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How did the Romans maintain control of Roman Britain?

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    There were many ways in which the Romans used to maintain control over Britain. This included using fortifications, British towns, the army and dealing with the resistance from the British. One of the ways that the Romans used to maintain control over the British was through the use of Roman forts. Once the Romans conquered Britain they did not leave they stayed to defend Roman Britain from attacks by fierce tribes who lived in Scotland and Wales. The Romans built stone forts which were place in most British towns such as Pevency, Rochester, Smith Shields, Binchester and Many others.

    The purpose of these constructions was as fortified bases. In these forts there were barracks, stables and large granaries. In the middle of each there was a headquarters building and close by was a house in which the general in charge of the fort lived with his family. One particular fort was the Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. The Romans used this fort to protect a bridge across the River Tyne. The River Tyne was important because it was formed by two rivers the north Tyne and south Tyne, the north Tyne rises on the Scottish border.

    The Romans decided to build Hadrian’s Wall which was named after the emperor and the purpose of this wall was to stop raids from tribes who lived in Scotland. These tribes were raiding Roman Britain because when the Romans took over they encouraged trade so there was more wealth, the country became rich. Hadrian’s Wall was 73 miles long because they needed to build it as a border which would help them protect Roman Britain. Since it was so long they needed to build mile castles on the wall. The soldiers who patrolled on the wall lived in barracks which were in the mile castles.

    The responsibilities of the soldiers that patrolled on Hadrian’s Wall were that they had to guard turrets which were small watch towers along the wall every 500 metres. Furthermore the Romans used towns such as Colchester to protect the land, building and civilians from invasions. The streets were laid out in a chessboard pattern. The towns were surrounded by walls with four main gates. Inside the walls there were public building, baths, shops and streets of single-storey houses. The largest and most important building in the towns was the basilica or town hall. It had a long hall and other small rooms.

    The hall was used as a court and public meeting place. To protect the towns and civilians from invasion the Romans built internal turrets at each corner of the rounded walls. They also dug ditches outside around the wall which were 10 feet deep, this was put in place to slow down the enemy and also so that the Romans had an advanced warning to be ready for battle. Moreover the Romans had to deal with the revolt from Queen Boudicca between 61AD and 63AD. It had started while the Roman Governor was away in North Wales. It first started in East Anglia which is where the Iceni tribe lived.

    The queen’s husband Prastagus was friends with the Roman Emperor so one he died he left half his kingdom to his wife and the other half to the Roman Emperor, although the Romans wanted it all to themselves. Queen Boudicca decided to fight back because the Romans treated her and her daughters badly. The Romans ran away because they were outnumbered and the queen’s army was growing. The Iceni army attacked and burned down the capital of Roman Britain and the New Roman Temple. Boudicca and her army then travelled to Londinium (London). Once they were there, the Roman Governor came back from Wales because news had spread about Boudicca’s revolt.

    He decided to leave Londinium because he was outnumbered and not prepared. The Iceni burned down Londinium and killed hundreds of Romans and Britons. Boudicca headed north to attack another Roman town but the Roman Governor was waiting with his men in the midlands. According to Tacitus there were about 10,000 Romans and Boudicca may have had up to seven times more soldiers, but the Romans were equipped with far better armour and weapons and were also highly skilled and trained. Boudicca drank poison after the Great War because she had nothing to live for and did not want to live under the Roman rule.

    After Boudicca’s revolt many Britons settled down to live under Roman rule. Scotland was not a part of the Roman Empire but in AD 84, the Romans had a big battle against the picts who lived in Scotland and they won. In AD 122 the emperor Hadrian order his soldiers to build wall between Roman Britain and Scotland. The wall ran from Wallsend in the east to Bowness on the Solway Firth. Therefore through the use of fortifications such as Hadrian’s Wall, British towns such as Colchester, the army and dealing with resistance from the British and others, the Romans maintained control over Britain successfully.

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