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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 17:41:48 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (143 lines)

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


> As for the invasion I also like to think there was only a two pronged
> landing.  The main force landing at Richbrough and the one unti using the
> friendly sussex coast.  We must remember at this time the area around the
> Sussex coast and the solent to some extent was in friendly hands.

I don't think that could be the case. The invasion happened because Verica,
who was Roman-friendly, was deposed - and whether he was deposed by the
Catuvellauni or by another faction of his own people, that put his kingdom
into hostile hands. The Isle of Wight had to be taken by Vespasian, so at
the time the invasion was launched, the approach to the Solent was certainly
held by anti-Roman forces.

We must
> remember also that the Britains didnt have what we today have in the likes
> of costal defences.  The first I can think of are in fact the saxon shore
> forts.  Did the Ancient Britons have the capability to launch missiles
like
> the Romans did?  If so why are there no mention of them in any of the
> writings of the times?  So apart from the nast currents and eddies in that
> area being broadsided doesn't really cause too much of a problem.

Possibly not, but the problem of being in plain sight for so long remains.

I also
> believe that the landing of one unit in Kent would have allowed the Army
to
> have picked up conscripts so to speak on their way to meeting the main
force
> on the South bank of the Thames before crossing at the pool.  This place
is
> identifiable even today as one part of the Thames is still called as such.
> We really in this instance need to narrow down the arguments of where they
> crossed as some scholars think it would probably have been at Thorney Isle
> which is the modern day Westminster area.
>
> It is known from Diatom analysis ( source now lost so speaking from memory
> but possibly Thornybee) that the Thames was only tidal as far as
Blackfriars
> bridge area of the thames and therefore the pool some 1 mile or so further
> east would have been ideal, but I digress.

I saw a Time Team about this recently - there's apparently a sandbar at
Westminster that's well known to Thames boatmen that would still allow the
river to be forded on foot.

> I believe that scholars now agree that Plautinus was in fact subduing the
> Cattuvrellauni because there is no way that even with Elephants to awe the
> natives he would have been able to march upon the tribal capital unnoposed
> otherwise.
>
> The only thing of any certainty we can say for this period is they came
they
> saw they conquered and our own military leaders still today deploy tactics
> that the Roman Generals did then.
> 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 4:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Roman invasion of 43 (again)
>
>
> > 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.
> >
>

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