landed
> > at Richborough. Some people have suggested that, becase Dio (60.19) says
> > it
> > sailed west, it might have landed at the Solent instead. Coming at it
from
> > a
> > different angle, what if it didn't sail from Boulogne?
> >
> > We know from Suetonius (Claudius 17) that *Claudius* sailed from
Boulogne
> > (Gesoriacum). But the main force of the invasion under Plautius crossed
> > earlier, and I don't know of any source that says where it sailed from.
> > Assuming a landing at Richborough, could it not have sailed west from
the
> > mouth of the Rhine? In AD 16, ships from the Rhine were swept to Britain
> > by
> > a storm (Tacitus, Annals 2.24), so it seems to be a feasible crossing,
and
> > if you're going to gather a fleet at Boulogne you'll probably have to
> > bring
> > the ships to the coast via the Rhine anyway.
> >
> > Any thoughts? Anything obvious I've missed?
> >
> > Patrick
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> > Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.5/403 - Release Date:
28/07/2006
> >
> >
>

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