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Timeline of Roman occupation

Updated Tuesday, 1st August 2006

An overview of the Roman occupation of Britain.

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100 BC - 00 AD

BC 100 In the early first century BC the massive triple ramparts at Maiden Castle are erected.

BC 55 Julius Caesar makes the first of two military expeditions to Britain.

BC 54 Caesar’s second, larger-scale campaign.

BC 27 Emperor Augustus comes to power. He considers whether to invade Britain, but doesn’t act.


01 AD - 100 AD

AD 37 Caligula becomes emperor. He considers whether to invade Britain, but in the end doesn't act.

AD 41 Caligula murdered. Claudius comes to power.

AD 43 Invasion of Britain by 40,000 Roman troops.

AD 44 Roman Victory at Maiden Castle.

AD 58-60 Campaigns against the troublesome Druids undertaken in Anglesey.

AD 60 East Anglia rises up against the Romans, led by Queen Boudicca.
Colchester, London and Verulamium (St Albans) destroyed by her army.

c. AD 61 The crushing of the revolt, leading to a period of consolidation.

c. AD 75 Work begins on the building of the great palace at Fishbourne.

c. AD 77 Agricola becomes the new governor of the province.
Roman province continues to expand with the conquest of south Wales.

AD 83-84 Britain circumnavigated by Roman Fleet.

c. AD 85 Building of triumphal arch at Richborough Roman Fort.

AD 100 Iron working sites like that at Beauport Park enter a boom period.

101 AD - 200 AD

AD 117 Revolt in northern Britain.

AD 122 Hadrian visits Britain, and construction of Hadrian’s Wall begins under Aulus Platorius Nepos.

AD 139-42 Romans advance northwards, abandoning Hadrian’s Wall, and build Antonine Wall across the Forth/Clyde isthmus.

AD 155 Rebellion in northern Britain.
Antonine Wall temporarily evacuated and Hadrian’s Wall recommissioned.

AD 181-184 Tribes invade across Hadrian’s Wall, but are defeated.


201 AD - 300 AD

AD 205 Re-building of Hadrian’s Wall. Britain divided into two provinces.

AD 212 Emperor Caracella extends Roman citizenship to all freeborn provincials.

AD 213 - 270 Period of peace. The rebuilding and reorganisation of forts in northern Britain continues. Many towns are given stone walls.

c. AD 250 Iron working sites like that at Beauport Park fall into decline, possibly because of over-exploitation or deforestation.

AD 275 - 285 Period of increasing insecurity in south eastern England because of Saxon pirate raids.

c. AD 275 Defences begin to be strengthened along the Saxon Shore. Huge defensive walls built at Richborough and Portchester Castle.

AD 286 Carausius appointed Commander of the British fleet, to police the Channel, and control the pirates.

AD 296 Diocletian reorganises Britain, dividing it into four provinces and separating the military from the civil administration.

301 AD - 400 AD

AD 300 - 342 Period of peace and prosperity in Roman Britain.

AD 306 Constantius - now emperor - returns to Britain and campaigns in the far north of Scotland. He dies at York and his son Constantine is declared emperor.

AD 313 The edict of Milan grants toleration to the Christian Church.

AD 343 Trouble north of Hadrian’s Wall.
Constans travels to Britain and pacifies the Caledonian tribes.

AD 367 A concerted Barbarian attack, leading to the posting of Count Theodosius who clears Britain of invaders and restores the Wall.


401 AD - 450 AD

AD 407 Constantine III, a usurper, strips Britain of troops for his conquest of Gaul and Spain.

AD 410 The Emperor Honorius replies to an appeal for help from Britain by telling the cities to arrange for their own safety.

c. AD 446 Last appeal for help from the Romano-British to Aetius.





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