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LET'S EXPLORE British history

When did the Romans conquer Britain?

Roman soldiers march through Roman BritainRoman soldiers march through Roman BritainFor almost 400 years, Britain was part of the Roman Empire. The province was governed from the capital, Londinium (London). Roman soldiers put down rebellions and defended the country from invasion. Local people carried on worshipping their own gods, but also joined in the worship of the Roman gods and emperors.

Caesar's forces arrive in Britain, 55 BCCaesar's forces arrive in Britain, 55 BC

Roman invasions

In 55 BC, Celtic tribes from Britain sent men to fight with the Gauls in France against the invading Roman army of Julius Caesar. Caesar decided to punish them. He invaded Britain twice. The second time, he pushed the British forces back to north of the River Thames. 

Rome then largely forgot about Britain until Claudius became emperor in AD 41. Claudius wanted a military victory, so in AD 43 he decided to send a large army to conquer Britain. The Romans landed in Kent. They then marched north across the Thames and on to Colchester. Here they defeated the powerful ancient British tribe, the Catuvellauni. After that, they gradually took over the whole of England and Wales.

The Romans introduced many new foods to Britain. These included chicken, apples, grapes, cherries, onions, garlic, leeks, cabbages, peas, celery, turnips, radishes and asparagus.

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