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ROMANS IN BRITAINE
HEN Fortitude and Fortune were so agreed, or Gods appointment rather had thus decreed, that Rome should subdue all the earth, Caius Julius Caesar, having now by conquests over-runne Gaule, to the end that by a successive traine of victories atchieved both by land and sea, he might joyne those Lands together which nature had severed (as if the Romane world would not suffice) cast an eye unto the Ocean; and in the foure and fiftieth yeere before the incarnation of Christ, endevoured to make a journey into Britain; either for that in all his Gaullish warre, there came under-hand aid from thence, or because the Britans had received the Bellovaci that were run for him, or, as Suetonius writeth, allured with hope of the British pearles, the bignesse and weight whereof he was wont to peise [weight] and trie by his hand; or rather upon an ardent desire of glorie, which we may most easily beleeve, considering that he rejected the Embassadors of the Britans, who having intelligence of his designement, repaired unto him, and promised to put in hostages, and to become obedient to the Roman Empire.
2. But his entrance into the Island, I will compendiously set down, even in his own very words: Considering the coasts, ports, and landing places of Britaine were not well known unto Caesar, he sent C. Volusenus before with a galley, to discover what he might; who, having taken what view of the countrey hee could in five daies space, returned. In the meane time, the resolution of Caesar being made knowen unto the Britans by merchants, many particular States sent their Embassadours to him into Gallia, promising both to put in pledges, and also to submit themselves unto the Roman Empire. Having then exhorted these to continue in that mind still, he sent them home backe again, and together with them Comius of Arras, a man in those countreys of great authoritie (for the Atrebates had before time departed out of Gaule, and planted themselves there), to perswade the said Cities and States to accept of the friendship and protection of the people of Rome. No sooner was he set ashore, but the Britans cast him into prison and hung irons upon him. Meane while, Caesar, having gotten together and put in readinesse about foure skore ships of burden for the transporting of two Legions, and eighteen others besides, which hee appointed for the horsemen, put out to sea from the countrie of the Morini at the third watch, and about the fourth houre of the day arrived upon the coast, at an unfit landing place. For the hilles lay so steepe over the sea, that from the higher ground a dart of javelin might easily be cast upon the shore beneath. Having therefore one time both wind and tide with him, he waighed anchor, and sailed eight miles from that place to a plaine and open shore, and there he rid at anchor. But the Britains, perceiving the Romanes determination, sent their horse and chariots before, and there kept the Romans from landing. Here the Romanes were exceeding much distressed. For the ships were so great that they could not ride neer unto the shore, where the sea was ebbe; the souldiers in strange and unknowen places, being loden with heavy armour, were at one instant to leape down of necessity from those tall ships, withall to stand amid the very billowes, and to fight with their enemies: whereas contrariwise the Britans were perfect in the knowledge of those places, lightly appointed, as having all parts of their bodies at liberty, fought either from the dry whore where they had sure footing, or wading not far into the water. Hereupon the Romanes being terrified, behaved not themselves with the like courage and alacrity as before time. But after that Caesar had caused the Gallies to be removed from those hulkes, to be rowed and laid against the open side of the Britans, and so from thence the enemy to be beaten backe, and displaced with slings, ordinance, and shot of arrowes, the Britans, being troubled with the strange forme of those Gallies, the stirring of the Oares, and the unusuall kind of their engines, reculed [retreated]. Then the Aegle-bearer of the tenth Legion, earnestly beseeching the Gods that it might fall out happily for the Legion, "Leape down," quoth he, "my fellow souldiers, unlesse ye will forsake your standerd and betray it into the enemies hands. For mine own part, I will be sure to do my devoir [duty] both to the common-weale and also to my Generall." so foorthwith he cast himselfe into the sea, and began to advance the Aegle against the enemy; them, all the rest followed hard at his heeles (but if we beleeve Julian, Caesar himselfe was the first that came down from his ship). The fight on both parts was very eagre. But the Romanes, encombred with their heavy armor and weapons, tossed with the waves, not able to get an firme footing, and put out of array, were wonderfully troubled; untill such time as Caesar had caused the shipboats, pinnaces and smaller vessels to be manned with souldiers; and when he saw need of helpe sent them to rescue such as were overcharged. As soone as the Romanes got footing on the dry land, they made head together, charged the Britans and put them to flight: but they were not able to follow them in chace, for want of the horsemen, that were not yet arrived in the Iland. The Britans, being overthrown in this battell, presently dispatched Embassadors unto Caesar to treat of peace, and together with them the foresaid Comius of Arras, whom they had detained bound in prison: and withall, laid the fault upon the multitude and excused all by their own ignorance. Caesar soone pardoned them, and commanded hostages to be delivered unto him: which they presently performed in part, and gave word to bring in the rest. Thus was peace concluded foure daies after that Caesar was landed in Britain.
3. At the same time, those eighteen ships which transported the horsemen, approaching so neere the coast of Britanny that they were within view, by reason of a sudden tempest that arose, were cast upon the west part of the Iland: from whence with much adoe they recovered the continent of France. In the same night also it hapned, that, the Moone being in the full and the tides very high, both the Gallies which were drawn up to the shore were filled with the tide, and the ships of burden also that lay at anchor, so shaken with the tempest that they became altogether unserviceable. This being known to the Princes of Britain, when they understood also, that the Romanes now wanted horesemen, shipping and provision of corne, they rebelled and resolved to cut off their provision of graine. Caesar, suspecting that which fell out indeed, brought corne daily out of the fields into his campe, and with the timber and other stuffe of those twelve ships which were most weather beaten and dismembred, repaired the rest. While these things were in action, the seventh legion, being sent out to fetch in corne, and busie in reaping, the Britains suddenly set upon, and so with their horsemen and chariots all at once encompassed them round about. The maner of their fight from out of these chariots is thus, as I related a little before: First, they ride up and downe into all parts, and cast their darts; and with the verie terrour of the horses, and ratling of the wheeles, often times disorder the rankes, and when they have wound themselves between any troups of horsemen, they forsake their chariots, and fight on foot. In the mean time the guiders of the chariots drive a little aside out of the battell, and place their chariots so, as that if the other chance to bee overcharged with the multitude of enemies, they might have an easie passage unto them again. Thus they performed in all their fights the nimble motion of horsemen, and the firm stability of footmen: so ready with daily practise and exercise, that in the declivity of a steepe hill they could stay their horses in the very carriere, quickly turn short, and moderat their pace, run along the beam or spire of the Chariot, stand upon the yoke and harnesse of the horses, yea, and from thence whip in a trice into their chariots again. But by the coming of Caesar to rescue them in so good time, the Romans tooke heart afresh, and the Britans stood still, who having conceaved good hope to free themselves for ever, presuming upon the small number of the Romane forces, together with the scarsitie of corne among them, had assembled a great power, and were come to the campe of Caesar. But he received them even before the camp with a battell, put them to rout, slew many of them, and burnt their houses far and neere. The same day came messengers from the Britans to Caesar, intreating peace, which they obteined: upon condition, that they should double the number of their hostages, whom hee commanded to bee brought into Gaule. And streight after, because the Aequinox was at hand, hee put to see, hoised [raised] saile from Britaine, and brought all his ships safe unto the continent of France. And thither, two onely of all the States of Britaine sent hostages unto him, the rest neglected it. These exploits thus performed, upon the relation of Caesars Letters, the Senate decreed a solemne procession for the space of twentie daies: although hee gained nothing to himselfe, nor to Rome, but the glorie onely of an expedition enterprized.
4. The yeere next ensuing, Caesar having gotten together a great fleet, for what with ships for convoy of corne and victuals, and what with other private vessels that every man had built for to serve his own turne, there was 800 saile and above, and the same manned with five Legions, and 2000 horsemen, he launched from the port called Iccius, and landed his forces in that part of the Isle, where he did the yeere before. Neither was there an enemie to be seene in the place. For albeit the Britans had been there assembled with a great power, yet terrified with so huge a number of ships, they had secretly withdrawen themselves into the upland countrie. Here Caesar encamped in a place convenient, and left two cohorts, and three hundred horsmen as a garrison or guard for his ships. Himselfe having by night marched forward twelve miles, espied the enemies: who having gone forward as farre as to the river, began to give battell: but beaten back by the cavallery, they conveied themselves into a wood, and there lay hid, as lodged in a place strongly fortified, both by nature and mans hand. But the Romanes with a Testudo, or target-roofe, which they made, and a mount which they raised against their fortifications, tooke the place, and drave them out of the woods; neither followed they them with any long pursuit, for that they were to fortifie the campe in that very place.
5. The next day, Caesar divided his forces into three regiments, and sent them out to pursue the Britans: but streightwayes called them back againe, for that hee had intelligence by messengers of such a tempest at sea the night before, that his navie was sore beaten, run one against another, and cast on shore. And thereupon himselfe in person returned to the ships, and with the labor of ten daies haled them all up to land, and enclosed them and his campe together within one and the same fortification, and so goeth to the place from whence he was returned. Thither also had the Britans assembled themselves with greater forces, under the conduct of Cassivellaunus or Cassibelinus, unto whom, in a publike counsell of all the Britans, the whole government and managing of the warre was committed; whose cavallery and chariotiers together gave the Romanes a sharpe conflict in their march, wherein many of both sides lost their lives. But the Britans after some intermission of time, whiles the Romans were busie in fortifying their campe, charged fiercely upon those that kept ward before the campe; unto whom when Caesar had sent for rescue two cohorts, and those the principal and choysest of the two legions, they most boldly, and with full resolution, brake through the thickest of the enemies, and from thence retired in safety. The next morrow, the Britans shewed themselves here and there in small companies from the hils; but about noone they made an assault upon three legions, and all the horsemen sent out for to forage; yet beaten backe they were, and a great number of them slaine. Now by this time were all their auxiliarie forces that had met together departed; neither encountred they afterward the Romans with their maine power. Caesar then marched with is army to the river Thames, and so to the confines of Cassivelaunus. Upon the further banke of this river, yea and under the water, they had covertly stucke sharpe stakes, and embatteled themselves with a great power. But the Romanes went and waded over which such violence, notwithstanding they had but their heads cleere above the water, that the enemy was not able to endure the charge, but left the bank, and betoke themselves to flight: not skared, as Polyaenus writeth, at the sight of an Elephant with a turret upon his backe.
6. Casivellaunus having now no courage to contend any longer, retained only foure thousand Charoiters with him, and observed the Romanes journeys: and so often as their horsemen went foorth and straied out in the fields for forage or booty, he sent out his chariots, and kept them from ranging all abroad. Mean while, the Trinobantes submit themselves unto Caesar, and intreated that he would defend Mandubratius (whom Eutropius and Beda out of the fragments of Suetonius now lost, call Androgorius, and our Britans Androgeus) from the oppression of Cassivellaunus, and send him unto them to be their soveraign. Of them Caesar required and received forty hostages, and corne for his army, and therewith sent Mandubratius. Then the Cenimagni, Segontiaci, Anticatites, Bibroci and Cassii, following the example of the Trinobantes, yeeld unto Caesar. By whom he understood, that Casivellaunus his towne was not far off, fortified with woods and bogs: which as he assaulted in two severall places, the Britans flung out at a back-way: but many of them in their flight were taken and put to the sword.
7.Whiles these things were a-doing, foure pety KIngs that ruled Kent, to wit Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus and Sagonais, by a mandate from Cassivellaunus did set upon the campe where the Romanes navy was kept, but by a sally that the Romanes made, they were driven backe: and Cingetorix one of the said Kings was taken prisoner. Then Cassivellaunus, having received so many losses, and troubled most of all with the revolt of the states, sent Embassadour to Caesar by Conius of Arras, tendring unto him a surrendry. Whereupon Caesar, being determined to winter in the continent of France, commanded pledges to be brought unto him, and imposed a yeerly tribute that Britain should pay unto the people of Rome. But withall he inhibited Cassivellanus and comanded him to doe no harme either to Mandubratius or the Trinobants. And thus with a great number of captives he embarked his army, and transported it backe at two severall passages. Thus much Caesar of his own war in Britain. But Eutropius out of some writings of Suetonius now not extant, addeth thus much moreover. Scaeva one of Caesars souldiers, with foure other fellow servitours, crossed over sea before, in a small barke unto a rocke nere the Iland, and by the reflow or ebbe of the Ocean the while, was there left. The Britans many in number set upon the Romanes beeing but few: howbeit the rest who here and there had been his companions returned in a ship. Scaeva tarieth behind still undanted, notwithstanding he was overlaid with darts from every side. First he made resistance with his pike or massie speare: and at length tooke him to his sword and fought alone with many of them. When he was weary and wounded, and had withall lost his helmet and target after many a stroke, with two habergeons he swum unto Caesars campe, and craved pardon of his Generall for his fool-hardly rashnesse: whom Caesar advanced to the honor and degree of a Centurian.
8. When Caesar came first into this Isle (as Coras, one who was then in the campe, had the second place, hath put downe in a Greek Commentary of his, concerning the Romane Common-wealth) of such temperance he was, and so far short of the pompe of our age, that he had no more servants and attendants ordinarily in his domesticall retinue, but three. What time as Caesar, saith Seneca, travelled into Britaine, and could not continue his owne felicitie within the Ocean, he heard that his daughter was departed this life, drawing with her a traine of publike calamities. But he passed over this griefe of heart as slightly as he was wont all things else. Being returned with conquest out of Britaine, he dedicated unto Venus Genitrix in her temple, a breast-plate made of British pearles. Some of his British prisoners, he appointed for services in the Theater, and about these rich hangings of Tapestrie there, wherein he had woven in colours his victories in Britaine. Which the Britans were wont, being themselves therein wrought, to remove and take away; whereupon Virgill,
Let Britans purple Tapistrie remoove, wherein themselves are wrought.
Neither were the Britans appointed to the ministries and offices only about the Theater, but also (I note it by the way) to the Emperors Licter [litter], as it appeareth manifestly by an antique inscription of this age, wherein there is made mention of a Decurio over the British Licter-bearers. Of this victorie of Caesar, an old Poet hath thus written:
Lo here the mans undaunted heart! With navie rigged new,
He Britans vanquish’ d, and fell waves of Rhene he did subdue.
Hitherto may be referred those verses also of Claudian, touching the valour of the Romanes,
In Ocean rhode it rested not, nor put to sea for nought,
But Britans in their other world, for conquest sake it sought.
Moreover Cicero in a certaine Poeme now lost, which hee intituled Quadrigas, caried Caesar in poeticall Chariots of triumph, through the midst of all praise and commendation, for his acts atchieved in Britaine, as Ferreruis of Piemont perswadeth us: for thus he writeth, Ping am Britannia colloids etuis, pennicillo autem meo, that is, I will depaint Britaine in your colours, but with mine owne pencill. Howbeit in the judgement of others, he terrified onely the Britans with a fortunate fight, or as Lucane (who nothing favoured the house of the Caesars) wrote,
He fought the Britans, and for feare to them his backe he shew’ d.
And Tacitus a right grave and substantiall author writeth, That he discovered onely, but delivered not unto the Romanes, Britaine, and Horace implieth, that he scant touched them at all, when to flatter Augustus, hee saith, that the Britaine was not medled withall, in these words:
Or that the Britans heretofore not dealt withall in fight,
Might, chained now, the sacred street descend, in all mens sight.
The Britans yet unconquered by Romanes, stay for thee.
So farre it is off that it should be true which Velleius Paterculus, a flattering Historian of the Emperours Court, wrote, bis penetrata Britannia a Caesare, that is, twise Caesar passed through Britaine, when as he scarce made entry into it. For many yeres after this entrance of Caesar, this Island was left to the free government of their owne Kings, and used their owne Laws.
9. Augustus seemeth of purpose, and with good advise, to have neglected Britaine, when he called that Consilium, as Tacitus saith, that is, Policie, or a point of state, haply because it was thought the best pollicie, and safest for the State, That the Romane Empire should be kept, and held within bounds, to wit, the Ocean, the rivers Iber and Euphrates, limits set by nature, to the end it might be a State Adamantine (for so Augustus himselfe speaketh in Julian), that is, invincible; and lest, as a ship of exceeding great bulke, it might not possibly be well governed and managed, but endangered through the own unwieldy hugenesse sinke anone, and fall downe at once, which usually befalleth unto over-great States: or, as Strabo is of opinion, he despised it, seeing neither any cause at all of feare, nor hope of much profit from the Britans; and yet it seemed, that no small damage would bee presented from other nations lying round about the said Iland. But what cause so ever it was, certes, after Julius and the edge of Romane armes turned upon the Common-wealth it selfe, Britaine was a long time forgotten, even in time of peace. Neverthelesse at last Augustus departed from Rome, with a purpose to transferre the warre into Britaine, At which verie time Horatius framed this kinde of praier unto the Goddesse Fortune at Antium.
Save Caesar now that readie is, a journey long to take,
Against the Britans most remote, a conquest there to make.
But after he was come into Gaule, the Britans sent Embassadors unto him to crave peace: and verily the British Princes and Potentates, having Embassages and dutifull services obtained his amity, dedicated presents and oblations in the Capitol: and brought the whole Iland in a maner to be familiar unto the Romanes, and is it were their owne: so as they could endure taxes and imposts, which now are nothing grievous unto them, raised out of such merchandise and commodities as are shipped to and fro out of Gaule and Britannie: and those be Ivory workes, Bits and bridles, chaines and wreathes, vessels of the mettal Electrum and of glasse, with other base and common wares of like sort. And therefore there needs to garizon for that Iland. For it would require one Legion at the least, and some horsemen, if tributes were to be levied from thence: and the said tributes would but countervaile the charges of maintaining a garison there: for of necessity by imposing a tribute, the revenewes comming by tollage and pondage and such like imposts, would be lesse: and if any violent course were used, some perill or other must be looked for. The yeere following likewise, Augustus intended a second expedition into Britain, because there was some variance about the Covenants: but by occasion of some insurrection made in Spaine by the Cantabri and others, that journey was staied. Neither hath any man reason to beleeve Landinus, or Servius, or Philargyrus, who have recorded that Augustus triumphed over the Britans, and that out of these verses of Maro:
And trophees twaine caught by strong hand from divers enemies hoasts,
And nations twise triumphed of likewise from both the coasts.
Surely, in regard of that surrendery of the Britons, Horace wrote thus:
We thought before, that Jupiter in heaven above doth raigne
For thundring there: but now shall be on earth Augustus here
Reputed God, because he did to Romanes Empire gaine
Both Britans and fierce Persians, of whom they stood in feare.
10. Tiberius nothing transported with an inordinate desire of extending the Empire, seemeth to have rested in that Counsell of Augustus. For hee brought out a booke written with Augustus his own hand, wherein was contained the whole wealth and estate of the common-weale, what number as well of Romane Citizens as Allies were in armes, how many Navies, Kingdomes and Provinces, what tributes and imposts belonged to the state, with a resolution annexed thereto of containing the Empire within the bounds. Which advise and resolution of Augustus contented him so well, as Tacitus reporteth, that he would attempt nothing in Britaine, nor maintaine any garizon or deputies there. For whereas Tacitus reckoneth up the number of Legions, and what coasts or countries they defended at that time, he maketh no mention at all of Britain. And yet it seemeth that the Britans entertained amity with the Romanes. For when as the same time Germanicus sailed the Ocean, some of his companie by force of tempest driven to this Iland, were by the Princes thereof sent backe againe.
11. That Caius Caesar cast in his mind to enter this Iland, it is certain: but that by his shittle [inconstant] braine, sudden repentance, and wonderfull attempts against Germany, it came to nothing. For to the end that he might terrifie Britain and Germany (over which he hovered) with the fame of some mighty peece of worke, he made a bridge between Baie and the Piles of Buteoli, three miles and 600 paces in length. But having atchieved no greater exploit, than taken to his mercy Adminius the sonne of Cinobellinus king of the Britans, who being by his father banished had fled over sea with a small power and traine about him, he sent magnificent and glorious letters to Rome, as if the whole Ile had been yeelded up into his hands: warning and wishing the posts ever and anon, to ride forward in their wagon, directly into the market place and the Curia: and in no wise to deliver the said missives unto the Consuls, but in the temple of Mars, and that in a frequent [full] assembly of the Senate. After this to the Ocean he marcheth, as if he minded to translate the war over into Britaine. Where even upon the very shore he embattled [drew up] his souldiers; himselfe tooke sea in a Galley, and after he had lanched out a little way from the land, returned againe: and then mounting up on an high pulpit, sat him down, gave his souldiers the signal of battell, and commanded the trumpets to sound: and so on a sudden charged them to gather cockles, muskles and other smal shel fishes. Having gotten these spoiles (as one indeed wanting enemies spoiles for to adorne a Triumph) he waxed proud as if he had conquered the Ocean: and having rewarded his souldiers, he brought some of those cockles, and the other shel-fish to Rome, that there also he might shew the bootie which he had gotten. In token and memoriall of this brave <victorie, he raised an> high turret, out of which, as from a watch-tower, there might blaze all night long, lights and fires for the better directions of ships at sea in their course. The ruines whereof are sometimes seene at a low water in the shore of Holland, and by the people there inhabiting is called Britenhuis. Who also find oftentimes stones engraven with letters: of which one had these Characters, C. C. P. F. which they (I wote not how truly) expound thus, Caius Caligula Pharum Fecit, that is, Caius Caligula this Pharus made. But of this watch-tower more at large, I will right in my discourse of British Islands.
12. Afterwards, the inland parts of Britaine, wasted rather with Civil wars and factions, than by force of the Romans, after sundrie overthrowes and slaughters of both sides, came at the length by little and little under the subjection of the Romans. For, while the States fought severally one by one, they were all vanquished: running so one upon anothers destruction, that untill they fell to utter confusion, they had not in grosse a feeling of the particular losses that each one sustained. And thus farre forth also wrought ambition in them, that many became false and disloyally, yea, and some fled from their countrey-men, making choise of the Romanes protection, swearing allegeance unto them, and practising by all means to subject their native countrey unto their government. Among whom the principall was one Bericus, who moved and perswaded Claudius the Emperour to give the attempt upon Britaine, which none assaied to doe since the time of Julius Caesar, and which then was up in a broile and commotion, for that the said Fugitives were not rendred again unto them. Whereupon he commanded Aulus Plautius, at that time Praetor, to goe with an armie into Brittaine: who had much adoe to withdraw the said armie out of Gaule, as being much discontented to make warre without the compasse of the world, and therefore drawing out the time in length with many delaies. But when Narcissus, sent from Claudius, began to mount up into the Tribunall of Plautius, and to make a speech unto the host, the soldiers more incensed with indignation streightwaies cried all at once io Saturnalia (for the maner is of Slaves, during the Saturnalia, to celebrate that festivall time in the habit of their Masters), and so presently with willing hearts followed Plautius. The forces being divided into three parts, for feare lest if they arrived all in one place, they might be put by their landing, caried backe by a gale of wind, found some trouble in their passage: yet taking heart againe, because as they sailed along there was seene a fire-drake in the Element shooting from the East to the Wet, they were conveied over into the Iland, and no man stopped them. For the Britans, supposing verily, in regard of those things which I have related, that they would not come, had not assembled themselves: and therefore without any conflict they lay hidden within bogs, marishes, and woods, in hope by lingering delaies to wearie the Romanes, that they should be forced without any service exploited to retire hence, like as it had befallen unto Julius Caesar. Wherefore, Plautius tooke great paines in seeking of them out. After he had found them (now they were not free States, but ruled under divers kings), first he discomfited Caratacus, afterward Togodumnus, the sonnes of Cinobellinus, for their father was deceased. When these were fled, part of the Bodunni, who were subject to the Catevallani, he received into his protection: and having left a garrison there, he went forward to a certaine river: but because the Britans thought the Romans could not possibly passe over without a bridge, they lay encamped more carelesly on the farther side thereof. Plautius therefore sent the Germanes, who were wont to wade thorow the most swift and violent rivers, even in their verie armour. These comming upon the enemies at unawares, hurt not a man of them, but wounded the horses onely that drew their chariots, who when they were troubled and disordered, the men were not able to sit them. Then he sent Flavius Vespasianus (who afterwards became Emperour) and his brother Sabinus with him as Lieutenant, who likewise having passed over the river, surprised very many of the Barbarians, and slew them. Neither fled the rest away, but the morrow after joyned battell, wherein the victorie remained doubtfull, untill such time as C. Sidius Geta, at the very point to have been taken prisoner by the enemies, vanquished them so, as that for his good service, triumphall honours were granted unto him, although he had not been Consull. From thence the Barbarians retired themselves to the river Thames, where it dischargeth it selfe into the sea, and with the flowe thereof riseth high. This river they soone passed over, as being skilfull of such places as would affoord them firme footing, and were passable fords. And the Romans in pursuing them were in danger. soone after, when the Germanes had swum over a second time whiles some of them passed over at a bridge higher up the river, environing the Barbarians on every side, they made a great slaughter of them: but when unadvisedly they followed after the rest, they fell upon blind bogs and lost many of their men. Hereupon, and for that the Britans by occasion of Togodumnus his death abated not their courage one whit, but rather prepared themselves to fight the more fiercely in revenge of his death, Plautius for feare went no farther: but setting a guard to keep what he had gotten, sent for Claudius, having a warrant and commandement so to doe, in case he were overlaid with any extraordinary violence. For which expedition among much other Equipage, Elephants also were gotten togither and prepared. Claudius advertised of these newes, committed the affaires of the City, and the souldiers likewise, to the charge of Vitellius (upon whom, as also upon himselfe, he had conferred a Consulship for six moneths). Then went he downe in person by water from Rome to Ostia, and so from thence sailed to Marshils: and travelling the rest of the way partly by land and part by sea, came to the Ocean, embarked, crossed the chanell into Britain, and went directly forward to his forces expecting him by the Thames side. When he had received them into his owne charge, and passed over the river, he fought a set battell with the Barbarians, assembled against his comming, and obtained victory. Then tooke he in Camalodunum the roiall seat of Cunobellinus, and many thence he drave, others upon their yeelding he tooke to mercy. For these acts performed, divers times he was stiled Imperator, a thing directly against the Romanes custome, for lawfull it is not in one war to assume that name oftner than once. Furthermore, Claudius disarmed the Britans, and committed as well them to be governed,. as the rest to be subdued, unto Plautius, Himselfe made speed to Rome, sending before him Pompeius and Silanus his sonnes in Law, with tidings of this victorie. Thus much Dio. Howbeit Suetonius reporteth, that part of the Iland he tooke into his hands upon submission without any battell or bloodshed. Sixteen daies or thereabout himselfe staied in Britain: in which time he remitted unto the Gentry and Nobility of the Britans the confiscation of their goods. For which benefit of his, they frequented his temple and adored him as a God. Thus returned he to Rome, in the sixt moneth after that he went foorth from thence.
13. So great a matter it was and of such consequence to have conquered even so small a parcell of Britain, that the Senate thereupon decreed in the honor of Claudius yeerly Games, triumphall Arches both in Rome and also at Gessoriacum in Gaul, and a most honorable and stately triumph: to the beholding whereof the governors of Provinces also, yea and certaine banished persons were permitted to come into Rome; a Navall coronet was fixed upon the loover of the Palace, as it were the ensigne of the British sea subdued by him: the Province brought in Crownes of gold, and Gallia Comata one above the rest, waighing 9 pounds: and the hither part of Spaine another of 7 pound weight. He mounted up into the Capitoll by the staires on his knees, supported and heaved up by is sonnes in Law on either side. He entred in triumphing wise the Adriaticke sea, embarked in a vessell more like to some exceedingly great house than a ship. Unto his wife Messalina was allowed by the Senate the highest place to sit in, as also to ride in a Carroch, or hanging coach. After this, he set foorth triumphall plaies and games, having taken upon him for that purpose the Consular office and authority. The solemnities were exhibited at once in two Theatres, and many times when he was gone aside from the sight, others had the charge thereof. Horse runnings for the prize he promised as many as those daies would admit. Howbeit above ten there were not: for between every course of horses, Beares were killed, champions performed their devoirs, and choice boyes sent for out of Asia danced the warlike dance in armor. Moreover, upon Valerius Asiaticus, Julius Silanus, Sidius Geta and others, in regard of this conquest, he heaped Triumphall ornaments. He suffered Licinuis Crassus Frugi to follow after himselfe in this triumph, mounted upon a trapped courser with a rich caparison, and arraied in a robe of Date tree worke. Upon Posidius the Eunuch hee bestowed a speare staffe without an head; upon C. Gavius, cheines, bracelets, horsetrappings, and a coronet of gold, as is to be seen in an ancient marble at Tuarinum.
14. In the meane time Aulus Plautius went on with the reliques of this war, and sped so well in his battels, that Claudius passed a decree, that he should ride in pety triumph ovant: and when he was entred into the City, himselfe went to meet him, giving him the right hand all the way both going and comming. And Vespasian even then shewed by the destines, whom Claudius assumed unto him to beare a part of this British war, partly under the conduct of Claudius himselfe, and partly of Plautius, fought thirty battels with the enemy: two most mighty nations, and above twenty townes together with the Isle of Wight he subdued. For which worthy exploits, he received triumphall ornaments, and within a short space two sacerdotall dignities, with a Consulship beside which hee bare the two last moneths of the yeere. Titus also served here in quality of a Tribune under his father, with exceeding commendation for his industry and valour (for valiantly he delivered his father when he was besieged), and no lesse report for his modest cariage: as appeareth by a number of his Images and titles to them annexed, thorowout the Provinces of Germanie and Britaine. The rest of the Occurrences which hapned in Britain afterward unto the very latter end of Domitian, Tacitus, who best can do it, will declare by his own words to this effect. P. Ostorius Propraetor in Britan was welcomed at his first landing with troubles and tumults. The enimies ranged all over the Allies country, and used so much the greater violence, for that they thought the new captaine as unacquainted with the army (the winter also being now begun) would not come foorth to encounter. But he knowing well that the first successes alwaies breed either feare or confidence, gathered with all speed his readiest cohorts, advanced toward the enemy; and having slaine those which made head against him, pursued the rest that were dispersed for feare they should joine againe: and lest an hatefull and faithlesse peace might give neither captaine nor souldier any rest, he went about to disarme as many of them as he suspected, and by raising forts and setting garisons upon the two rivers Aufona and the Severn to restrain and hem in the Britons. Which the Iceni first of all refused, a strong nation and unshaken with battels, because of their owne motion they had sought our alliance and amity. And at their instigation, the people adjoining chose a place to fight in, compassed about with a rude and rusticall rampire, having a narrow entrance of purpose to hinder the comming in of horsemen. This fense the Romane captaine, albeit he had under his conduct the power of his allies, alone without the maine forces of the Legion assaieth to breake thorow. And having bestowed his cohorts in rankes setteth the troupes of horsemen in like readinesse to performe their service. Then after the signall given, they broke open the said rampire, and disordered the enemies encumbred and penned within their own hold. And they knowing in their own conscience they were no better than rebels, and seeing all passages for escape stopped up, shewed great valour and courage in defending themselves. In which fight M. Ostorius the lieutenants sonne deserved the honor of saving a Citizen.
15. Upon the discomfiture and slaughter of these Iceni, they that wavered between war and peace became setled and were quiet: and so the army was led against the Cangi. Whose territory they wasted, harried and spoiled all over: whiles the enemies durst now shew themselves in the field, or if privily and by stealth they attempted to cut off the taile of our armie as they marched, they paid for their craft and deceit. Now by this time were the Romanes come well neere to the sea coast that looketh toward Ireland, when certain troubles and discords, sprung up among the Brigantes, brought their leader backe, being certainly resolved to attempt no new matters, before he had setled the old. But as for the Brigantes, some few being put to death that began first to take armes, he pardoned the residue, and all were quieted. The Silures could neither by cruelty nor faire meanes bee reclaimed but they would needs war; and therefore no remedy there was but to keepe them under with garisons of Legionary souldiers. Which to performe more easily the colonie called Camalodunum, consisting of a strong company of old souldiers, was brought into the countries by conquest subdued, for succour and savegard against Rebels, and an inducement to traine the Associats to observe the lawes. Certaine Cities and States were granted by way of Donation to King Cogidunus, according to the ancient custome of the people of Rome, that they might have even Kings to be instruments of servitude and thraldome.
16. Then when the Romanes from thence against the Silures, who besides their own stoutnesse trusted much in the strength of Caractacus, a man whom many dangerous adventures which he had waded thorow, and as many prosperous exploits by him atchieved, had so lifted up, that he caried the reputation and praeeminence above all the British Commanders. But hee in subtill craft, and knowledge of the deceitfull waies, having the advantage of us, though otherwise weaker in strength of souldiers, translateth the warre into the country of the Ordovices: and there, joyning to him as many as feared our peace, resolveth to hazard the last chance, having chosen a place for the battell, where the comming and in going forth, with all things else might be incommodious to us, but for his very advantage. Then, against the high hills, and wheresoever there was any easie passage, and gentle accesse, he stopped up the way with heaps of stones raised in manner of a rampier: withall, there ranne hard by a river, having a doubtfull foord, and the severall companies of his best souldiers had taken their standing before the fortifications. Besides all this, the leaders of every nation went about, exhorted and encouraged their men, by making lesse all causes of feare, and kindling in them good conceits of hope, with all other motive and inducements to warre. And verily Caractacus bestirring himselfe, and coursing from place to place, protested, that this was the day, this the battell, which should begin either the recovery of their libertie for ever, or else perpetuall bondage. And here, he called upon his ancestors by name, who had chased Caesar the Dictator from hence, through whose valour they were freed from the Romane axes and tributes, and enjoyed still the bodies of their wives and children undefiled. As he uttered these and such like speeches, the generall multitude of the souldiers made a noise about him, and bound themselves by oath every one according to the religion of his countrey, that they would not give way and yeeld for any weapons or wounds whatsoever This couragious and cherefulll alacritie of theirs astonied the Romane captaine, considering the river just before his face, the rampier beside which they had cast up, the high hils over their heads, nothing but terrible, and full of defendants, put him into a wondrous fright. Neverthelesse the souldiers called hard for battell, cring still, that there was nothing which valour could not overcome. The Praefects and Tribunes also with like words, much enforced the ardour and courage of the whole armie. Then Ostorius having viewed round about what places were unpassable, and what yeelded passage, advanceth forward his men in boiling heat of choler, and easily wadeth over the river. Being come to the banke and rampier aforesaid, so long as the voley of darts continued on both sides, our men received more wounds, and in greater number were slaine. But after that by making of a target roofe of fence [defence], those rude and ill fashioned joynts of stones were plucked asunder, and the fronts of both armies came close to hand-strokes, without ods; the Barbarians fled to the hill tops. But thither also, as well the heavie corselets, as the light armed souldiers brake in: whiles these shot their darts and javelins at them,the other pressed thicke and close together upon them. Contrariwise the Britans rankes were broken and disordered, as who had neither head-peece nor coat of fence. If they thought to resist our auxiliarie forces, they were beaten downe with the arming swords and massie pieces of the Legionarie souldiers: if they turned to make head against them, they were likewise slaine with the Speares, and bastard swords of the auxiliaries. A noble and renowmed victorie this was. The wife and daughter both of Caractacus were taken prisoners, his brethren also yeelded themselves. HImselfe, as generally there is no trusting to succour in adversitie, craving defense and protection of Cartismandua Queene of the Brigantes, was by her taken, bound with yrons, and delivered to the Conquerours, nine yeeres after the warre began in Britaine. Whereupon the fame of him being carried over into the Islands, and spread abrode thorowout the Provinces adjoyning, was famous also in Italie: in so much as they desired to see who he was that so many yeeres had defied and contemned our forces. Neither was the name of Caractacus meanly esteemed of at Rome. And Caesar whiles he extolled his owne worth and honour, made the conquered prince more glorious. For why, the people also was assembled and called, as to see a notable spectacle. The cohorts of the Emperours guard stood all armed in good order within an open plaine lying before their campe. Then as King Caractacus his vassals and dependants marched before, the caparisons, chaines, and whatsoever he had wonne in wars against strangers, were brought in a shew: then, his brethren, wife and daughter: and last of all himselfe was shewed to the people. The prayers of all the rest were by reason of feare, base and nothing savouring of nobilitie, but Caractacus, neither hanging downe his head, nor with words craving any mercy when he stood before the Emperours tribunall, spake in this wise.
17. "If my moderation in prosperity had been as great as my nobility and fortune was, I had come rather as a friend into this City, than a Captive: neither would you have disdained to receive me with covenants of peace, being a Prince descended of Noble Progenitors, and a commander over many nations. My present state, as it is to me dishonorable, so to you it is magnificent. I have had horses, men, armour and wealth: what marvell if against my will I have forgone them all? For if yee will be rulers over men, it followeth that all men must abide servitude. If presently I had yeelded and been delivered into your hands, neither had my fortune nor your glorie been renowmed: and oblivion would have followed my punishment. but if you save me alive, I shall be an example of your clemencie for ever."
18. Upon these words Caesar pardoned him, his wife and brethren. And they being all unbound, did their reverence likewise unto Agrippina (who sat aloft not far off in another high seat to be seene), giving her the like praises and in the same degrees of stile as they did the Emperor himselfe. Surely a strange and unexampled precedent among all our ancestors, that a woman should sit and command the Romane ensignes. But shee carried her selfe as a fellow and associate in the Empire, gotten by her progenitors. After this, the Lords of the Senate were called together, who made long and glorious discourses as touching the captivity of Caractacus. Neither was this, as they affirmed, less honorable than when Publius Scipio showed Siphax, Lucius Paulus Perses, or whosoever els exhibited conquered Kings unto the people. As for Ostorius, decreed it was hee should be honoured with triumphall ornaments.
19. These conquests of Britain, writers have numbred among the most famous monuments and testimonies of the Romanes prowesse. And thereupon Seneca writeth thus, Claudius might make his boast that he first vanquished the Britans: for Julius Caesar did but shew them only to the Romans. And in another place, writing of the same Claudius,
The Britans, those that seated are beyond the known sea-coast
And Brigants with blew-pained shields, he forced with his hoast,
To yeelds their necks in Romane chaines as captives to be led,
And even the Ocean this new poure of Romane ax to dread.
And Seneca the Tragicke poet in his Octavia, versified in this maner concerning Claudius,
And unto whom the Britans shew’ d their backs, who er’ st unknown
To all our Captaines liv’ d by lawes and customes of their own.
And in the same tragedie, for that he had passed over the Thames,
Behold, who first the mouth and coast of Thamis did subdew,
And spread with mightie fleets those Firths, the like that never knew:
With nations rude, in raging seas, who lived safe and sound,
By wicked hand of cursed wise his death at home he found.
20. Sembably [Similarly] Aegisippus saith thus of Claudius, Witnesse hereof is Britaine, which living without the world, is by the might of Romans reduced unto the world. Whom the former age knew not, the Romans victory hath discovered: and even they now are become servants who knew not what servitude was, being borne only for themselves, and alwaies free unto themselves: even they who being by the interflow of the sea divided from the power of their superiors, could not stand in feare of them whom they knew not. A greater matter therefore it was, to have passed over to the Britans, than to have triumphed over the Britans. And in another place, Britaine also, which lieth hid amidst the waves, he gained to the Romane Empire by force of armes: by the triumph over which Island, Rome was thought to be more welthy, Claudius reputed more warie and politick, and Nero esteemed more fortunate. Also in another passage, which deserveth most of all to be put downe here, The very Elements also have done homage to the name of the Romans: to whom likewise even the round world hath sworne alleageance already, which is enclosed and bounded with the Romane Empire: and in one word is of many called the Romane World. For if we search into the truth, the whole armie it selfe is comprised within the Empire of the the Romans: upon which the Roman valour, having gone forward still beyond the Ocean, hath sought for it selfe another world, and in Britaine an Island remote from the confines of Lands hath found out for it selfe another possession. To conclude they who are denied the benefit, not onely of the free burgesie of Rome, but in maner also of all converse with men, are directed and awarded thither, there to dwell as persons banished out of the world. The Ocean now hath reined up his bounds: for the Romans know how to seeke into his inward secret parts. And Josephus in the person of Titus, speaketh thus to the Jewes: What greater wall and barre than the Ocean? Wherewith the Britans being fensed and inclosed, doe yet adore the Roman forces.
21. Moreover, as touching this argument, that renowmed Joseph Scaliger, in his Catalects, hath saved and freed from rust and mouldinesse certaine verses of a most learned Poet though unknown: which, because they are not everywhere to be found, I will not think much of my pains to put down: for they are as good as good may be. Now, that they be sundry Epigrams, and therefore distinctly to be considered, John Obsopaeus the German, a passing learned young man, hath out of ancient parchments very lately enformed me:
That Land whose honour never felt, by Roman triumph, wrong,
By dint late of thy thunder-bolt, o Caesar, lay along:
The Ocean seeth beyond it selfe thine altars, to adore,
That will not bound their Empire now, which did before.
A people erst untouch’ d, unsoil’ d, and conquered of none,
Late seen in triumph, to thy stile hath title added one:
Thought but a tale long time, as hid in mid-sea past all view,
To Victors yoke now yeelded necke, that never bondage knew.
How ever Rhene shuts up the North, Euphrates Easterne land,
It skils, not, now that th’ Ocean sea is whole at thy command.
Britaine most free, which enemie and Monarch never felt,
Far dissite [apart] from this world of ours, wherein we ever dwelt;
An happie state in adverse times, but wonne in prosperous daies,
Shall be, o Caesar, common now to thee and us alwaies.
Thy Kingdomes all, o Romulus, Tibris sometimes did bound
Past it, o Numa prince devout, thou had’ st no foot of ground:
And even thy power right sacred now, and heav’ nly though it be,
O Caesar, staied within precinct of thine owne Ocean sea:
But now the Ocean interflow’ s two worlds, by double shore,
And parcell of our Empire is, which was the bound before.
O father Mars, o Romulus, Protector of our race,
And Caesars both, late deified, in heav’ n who have your place,
The Britans erst unknown, ye see the Latian lawes embrace
And short of our large Seignory the Sun turnes in his race.
The furthest frontiers soone give way, when seas once opened were.
The Romane Ocean now it is, wherein enclosed we are.
In vaine opposest thou for sense, swift Rhene, o Germany;
Euphrates (Parthian) boots thee nought, thou that in fight dost flie.
For th’ Ocean is already fled, which passable to none
Hath now the Caesars government, and Romes rule undergone.
That Britain from our clime far set, and thence excluded quite,
Conquered of late is washed yet with water ours by right.
Britain, I say, far set apart, and by vast sea disjoin’ d,
Wall’ d with inaccessible banks and craggy cliffs behind;
Which father Nereus fensed had with billowes most invincible
And Ocean likewise compassed with ebs and flowes as fallible.
Britain that hath a wintry clime alotted for her seat,
Where cold North-Beare shines always bright with stars that never set,
Even at thy sight and first approach, o Caesar, soone subdu’ d,
Submitted hath her necke to bere strange yoke of servitude.
Behold, the earth unpassable of nations makes commixtion,
What heretofore was world and world is now conjoind to one.
22. Now let Tacitus proceed in his Story. Untill this time all went well with Ostorius: but soone after, his fortune stood in doubtfull termes: either for that upon the displacing of Caratacus as if thereby all had been subdued and the war ended, the Romanes intended not so carefully their military service, or because the enimies, in compassion of so puissant a king, were more fervently enflamed to revenge. For they environed [surrounded] the Camp-master and those Legionary cohorts which were left behind to build fortresses in the Silures country. And if the villages and forts next adjoining had not speedily come in to rescue, they had been put to the sword every man. Neverthelesse the Camp-Master, with eight Centurions and all the forwardest maniples of common souldiers, were slaine; and not long after, they put to flight our foragers, and the very troupes of horsemen that were sent out to succour them. Then Ostorius setteth out certaine companies lightly appointed, and yet thereby could not stay their flight, had not the Legions come in and undertook the battell. By their strength they fought with small ods on either hand, but afterward we had the better of it, and the enemy betooke himselfe to his heeles and escaped with small losse, because the day was far spent. After this, they had many skirmishes, and for the most part in maner of rodes [raids] and robberies; in woods, on marishes, rashly or with foresight it skilled not: according as it fell out, either as occasion by chance, or their own hearts served them: one while for anger, another while for booty, sometime by commandement from their captaines, and sometimes again without their warrant and privity, but principally thorow the wilfull obstinacie of the Silures, who were exasperated with a speech of the Romane Generalls, that was bruted abroad and came to their eares, which was this, that as the Sugambri were rooted out and transported over into Gaule, so the name of the Silures should utterly be extinguished. And in this heat they intercepted two auxiliary bands, as they thorow the avarice of their Prefects foraied and spoiled without advised circumspection. Also by large giving away of spoiles and prisoners, they drew the rest of the Nations to revolt. And the Ostorius, wearied with care and griefe of heart, yeelded up his vitall breath. Whereat the enemies rejoiced, as at the death of a captain not to be despised, who though he died not in battell, yet was toiled out and spent by reason of the wars.
23. But Caesar, having intelligence of his Lieutenants death, lest the province should be destitute of a governour, appointed A. Didius in his place. He being thither come with great speed, yet found not all in good state. For in the meane space, the legion whereof Manlius Valens had the charge met with an unlucky and disasterous fight. The fame whereof the enemies had made greater than it was, to terrifie the captaine which was comming; who also in the like policie multiplied all that he heard, to win more praise by appeasing those troubles, or to purchase pardon more easily, if they continued still. The Silures were they that wrought us this displeasure and damage, whereupon they overran the province far and nere, until such time as by Didius his comming they were driven backe.
24. About this time Claudius departed his life, and Nero succeeded him in the Empire, one who had no heart at all to attempt any thing in warfare: nay he was minded once to withdraw the forces out of Britain. Neither gave he over that intent of his but only for shame, lest hee might have been thought to deprave the glory of Claudius. After that Caratacus was taken, Venutius, a very expert man above the rest in military affaires, borne under the state of the Iugantes, long time trusty to us, and defended by the Romanes poure, having to wife Queen Cartismandua, by occasion soone after of a divorce, and then of open war between them, rebelled also against us, and proceeded to plaine hostility. At the first, the quarrell was only between them two, until Cartismandua by pollicie and craft had intercepted the brother and nere kinsmen of Venutius. Whereupon our enemies, kindled with rage and pricked forward with an ignominious indignity, lest they should be brought under the yoke of a womans government, with a strong power of choise youth, by force of armes invaded her kingdome, which was foreseen by us: and thereupon were cohorts sent to aid her, and they fought a hot battell. The begining whereof was doubtfull, but the end more joifull. The Legion also which Cesius Nasica commanded fought with like successe. For, Didius (yee must thinke) being strucken in yeeres, and having many honours heaped upon him, thought it sufficient to execute his charge and keep off the enemy by the ministery of others. For what was woon by others he held: only a few fortresses he built forward farther into the country: whereby he might purchase the name of enlarging his office. These exploits, although they were atchieved by two Propraetors Ostorius and Didius in many yeers, yet I thought good to joine together, lest being severed they should not so well have been remembred.
25. After Didius Avicus, there succeeded Verranius, who having with small rodes spoiled the Silures, was hindred by death for warring any further: a man whiles he lived carrying a great name of precise severity, but in his last will he shewed himselfe manifestly ambitious. For after much flattering of Nero, he added this, That he would have subdued the Province unto his obedience, if he had lived the next two yeeres.
26. But then Suetonius Paulinus governed the Britans, one in martiall skill, and opinion of the people (which suffereth no man without a concurrent) striving to match Corbulo; desirous to equall the honour which he won in recovering Armenia, by subduing the enemies that stood out in this country. And therefore he maketh all the preparation hee can to invade the Isle of Mona, peopled with strong inhabitants, and a receptacle of traiterous fugitives. To this purpose he buildeth flat-botom vessels, for the shalowes and uncertaine landing places. Thus the footmen passed over: and then followed the horsemen by the foord, or if the waters were anything high, by swimming they put the horses over. Against them the enemies stood upon the shore in divers places embatelled, thick in array, well appointed with men and weapons, with women also running among, who all in blacke and mournefull array, with their haire about their eares, carried firebrands before them in their hands like the Furies of hell. The Druidae likewise round about them, lifting up their hands to heaven and pouring out deadly and cursing praiers, with so strange and uncouth sight amazed the souldiers so, as they stood still as stockes and stirred not a foot, as if they would expose their bodies to receive all wounds presented unto them. But afterwards, being encouraged by their Captain, and animating one another that they should not feare a flocke of women and frantick people, they displaied their ensignes and advanced forward. Downe they went with such as encountred them and thrust them within their own fires. This done, they planted garizons in their townes, and cut down their woods and groves consecrated to their execrable superstitions. For they accounted it lawfull to offer sacrifice upon their altars with the blood of captives, and to aske counsell of their Gods by inspection of mens fibres and entrailes.
27. As Suetonius was busie in these actions, newes came unto him that the province was suddenly revolted. Prasutagus King of the Iceni, in welth surpassing all others, had set down in his will Caesar with two of his daughters to be his heires, supposing by this kind of flattery to curry favour, and to make his kingdome and house most secured from all injuries. Which fell out far otherwise, in so much as his Kingdome by Centurions, his house by slaves were spoiled and reputed lawfull booties. And to begin withall, his wife Boadicia was whipped, and his daughters defloured, The chiefest of the Iceni, as if the whole country had been given them by way of gift, are turned out of their ancient inheritances, and the kings kinsfolke reputed as slaves. By reason of which contumelious indignity, and for feare of worse, considering they had been reduced into the forme of a province, the Britans began among themselves to cast and thinke upon the miserie of servitude, to lay together their wrongs and oppressions, in ripping of them up to aggravate them by constructions to the highest, in these terms: that no other good was to be looked for by sufferance, but that more grievous burdens should be imposed upon them still, as men ready to beare all willingly. That whereas in times past their states had but one King a peece, now there were two thrust upon them: the Lieutenant, cruelly to sucke their blood, and the Procurator as greedy to preie upon their substance. That the variance of these rulers was the the torment, and their agreement the undoing of the poore subjects, the one vexing by souldiers and centurions, the other by extortions and reprochfull abuses: so that now there was nothing safe from their unsatiable avarice, nothing freed from their unbrideled lust. In war and battell yet, the stronger man commonly is he that maketh spoile; but now cowards for the most part, and weaklings are they that dispossesse them of their dwelling houses, bereave them of their children, enjoine them to muster, as if they were men that knew not to do any thing els, save only to die for their country. “For otherwise, what a small handfull thinke ye of souldiers have come over to serve, if the Britans would fall to reckon themselves? Thus Germany had shaken off the yoke of obedience, and yet were defended by a river only, and not by the Ocean: as for these Romanes, what motives have they of war but their owne covetousnesse, riot, and wanton lust? Whereas we have our native country, our wives and children to provoke us thereto. Surely they would retire and be gone as sometime Julius, their canonized God, went his waies, if we would endevour to follow the valour and proesse of our ancestors,and not be dismaid with the doubtfull event of one skirmish or two: and commonly in such as are distressed and in misery, there is more stomacke to attempt, and greater resolution to continue. And even now the Gods also take pity of the Britans poore estate, who keepe the Romane Generall out of the way, and confine the Lieutenant with his hands full in another Iland: and themselves being assembled to advise together, had attained to the hardest point of all in action of that nature, wherein without question it is more dangerous to be taken consulting, than in the very action.”
28. With these and such inducements, inciting and quickning one another, they take armes under the conduct of Boodicia, a Ladie of the royall bloud (for in matter of government in chiefe the Britans make no distinction of sex) having stirred up the Trinobantes to Rebellion, and as many as yet, not broken to the yoke of servitude, had in secret conspiracies vowed to recover and resume their liberty, bearing a most bitter hatred against the old souldiers. For those who <were> newly brought into the Colonie Camalodunum thrust the ancient inhabitants out of their houses, disseized them of their Lands, Livings, called them captives and slaves, whiles the new souldiers favoured and maintained the insolent outrages of the old, in regard of conformitie in life and hope of like licentiousnesse. Besides, a Temple erected in the honour of Claudius of sacred memorie, as an Alter of perpetuall domination over them, was an eie-sore, and the priests chosen under colour of religion wasted and consumed all their wealth. Now it was not thought any harde peece of worke to raze and destroy that Colonie, not fensed with any fortifications: a thing not circumspectly foreseene of our captaines, while they had greater care of pleasure than profit. Amid these occurrences, the image of victorie set up in Camalodunum fell downe without any apparant causes, and turned backward, as if it would give place to the enemies. And certaine women, distempered with some fanaticall furie, went singing by way of prophesie, that destruction was at hand. And stranger noises abroad were heard into their Counsell house, their Theater resounded with hideous howlings, and a strange specter or apparition was seene in the arme of the sea there, a signe fortelling the subversion of that Colonie. Furthermore, the Ocean bloudy in shew, and the shapes of mens bodies left after an ebbe, as the Britans construed favourably to feed their owne hopes, so the old souldiers interpreted to the increase of their feare. But because Suetonius was farre off, they craved help of Catus Decianus the Procurator: who sent unto them not passing two hundred, and those but badly armed. And within the towne the number of souldiers, which as not great, trusted to the fence of the Temple. And by reason that those among them, which being privy to the secret conspiracy aforesaid, troubled their designments, hindred them, they had neither made trench nor rampier before the towne, nor sent way their old folke and women, keeping the lustie young men onely, and so being secure [careless], as it had been in the time of perfect peace, surprised they were at unawares, and enclosed round about with a multitude of barbarous people. And verily all other things were violently sacked or consumed with fire: the Temple onely excepted, wherein the souldiers had gathered themselves round together, which also was two dayes together besieged and so forced. Also, the Britains in this traine of victorie, encountring Petilius Cerealis Lieutenant of the ninth legion as he was comming with aid, put the legion to flight, and slew al the footmen. Cerealis himselfe with the Cavallery escaped to the camp, and saved himselfe within the fortifications. Upon which overthrow, and in regard of the provinciall peoples hatred, driven thorow the avarice of the Romans to take armes, Catus the Procurator passed over in great haste for feare into Gaule.
29. But Suetonius with constant resolution, passing thorow the mids of his enemies, went to Londinium, a town verily by the name that it caried of a Colony, nothing famous, but for concourse of merchant sand provision of necessaries most of al other frequented. Being thither come, he stood doubtful whether to chuse it for the seat of war or no. And considering wel the smal number of souldiers that he had, and by good proofs taught how Petilius paid for his rashnes, he determined with the damage of one town to save al the rest whole. Nether could he be won by the weeping and pitiful tears of those that besought his aide, but he would needs put out the signall of a remoove, and receive all followers as part of his armie to march along with him. As many therefore as weaknesse of sex, wearisomnesse of age, or pleasantnesse of the place held backe, were all put to the sword by the enemie. The like calamatie befell unto the free towne Verulamium, because the Barbarians leaving the castles and forts of garrison souldiers, made spoile of the richest and fattest: and carrying their pillage into some place of safetie, as men glad of bootie, went on still to such as were of note and marke above the rest. And thus to the number of seventie thousand Roman citizens and associats together, by true report, were knowen to have been slaine in those places before named. For there was no taking of prisoners, no selling of them, nor any other commerce and trafficke of warre but killing, hanging, burning and crucifying, such haste they made to make havocke of all, as if they were to requite the measure they had suffered, and anticipate in the meane while all revenge.
30. Now by this time Suetonius, having with him the fourteenth Legion with the old souldiers, of the twentieth, and the auxiliaries from the parts next adjoyning, was well neere ten thousand strong, when he resolved to lay aside all further delaies, and to trie the chance of a maine battell. And so he chooseth a place with a narrow entrance like a gullet, and enclosed behind with a wood: being well assured, that he had no enemies but in front, and that the plaine lay open without feare of ambush. The Legionarie souldiers therefore being marshalled in thicke rankes, and close together, with the light armours about them, the horsemen were placed on either hand like wings. But the Britaine forces came leaping forth all abrode by troupes and companies, in such a multitude as never the like elsewhere at any other time, and place them in carts which they had bestowed in the utmost parts of the plaine, to be witnesse of the victorie. Boodicia, having her daughters before her in a chariot, ever as she came to any severall nation (for it was the custome verily of the Britans to make warre under the conduct women) protested and told them, that she was come then, not as a Ladie descended of so noble progenitors, to make either Kingdome or riches her quarrell, but as one of the common people, in revenge of her libertie lost, here body sore whipped, and her daughters chastitie assailed by unclean handling; that the Romans lust and concupiscence was growen to such a passe that they spared no body, no not aged persons, nor left their Virgins undefiled. “How be it, the Gods (saith she) are with us, and favor just revenge. For the legion that came into the field and durst hazard a battell, was cut in pieces: the rest are either hidden within campe and hold, or else seeke means to escape by flight, so that they will never abide so much as the noise and crie of so many thousands, much lesse then their violent charge and close hand fight.” If then they would weigh with her the power of their armed forces, and withall the motives of war, resolve they should either to vanquish in that battell, or to die: for her owne part, being but a woman, this was her resolution: the men might live if they pleased, and serve as slaves.
31. Neither could Suetonius himselfe, in so great an extremitie, hold his tongue. For although he presumed and trusted much upon valour, yet enterlaced he exhortations and prayers. That they should contemne the lowd and vaine threats of the Barbarians, among whom there were more women to be seene, than lusty young men. Unwarlike as they were and unarmed, they would presently give ground, when they came once to feele and acknowledge the weapons and the valour of those conquerours, by whom so often they had bin put to flight. For even in many legions, a few they be that carrie away the honour of the battell: and to their greater glorie it would turne, if with a small power they wonne the fame of a whole armie. Onely this they must remember, marshalled close together as they stood, first with launcing their Javelins, and afterwards with the bosses and pikes of their bucklers, and with their swords to continue in beating downe and killing them, and never to thinke all the while of any bootie: for after victorie once gotten, all would come to their share. These words of the Captaine gave such an edge, and kindled their courage so, the old souldiers also experienced in many battels had so bestirred themselves, and were so ready to let their darts fly, that Suetonius, assured of the event, gave signall of battell. And first of all, the Legion not stirring one foot, but keeping the streights of the place aforesaid as a sure defence, after that the enemies approching neerer within the just reach of shot, had spent all their darts, sallied out as it were in pointed battels. The auxiliarie souldiers likewise were of the same stomack, and the horsemen stretching out their long launces, brake what was in their way, and made head against them. The residue shewed their backs, and had much adoe to flie and escape, by reason of the carts and wagons placed round about the plaine, which had blocked up the passages on every side. And the souldiers forbare not the execution so much as of the women: the verie horses and draught beastes were thrust thorow with darts, which made the heape of dead bodies the greater. This was a day of great honour and renowne, comparable to the victories of olde time: for some report that there were slaine few lesse in number than fourescore thousand Britans, but of our souldiers, there died not all out foure hundred, and not many more hurt. Boodica ended her life with poison. And Poenius Posthumus campe-Master of the second Legion, understanding of this prosperous successe of the fourteenth and twentieth Legions, because he had defrauded his owne Legion of the like glorie, and, contrarie to the order of service, refused to obey the Captaines commandement, thrust himselfe thorow with his owne sword.
32. After this, the whole armie being rallied together, kept the field still, and lay encamped for to end the residue of the warre: and Caesar augmented their forces by sending out of Germanie two thousand Legionarie souldiers, eight cohorts of auxiliaries, and a thousand horsemen, by whose comming, they of the ninth Legion had their companies supplied and made up with the Legioners. The cohorts and cornets of horse were appointed to lodge in new wintering places, and all those nations of the enemies, which were either doubtfull or knowen adversaries, were wasted with fire and sword. But nothing distressed them so much as famine, being negligent in sowing of corne, by reason that of all ages they were given to warre: for that also they made full account to live on our provision, and, as all other fierce and stout nations, slowly give eare to peace, because Julius Classicianus, being sent to succeed Catus, and at variance with Suetonius, hindred the common good with private grudges, and had it given out abrode, that they were to expect and tarie for a new Lieutenant, who without any hostile rancour and pride of a Conqueror, would gently entreat and use with all clemencie such as yeelded unto him. Withall, he sent word to Rome, that they should look for no end of warre, unlesse some one or other succeeded Suetonius, upon whose overthwartnesse [rashness] he laid all his ill proceedings, and attributed all fortunate successe to the happy fortune of the common weale.
33. To see therefore in what state Britane stood, Polycletus one of Neroes freed men was sent: for good hope he had that by his authority there should not only be wrought a perfect agreement between the Lieutenant and the Procurator, but also that the rebellious minds of the Barbarians would be woon to peace. Neither failed Polycletus, being with his mighty boast burdensome to Italy and Gaule, after he had passed the Ocean sea, to shew himself terrible even to our souldiers also. But to the enemies hee was but a laughing stock: who, whiles liberty was still fresh on foot among them, knowe not what the poere of these freed men was, and they made a marvell of it that a Captain and an armie, which had atchieved so great a war, should yeeld to obey slaves. But of all these things the best was made to the emperor. And Suetonius being busied still in these affaires, for that he had lost afterwards some few Gallies upon the shore and the gallie slaves in them, as if the war continued still, was commanded to deliver up the armie to Petronius Turpilianus, who now was newly out of his Consulship, as unto a man more exorable [capable of being mollified], unacquainted with the the delinquencies of the enemies, and therefore more ready to accept of their repentance: who neither incensing the enemy, nor provoked by him, colouring a lazie and idle life with the honest name of peace, after he had dared and done no more, but composed former troubles and debates, delivered the charge of the province unto Tebellius Maximus.
34. But he, a man unfit for action and altogether unexpert in war-service, by a kind of courteous and mild regiment entertained the country in quiet. For now the Britans also had learned the good manners, not rudely to repulse the sugred assaults of flattering vices, and the disturbance of civil dissentions comming between, ministered a lawfull excuse for his doing nothing. But much discord arose among them whiles the souldier, accustomed to warfare, waxt wanton with ease, and grew to be mutinous: and he for his nigardly sparing and base taking of bribes, was both despised and hated of the armie. This hatred of theirs against him was enflamed by Roscius Caelius Lieutenant of the twentieth Legion, an ancient enemy of his, but now by occasion of civil dissentions they were falling out farther, and brake into more hainous termes. Trebellius objected ever and anon to Caelius, and charged him him with factious behaviour, and confounding the order of discipline: Caelius againe, that Trebellius had spoiled and beggered the Legions. But in the meane time, whiles the Lieutenants thus jarred, the modest cariage of the armie was marred, and the discord at length grew so great, that Trebellius being driven away with the railing of the Auxiliaries also, in cohorts and wings sorting themselves to Caelius side, was glad, as a man forsaken, to give place and flee to Vitellius. The province, although the Consular Lieutenant Generall was absent, remained in quiet, whiles the Lieutenants of the Legions supplied the charge in right of equall authority. But Caelius indeed bare the greater stroke because he was of more boldnesse.
35. Whiles the Civill war between Galba, Otho and Vitellius grew hot, Vectius Bolanus was by Vitellius sent to succeed him. Neither troubled he Britanny with any discipline. The same default continued still against the enemies, and the like licentiousnesse in the campe, saving only that Bolanus, a good honest harmelesse man, and not odious for committing any crime, had woon himselfe love and good will in lieu of obedience, and albeit Vitellius sent for aids out of Britanny, yet Bolanus made no hast, for that Britain was never quiet enough. As for the Iland, that great favour and reputation in warlike affaires which Vespasian had gotten, being Lieutenant there of the second Legion under Claudius, did easily win it unto him, yet not without some stir of the other Legions, wherein many centurions and souldiers who had bin advanced by Vitellius were loth to change that Prince whom they had prooved [had experience of] already. And besides, the souldiers of the fourteenth Legion, called the subduers of Britan, were by Vitellius sent backe into Britanny, and called away againe by Mutianus letters.
36. For all this civill war, no quarrell nor mutinies there were in the Britain armie. And to say a truth, during all the troubles of civill wars, no Legions behaved themselves more harmelesse, either because they were far off and severed by the Ocean, or for that they were taught by continuall service and souldery to hate the rather all hostility and dealing with enemies. Howbeit by meanes of these dissentions and rumors still of civill war, the Britans tooke heart and rebelled, through the procurement of Venusius: who besides a naturall fiercenesse of courage and hatred of the Romane name, was incensed particularly by private unkindnesses between him and his wife Queen Carthismandua. This Carthismandua was Queen of the Brigantes, of high and noble linage, who upon the delivery of King Caratacus, whom she tooke by fraude and sent to furnish and set out the triumph of Claudius (that glorious spectacle I meane in a maner of a triumph, wherein Caratacus was shewed) had woon favour with the Romans and greatly increased her strength. Wherupon ensued wealth: of wealth and prosperity, riotous and incontinent life, in so much that, casting off Venusius her husband and intercepting his kinsfolke, she joined her selfe in mariage with Vellocatus his harnesse-bearer, and crowned him King, which foule fact was the overthrow immediately of her house. The good will of the country went generally with the lawfull husband, but the Queens intemperate affections were peremptory and violent in maintaining her minion the adulterer. Whereupon Venutius, by the helpe of friends which he procured, and the revolt of the Brigantes themselves, made war upon Carthismandua, and brought her into great extremities. There, upon her instant praier unto the Romanes for aid, our garizons, cohorts and wings were sent to defend her: which after sundry skirmishes with divers events, delivered the Queens person out of perill, but the kingdome remained to Venutius, and the war unto us.
37. Now when as the state of Rome City was for Vespasian governed by Mutianus, he made Julius Agricola, who was gone to side with Vespasian, and had behaved himselfe with great integrity and courage, Lieutenant of the two and twentieth Legion in Britany, a Legion which slowly had sworne allegeance to Vespasian. In which province his predecessor by report seditiously demeaned himselfe. For the said Legion was out of awe, or rather it overawed even Lieutenants generall that had been Consuls. Neither was the ordinary Legions Lieutenant, who had been but Praetor, of power sufficient to restrain and keep it under, whether it were through his own weaknesse, or the stubborne disposition of the souldiers, it is not certain. Thus, being elected both to succeed and revenge, he shewed an example of most rare moderation in making choice to be thought rather to have found them than to have made them dutifull souldiers. And albeit that Vectius Bolanus Lieutenant generall of Britainnie for the time being, governed in a gentler and milder maner than was fit for so fierce a province, yet under him Agricola, cunningly conforming himselfe to that humor, and not unlearned to joine profitable counsels with honest, tempered the heat of his owne nature that it might not grow upon him still.
38. But when as Vespasian recovered together with the rest of the world Britanny also, brave captaines, good souldiers were sent, and the enemies hope was greatly abated. For straightwaies Petilius Cerialis strooke a terror into them, by invading at his first entry the Brigantes, thought to be the most populous state of the whole province. Many battells were fought, and some bloody, and the greatest of the Brigants he either conquered or wasted. And whereas Cerialis would doubtlesse have dimmed the diligence and fame of another successor, Julius Frontinus a great man sustained also, as he might after such a predecessor, that waightily charge with reputation and credit: who subdued the puissant and warlike peoples of the Silures, where he had, beside the vertue of the enemy, struggled with the streits and difficult places. In this estate Agricola found the Province, and the wars thus far proceeded in, when as about the middest of summer he passed the seas: at what time the souldiers, as if the season were past, attended an end for that yeere of their service, and the enemy occasions to begin for to hurt. The Ordovices a little before he entred the land, had hewed almost wholly in peeces a wing which lay in their borders. Upon which beginning the country being awaked, as men desirous of war, allowed the example, and some staied to see how the new Lieutenant would take it.
39. Then Agricola, although the Summer was spent, and the bands lay disperced in the Provinces, and his souldiers had fully presumed of rest for that yeere, which hindred much, and crossed directly his undertaking of warre, most men also being of opinion rather to keepe and assure the places suspected, all this notwithstanding, resolved fully to encounter the danger. Having gathered therefore the ensignes of the Legions, and some few Auxiliaries, because the Ordovices durst not descend into indifferent ground, himselfe before the voward [forward guard] , to give others like courage in the like danger, led up in battell-ray to encounter the enemie. And having slaughtered almost the whole nation, knowing full well that fame must with instance be followed, and as the first fell out, so the rest would succeed, he deliberated to conquer the Island Mona, from the possession whereof, as before I have rehearsed, Paulinus was revoked [recalled] by the generall rebellion of Britannie. But as in purposes not resolved on before, ships being wanting, the pollicie and resolutenesse of the captaine devised a passage over. For he commanded the most choise of the Aid-souldiers, to whom all the foords and shallowes were knowen, and who after the usuall practise of their countrie, were able in swimming to governe all at once themselves, their armour and horses, laing aside their cariage to put over at once, and suddenly invade them. Which things so amazed the enemie, attending for [expecting] a fleet, for shipping, for tide, that they surely beleeved nothing could be hard or invincible to men that came so minded to war. Whereupon they humbly intreated for peace, and yeelded the Iland. Thus Agricola at his first entry into his province (which time others consume in vaine ostentation or ambitious seeking of complements,) entring withall into labors and dangers became famous indeed and of great reputation.
40. Neither abused Agricola the prosperous proceeding of his affaires to vanity or braving in speeches, as to terme it an exploit or a conquest, thus to have kept in order persons subdued before, or to bedeck with lawrell his letters of advertisement; but by stopping and suppressing the same he augmented it the more, whiles men began to discourse upon what great presumptions of future successe he should make so light an account of such great actions already performed, as not to speake a word of them. Now as touching civill government: Agricola, knowing right well the disposition and mind of the Province, taught also by the experience of others that armes availe little to settle a new conquered state, if injuries and wrongs be permitted, determined to cut off all causes of wars. And beginning at home, his own house first of all he reformed and restrained, a point of as much hardnesse with many as to governe a province. He committed no maner of publike affaires to bond men or freed; he admitted no souldier about his person either upon private affection of partiall suiters, or upon the commendation and intreaty of centurions, but elected simply the best, presuming the same to be the most faithfull. He would see into all things, but not exact all things to the rigor: light faults he would pardon, and the great severely correct, not alwaies proceeding to punish, but often content with repentance, chusing rather not to prefer unto office and charge such as were like to offend, than after offence to condemne them. The augmentation of corne and tributes he mollified with equall dividing of charge and burden, cutting away those pety extortions which grieved the subject more than the tribute it selfe. For the poore people were constrained in a mockery to wait at the barnes fast locked against them, and first to buy the corne, then after to sell it at a price. Severall waies were enjoined, and far distant places by the purveiors commandement, that the country should cary from the neerest-standing camps to those which were far off and out of the way, till that which lay open to all, and at hand, was turned in fine to the gaine of a few. By repressing these abuses presently in his first yeere, a good opinion was conceived from him of peace, which either by the negligence or connivence of former Lieutenants was now no lesse feared than war.
41. At this time died Vespasian, unto whom for these victories of the leaders, and his own vertue under Claudius, Valerius Flaccus before his Poeme thus speaketh:
And thou, for seas discovery whose fame did more appeare,
Since time thy ships with sailes full spred in Northren Ocean were,
Which of the Trojan Julii erst did scorne the sailes to beare.
But when that noble Titus, the lovely dearling and joy of the world, succeeded his father, Agricola when summer was once come, assembling his army together, those souldiers of his who in marching behaved themselves in modest sort he commended, the loose and dissolute straglers he checked. The places for pitching the campe he designed himselfe, the firths he sounded, and the thickets he proved first in his own person, not suffering in the meane season any corner in the enimies country to be quiet, but wasting and spoiling with sudden excursions and roads. But when he had throughly terrified them, then would he again spare and forbeare, alluring therby their minds to friendship and peace. Upon which kind of proceeding, many states that stood upon termes of equality before that day gave hostages and meekly submitted themselves, receiving garizon, and permitting to fortifie which he so wisely and with such great foresight and reason performed that nothing was ever attempted against hem: whereas before, no new fortified place in all Britanny escaped unassailed.
42. The winter ensuing was spent in most profitable and politick devises. For, whereas the Britans were rude and dispersed, and therfore prone upon every occasion to war, he to induce them by pleasures unto quietnesse and rest, exhorted them in private, and helpt them in common to build temples, houses and places of publike resort, commending the forward and checking the slow: imposing therby a kind of necessity upon them whiles ech man contended to gaine honor and reputation thereby. And now by this time the Noblemens sons he tooke and instructed in the liberall sciences, preferring the wits of the Britans before the students of France, as being now curious to attain the eloquence of the Romane language, whereas they lately rejected their speech. After that, our attire grew to be account and the Gowne much used among them. So, by little and little they fell to these provocations of vices, to sumptuous galleries and bathes, yea and exquisite banquetings: which things the ignorant termed civility, being indeed a part of their bondage.
43. In the third yeer of his wars, he discovered new countries, wasting along till he came to the firth of Taus. Which thing so terrified the enemies, that although the army was toiled out with cruell tempests, yet durst they not assaile them, and the Romans moreover had leasure and space to fortifie there. They which were skilfull that way observed, that never any Captain did more advisedly chuse his places. No castle planted by Agricola ever was either forced by strength, or upon conditions surrendered, or as not defensible forsaken. Many times they issued foorth: for against long siege they were stored with a whole yeers provision. So they wintred there without feare, every garison garding it selfe and needing no helpe of their neighbours, the enemies assaulting sometimes, but in vaine without successe, and driven thereupon to despaire. For the losses of Summer they were commonly wont before to repaire with winter events, but now summer and winter alike they went to the worse. In all these actions, Agricola never sought to draw unto himselfe the glorie of any exploit done by another, but were it Centurion, or of other degree, he would faithfully witnesse the fact and yeeld him alwaies his due commendation. By some, he is said to have been somewhat bitter in checks and rebukes, and indeede the man was, as toward the good of a most sweet disposition, so to the bad and lewd persons unpleasant and sower enough. But this choler passed away with is words: closenesse in him and silence you needed not to feare, he esteemed it more honest to offend than to hate.
44. The fourth summer was spent in perusing and ordering that which he had over-run. And if the valiant minds of the armies, and glorie of the Romane name, could have permitted or accepted it so, they needed not to have sought other limit of Britannie. For Glotta and Bodotria, two armes of two contrarie seas, shooting a mightie way into the land, are onely divided asunder by a narrow partition of ground, which passage was guarded and fortified then with garrison and castle, so that the Romanes were absolute Lords of all on this side, having cast out the enemie, as it were, into another Island. The fifth yeere of the warre Agricola, first taking sea there, went over and subdued with many and prosperous conflicts nations before that time unknowen, and he furnished with forces that part of Britannie which lieth against Ireland, more in hope than for feare. For Ireland, if it might have been wonne, lying betweene Britannie and Spaine, and fitly also for the French sea, would aptly have united, to the great advantage of the one and the other, these strongest members of the Empire together. In bignesse it is inferiour to Britannie: howbeit, bigger than the Islands of our sea. The soile, and temperature of the aire, the nature and fashions differ not much from the British. The ports and places of accesse are better knowen by reason of more commerce and frequenting of merchants. Agricola had received before a Prince of that countrey, driven out by civil dissention, whom under colour of curtesie and friendship he retained till occasion should serve. I have heard him oftentimes say, that with one Legion and some few Aides, Ireland might be woon and possessed: that it were also a strength for our British affaires, if the Romane forces were planted each-where, and libertie banisht, as it were, quite out of sight.
45. About this time died Titus, who for these valiant Acts exploited by Agricola, was the fifteenth time named Imperator, as Xiphilinus writeth, and an ancient peece of coine witnesseth with him. Then Agricola under Domitian in the summer which began the sixth yeere of his office, because of a generall rising in armes of all the farther Nations beyond Bodotria was feared, and passages were all beset with a power of the enemies, manned a fleet to search the Creeks and Harboroughes of that ample region which lieth beyond it. Which being by Agricola then first taken, and emploied as a part of his strength, followed after along, and made a goodly brave shew, while at one time warre both by sea and land went forward. And oft it so chanced that the horseman, footman, and sea-souldier met and made merrie in the same campe one with another, extolling and magnifying each their owne prowesse and adventures, making their vaunts and comparisons souldier-like, the one of the woods and high mountaines, the other of the Ocean subdued. The Britans, as by the prisoners was understood, were amazed also at the sight of the navie, as though now the secrets of their sea were disclosed, and no refuge remained if they were overcome. Whereupon the Caledonians arming with great preparation, and greater bruit thereof, as the manner is of matters unknowen, having of themselves first set in hand to assault our Castles, braved our men, and put them in feare as Chalengers: in so much that some of our side, who would seeme to be wise, but were dastards in deed, counselled the Generall to retire on this side Bodotria, and that the best course was to depart of their owne accord, <rather> than to be repelled with shame. In the meane while Agricola takes knowledge, that the enemies meant to divide themselves, and to give the onset in severall Companies, whereupon lest he should be inclosed about and entrapped by their multitude, and still in the countrey, he also marched with his armie divided in three. Which when it was knowen to the enemie, they on a sudaine changing advise and uniting their forces together, joyntly assaulted by night the ninth Legion, as being of weakest resistance: and having slaine the watch, partly asleepe and partly amazed with feare, brake into the campe. And now they were fighting within the verie trenches, when Agricola, having intelligence given him by Spies what way the enemies had taken, and following withall their footsteps, commanded the lightest horsemen and footmen to play on their back and maintaine the skirmish, and the whole armie anone to second them with a shout. And when it drew neere to day, the glittering of the ensignes was seene. So the Britans were quailed with a duple danger, but the Romans recovered courage againe, and being past perill of their persons, sought now for their honour, freshly assailing their late assailers. And verily within the steights of the gates the conflict was sharpe and cruell, till in the end the enemies were forced to flie. Whilest both our armies contended, the one would seem to have helped their fellowes, the other to have needed none other to helpe them, and if the bogges and woods had not covered their flight, that one victorie had ended the warre. Upon this battell so manfully fought, so famously wonne, the armie presuming that to their prowesse all things were easie and open, cried to lead into Caledonia and to find out the limit of Britanie with a course of continued Conquests, and even those who ere while were so warie and wise, waxt forward enough after the event, and grew to speake bigly. Such is the hard condition of warres: if ought fall out well, all challenge [claim] a part, misfortunes are ever imputed to one. Contrariwise, the Britans, praesupposing that not valour but the cunning of the General, by using the occasion, had carryed it away, abated no whit of their stomacke, but armed their youth, transported their children and wives into places of safetie, and sought by assemblies and religious rites to establish an association of their Cities and States together. And so far that yeere both parties departed away incensed.
46. The same summer, a cohort of Usipians, levied in Germanie and sent over into Britanie, committed a hainous and memorable Act. For having slaine a Centurion and certaine souldiers intermingled among their manciples, and set over them for direction in discipline, they fledde and embarked themselves in three pinnaces, compelling by force the Masters of the said vessels to execute their charge, and onely one doing his office, the other two being suspected and thereupon slain, this strange going out and putting to sea, the fact as yet not noised abrode, was gazed and wondered at: afterwards being driven uncertainly hither and thither, and having skirmished with the Britans standing in defense of their owne, often prevailing and sometimes repulsed, they came at last to that miserie, that they were enforced to eat one another, first the weakest, then as the lot lighted. Thus after they had floated round about Britaine and lost their vessels for lacke of government, they were intercepted first by the Suevians, then by the Frisians, as Pirats and Rovers. Now some of them there were, that being bought by merchants as slave, and by change of Masters brought to our side of the river, grew into a name by giving first notice of so great and so rare and adventure.
47. In the beginning of Summer, Agricola was depely touched with a grievous mischance that happened in his own house: for he lost his owne Sonne, about a yeere old. Which infortunate hap he neither bare out, as most of these great men do in the like case, vaine gloriously, nor tooke it againe so impatiently with sorrow and lamentation, as women are wont, and amidst his mourning, used the warre as one of his remedies. Therefore having sent his fleete afore, which by spoiling in sundry places should induce a greater and more uncertaine terrour upon his enemies, hee made readie and followed after with his armie, joyning thereto some of the valiantest Britans, whom by long experience in peace he had found most faithfull, and so came as farre as to the mount Grampius, where the enemies were lodged before. For the Britans, nothing danted with the event of the former battell, and attending for nothing else but revenge or servitude, and being taught at length, that common danger must be repelled with concord, by embassages and leagues made had raised the power of all their Cities and States together. And now by this time there were entred into the field, the view being taken, above thirty thousand armed men, beside an endlesse number of youth, which daily flocked to them still, yea, and lusty old men renowmed in warre, and bearing every one the badge due to their honour; at what time, among many other leaders, Galgacus for his valour and birth the principall man, seeing the multitude thus assembled hotly to demand battell, is said to have used this speech unto them:
48. “When I view and consider the causes of this warre, and our present necessitie, I have reason, me seemes, to presume that this day and this your agreeing consent will give a happy beginning to the freedom of the whole Island. For both have we all hitherto lived in liberty ,and besides, no land remaineth beyond, no, nor so much as sea for our safegard, the Romane navie, thus as you see, hoovering upon our coasts, so that Combat and armes, which valiant men desire for honour, the dastard must also use for his best securitie. The former battels which have with divers events been fought against the Romanes, had their hope and refuge resting in our hands, because we, the flower of the British Nobilitie, and seated therfore the furthermost in, ever seeing the coasts of the countries which serve in slaverie, have kept even our eies unpolluted and free from all contagion of tyrannie. Beyond us is no land, beside us none are free; us hitherto this very corner, and the inward recesse, as it were, of fame hath defended. Now the uttermost point of Britannie is laid open, and things, the lesse they have within knowledge, the greater is the glory to atchieve them. But no nation now is there beyond us; nothing but water, nothing but rockes, and the Romans even among them, more infest than al besides. Whose intolerable pride in vain shall a man seeke to avoide with any obsequious service and humble behavior, robbers as they be of the world, who having now left no more land to spoile, search also the sea. If their enemies be rich, they covet their wealth; if poore, they seeke to gaine glorie. Whom neither the East nor the West is ever able to satisfie, the onely men of all memorie that seeke out all places, be they wealthy or be they poore, with like affection. To take away by maine force, to kill and to spoile, they falsly terme Empire and government. When they lay all waste as a wildernesse, that they call peace. That every man should hold his owne children and blood most deere, Nature hath ordeined: and even those are pressed for souldiers, and carried away to serve as slaves elswhere. Our wives and sisters, if they bee not violently forced as in open hostilitie, are in the meane time under the colour and title of friends and guests often abused. Our goods and substance they draw from us for tribute, our corne for provision. Our verie bodies and hands they weare out and consume, in paving of bogs and ridding of woods, with a thousand stripes and reprochfull indignities besides. Slaves yet, which be borne to bondage, are bought and sold once for all, and afterwards fedde and found at their owners expences. But Britannie daily buyeth, daily feedeth, and is at daily charge with her owne bondage. And as in a private retinue of houshold servants, the fresh man and last commer is laughed and scoffed at by his very fellowes, even so, in this old servitude of the whole world, our destruction only is sought, as being the latest and vilest in account of all other. For fields we have none to manure, no mines to be digged, no ports to trade in, for which purposes and emploiments we should be reserved alive. And as for the manhood and fierce courage of the subject, it pleaseth not much the jelous Soverain. And this very corner being so secret and far out of the way, the more security it yeeldeth to us, in them it works the greater suspicion. So seeing all hope of pardon is past, at the length take courage to defend and maintain your safety as well as your honor, things most deere and pretious unto you. The Trinobantes led by a woman fired a Colonie, forced campe and castle, and if such a lucky beginning had not ended in sloth and security [carelessness], they might with ease have shaken off the yoke. we as yet were never touched, never foiled nor subdued: as men therefore that mind to maintain their freedome, not for the present but for ever, let us shew straitwaies in the first joining, what maner of men Caledonia reserved in store for her selfe. Or do yee thinke the Romanes to be as valiant in war as they are wanton in peace? No, it is not by their own vertue, but by our jarrings and discords they are grown into fame, and the faults of their enemies they abuse to the glory of their own armie, composed of most divers nations, and therefore as by present prosperity holden together, so if fortune once frown, it doubtlesse will dissolve: unlesse ye suppose the Frenchmen and Germanes, and (to our shame be it spoken) many of our own Nation which now lend their lives to establish a forrain usurper, and yet have been enemies longer than servants, to be led and induced with any true harted and loiall affection. Nay, it is feare and terror, weake links and bonds of love. Remove them once, those which shall cease to feare will soone begin to hate. All things to incite unto victors are on our side. No wife to encourage the Romanes, no parents to upbraid them if they flee: most have either no country at all, or els some other. A few fearfull persons trembling and gazing all about at the strangenesse of heaven it selfe, of sea, of woods and all things else, the Gods have delivered, mewed up as it were and fettered, into our hands. Let not the vain shew and glittering of gold and silver terrifie us, which neither defendeth nor offendeth. And even amongst our enemies in the field we shall find of our side. The Britans will agnize [recognize] their own cause. The French will call to remembrance their freedome and former estate: the rest of the Germanes will leave and forsake them, as of late the Uspians did. And what els then have we to feare? The Castles are empty, the colonies peopled with aged and impotent persons, the free Cities discontent and in factions, whiles those which are under obey withall will, and they that doe govern, rule against right. Here is the Generall, and here is the army. There are tributes, there be the mettall mines and other miseries inseperably following them that live under the subjection of others: which either to continue and endure for ever, or straight to revenge, it lieth this day in this field. Wherefore, as ye are going to battell, beare in your minds both the freedome of your ancestors, and the bondage of your posterity.”
49. This speech they cheerfully received, as well with a song after their barbarous manner, as with confused acclamations and dissonant noises. And as the companies clustered together and glittering armour appeared, whiles the boldest advanced forward, and withall the ranks were putting themselves in array, Agricola, albeit his souldiers were glad of that day and scarce with words could be withholden, supposing it best to say somewhat, encouraged them in this wise.
50. "Fellow souldiers and companions in armes, your faithfull service and diligence these 8 yeeres so painfully shewed, by the vertue and fortune of the Romane Empire, hath conquered Britanny. In so many journies, in so many battels, we were of necessity to shew our selves either valiant against the enemy, or patient and laborious almost above and against nature it selfe. In which exploits we have hitherto borne our selves both, so that neither desired I better souldiers, nor you other Captain, insomuch as we have exceeded the limits, I of my predecessor, and you of yours. The end of Britannie we have found, not by fame and report, but we are with our armes and pavilions really invested thereof. Britain, I say, is found and subdued. In marching, when the passage over bogs or mountains and rivers toiled you out, how oft have I heard every valiant souldier say, when wil the enemy present himselfe? When shall we fight? Lo, they are now put up out of their holes, and hither they are come. Your wish, lo, is here, and place for your vertue; yea and all things to follow in an easie and expedite course if you win, but all against you, if you leese. For, as to have gone so much ground, escaped through the woods, passed over the firths is honorable forward; so, if we do flee, the vantages we have this day will become our greatest disadvantage. For we are not skilled so well in the country, we have not the like store of provision, but hands we have and weapons, and therein all things included. For my part, I am long since resolved, that it is not safety either for souldier or generall to shew their backs, and therefore a commendable death is better than life with reproch; and commonly, safety and honour are dwelling together. Or if ought should mishappen, even this will be a glory, to have died in the uttermost end of the world and nature. If new nations and souldiers unknown were in the field, I would by the example of other armies embolden and encourage you; now, recount you your own victorious exploits, and aske your own eies. These are the same men, which the last yeere assailed one legion by stealth in the night, and were by a blast of your mouth overthrowen. These of all other Britans have been the most nimble in running away, and therfore have scaped the longest alive. For, as in forests and woods the strongest beasts are chased away by main force, the cowardly and fearfull are scared with the very noise of the hunters, so the most valiant of the British nation long since have been by you dispatched and slaine, the rascall herd of dastardly cowards only remaineth; whom at length ye have found, not has having intended to stay and make head, but at last overtaken, and by extreme passion of feare standing as stocks, presenting occasion to us in this place of a worthy and memorable victorie. Make an end therfore once for all of your warfare: and to fifty yeeres travells let this day impose a glorious conclusion. Approve [Demonstrate] to your country, that the Armie could never justly be charged, either with protracting the war, or pretences for not accomplishing the conquest.”
51. As Agricola was yet speaking, the souldiers gave great tokens of fervencie, and when he had ended, seconded the speech with a joyfull applause and ran streightwaies to their weapons. Agricola, seeing them sufficiently animated and rushing furiously forward, ordered his men in this manner. With the Auxiliary footmen being eight thousand, he fortified the middle battell: three thousand of their horse he put on both sides of the wings; commanding the Legions to stand behind before the trench of the camp to the greater glory of the victory, if it were obtained without shedding any Roman blood, otherwise for assistance and succour, if the vantgard should be repelled. The Britans were marshalled on the higher ground, fitly both for shew and also to terrifie, the first battalion standing on the plaine, the rest in the assent of the hill, knit and rising, as it were, one over another. The middle of the field was filled with the clattering of chariots and horsemen. Then Agricola, perceiving the enemy to exceed him in number, and fearing lest hee should be assailed on the front and flancks both at one instant, displaied his army in length; and although by that meanes his battell would become disproportionably long, and many advised him to take in the Legions, yet being more forward to hope than yeelding to feare, he rejected the counsel, and, leaving his horse, advanced himselfe before the ensignes on foot.
52. In the first encounter before the joining, both sides discharged and threw. Wherein the Britans, both employing art and shewing resolution with their great swords and little targuets, avoided our shot, or shooke them off, darting withall great store of theirs against us, till at length Agricola, spying his vantage, exhorted three Batavian cohorts and two of the Tungrians to presse forward and bring the matter to handy strokes and dint of sword, a thing which they in respect of long service were able readily to performe, and contrariwise to the enemy prejudiciall and hurtfull, by reason of their small bucklers and huge swords. For the swords of the Britans being blunt-pointed were no way for the close or for the open fight. Now as the Batavians began to deale blowes and lay about them, to strike with the pikes of their bucklers, to mangle their faces, and having overborne in the plaine all that resisted, to march up the hill, the rest of the cohorts gathered heart, upon emulation, violently bet down all abut them, and many halfe dead or wholly untouched were left, for hast of winning the victory. In the meantime, the troups of the horsemen began to flee, and the chariettiers mingled themselves with the battell of the footmen. Who, albeit they had lately terrified others, were now distressed themselves by the unevennesse of the ground and thicke rankes of their enemies. Neither was the forme of this fight like a loose skirmish of horsemen to and fro. But, standing still and maintaining their places, they sought withall by maine weight of horses to brake in and beare down one another. The wandring waggons also and masterlesse horses affrighted, as feare caried them, over-bare many times those which met them, or thwarted their way. Now, the Britans which stood aloofe from the battell on the height of the hils, and at their good leasure disdained our fewnese, began to come downe by little and little, and to wheele about the backs of our men that were now in traine of wining the field; but that Agricola, suspecting as much, opposed against them foure wings of horsemen purposely retained about him for sudden dispatch, and all chances of war. And so, by repulsing them back, as sharply as they ran fiercely to assaile, put them in rout. Thus the counsell of the Britans turned upon their own heads, and the wings, by commandement of the leader turning quite from the battell in front, followed the enemy at the back and pursued the chase. Then might you have seen in the open fields a grievous and pitifull spectacle, coursing, wounding, taking, and killing of them that were taken, when others were offred. Now whole regiments of the enemies, according to their severall dispositions armed as they were, and more in number, turned their backs to the fewer: others unarmed sought their own death, offring themselves voluntarily to the slaughter. Every where they lay scattered weapons, bodies, and mangled lims, and the ground was every where enbrued with blood: and sometime even in them that were overcome, appeared both anger and valour. For when they approached the woods, uniting themselves, they entrapped unawares some of the formost of our men which unadvisedly followed, not knowing the country. And but that Agricola with his presence every where assisted at need, setting about them certain cohorts of his bravest and most ready footmen, as it were in forme of a toile, and commanding some of his horsemen to forego their horses where the passes were narrow, and others, where the wood was thin, to enter on horseback, no doubt we had taken some blow by our overmuch boldnesse. But after they saw our men again in strong array and good order to follow the chase, they fled, not in troupes as before and attending ech other, but utterly disbanded and single, and eschuing all company, toward the far remote and desert places. The night and our satiety of blood made an end of the chase. Of the enemies side ten thousand were slaine, three hundred and forty of ours. Amongst whom was Aulus Atticus Captain of a cohort, upon a youthfull heat of his own, and through the fierce spirit of his horse, being carried into the mids of his enemies. That night the winners for their parts solaced themselves with the victory and spoile, and the Britains, scattering out of order, crying and howling (men and women together), take and draw with them their hurt persons, call unto them that were not hurt, forsake their own houses, and in despite also set them on fire themselves, choose out holes for to lurke in, and all streightwaies forsake them, communicate some counsels together, and then have some glimmering hope: sometime at the sight of their deerliest beloved mooved to pity, more often stirred to rage: and certain it is, that some, as by way of compassion and mercie, slew their own wives and children. The day following discovered more plainly the greatnesse of the victory. Every where desolations and silence: no stirring in the mountaines: the houses fired and smoking afar off: no man to meet with our spies, who being sent abroad into all quarters found by their footsteps the flight was uncertaine, and that they were no where in companies together. Whereupon Agricola, because the summer was spent and the war could not conveniently be divided, bringeth his armie into the borders of the Horrestians, where receiving hostages he commanded the Admirall of his navie to saile about Britaine, lending him souldiers and strength for that purpose, and the terror of the Romane name was gone already before. Himselfe, with easie and gentle journies, to terrifie the new conquered nation with the very stay of his passage, disposed his footmen and horsemen in their wintering places, and withall the navy with prosperous wind and successe arived at the port Trutulensis, from whence it departed, and coasting along the neerest side of Britaine returned thither againe. Then and never the before, the Romane fleet, having doubled the point of the utmost sea, discovered and reported Britaine to be an Iland, and withall found out and subdued the Iles of Orkney, before that time never known, which Orosius and as many writers as follow him ascribe falsely unto Claudius.
53. This state of affaires in Britaine Agricola signified by letter without any amplifying termes, to Domitian: who after his maner, with a cheerfull countenance and grieved heart, received the newes, being inwardly pricked to think that his late counterfet triumph of Germany, wherein certain slaves bought for mony were attired and their haire dressed as captives of that country, was had in derision and justly skorned abroad: whereas now a true and great victory, so many thousands <of enemies> oftentimes being slaine, was famous and currant in every mans mouth: that it were indeed a most perilous point of a private mans name should be exalted above the name of the Prince. Mary then in vaine he had suppresed the study of Oratory, and all other worthy politick arts, if he should in military glory be despised by another. For other matters might more easily be passed over, but to be a good commander of an army was a vertue above private estate and peculiar for a Prince. With these and the like cares being tormented, and musing much in his closet alone, which was a token and signe of some cruelty intended, he thought it yet best for the present to dissemble and put over his malice, until the heat of Agricola his glory and love of his souldiers were somewhat abated, for as yet he remained in charge. Wherefore he commanded that all the honors of triumphall ornaments, image triumphall and what els usually was conferred in lieu of triumph should in senate be awarded unto him in most ample and honorable termes: and sending a successor, caused withall a bruit to be spred that the province of Syria, then lying void by the death of Atilius Rufus, a consular Lieutenant, and reserved for men of great quality, was purposed unto him. And a common opinion went, that Domitian, sending one of his most secret and trusty servants to Agricola, went withall the patent of Syria with instruction that if he were in Britaine it should be delivered, and that the same man meeting Agricola as he crossed the seas, without speaking unto him or doing his message, returned again to Domitian. Whether this were true or fained and surmised probably, as correspondants to the Princes disposition, I cannot affirme. But in the meane season Agricola had delivered to his successor the Province in good and peacable state. And, lest his arrivall at Rome should be noted by reason of the multitudes of people which would goe out to see and to meet him, cutting off that courtesie of his friends, he entred the City by night, and and by night came to the palace as he was willed. Where, being admitted to the Princes presence, and received with a short salutation and no speech, he sorteth himselfe with the rest of the waiters.
54. Agricola ad for his successor, as others thinke, Cnaeus Trebellius, but, as I take it, Salvitius Lucullus, whom Domitian straight after slew, because he suffered certain spears of a new fashion to be called luculleae. At which time also, Arviragus flourished in this Iland, and not in the daies of Claudius, as Geffrey of Monmouth dreameth. For these verses of Juvenall are to be understood of Domitian:
A powrefull Osse [omen] and signe thou hast, presaging triumph great:
Some king (sure) thou shalt prisoner take in chace or battell heat:
Or els Arviragus shall lose his British roiall seat.
There flourished likewise at Rome Claudia Rufina, a British dame passing well learned, and withall as beautifully, whom Martiall commendeth in these verses,
Sith from blew Britans Claudia Rufina doth descend,
How comes a learned Latin brest her person to commend?
How beautifull! Italian dames may her a Romane make,
And Attick wives again full well her for their daughter take.
This was, as John Bale and Matthew Parker Arch-bishop of Canterbury have written, the very same woman of whom S. Paul maketh mention in his latter Epistle to Timothy, neither is the computation of times repugnant, howsoever others be of a contrary opinion.
55. Thus under the Empire of domitian, when that farther part therof, as being rough and unfruitfull, was left unto the barbarous Britains, this hither side was reduced full and whole into the forme of a province. Which was not governed by any Consular or Proconsular deputy, but was accounted Praesidialis, and appropriate to the Caesars, as being a province annexed unto the Roman Empire after the division of Provinces ordeined by Augustus, and had Propretors of their own. Afterwards, whenas Constantinus Maximus had set down a new forme of Common-weale, under a Prefect or Provost of Pretors degree of Gaule, there was set over it a viceregent, and together with him in matters of war the Count or Earle of Britaine, an Earle or Count of the Saxony coast by Britaine, and a Duke or Generall of Britain, besides Presidents, Auditors or Receivers and such others. Moreover, out of those 29 Legions which the Romans had appointed thorow their Imperiall government, three of them lay in garison to restrain that Province, to wit, the second Legion Augusta, the sixt Legion Victrix, and the twentieth Victrix. But this is meant of the time of Severus. For before, we learn out of Authors that other Legions there were, and more in number. And although Strabo writeth that there was need of no more than one band of souldiers, to the keeping of Britaine in subjection, yet in the raigne of Claudius there were placed here the second Legion Augusta, the ninth Legion Hispaniensis, and the fourteenth named Gemina Martia Victrix. Yea and about the time of Vespasian, Joseph sheweth that four Legions served in this Iland: Britaine, saith hee, is compassed about with the Ocean, and almost as big as our world. The Romanes there inhabiting have brought it under their dominion, and foure Legions doe keep in subjection and Iland, peopled with so great a multitude. And doubtlesse, the standing guards and Camps of Legions and Romane souldiers were many times the Seminaries, as it were, and Seed-plots of Cities and townes, as in other Provinces, so also in this our Britaine. Thus was the yoke of subjection laid upon the Britains, first by a garison of souldiers, which alwaies with terror were ready to command the Inhabitants, afterwards by tribute and imposts; and in that respect forced they were to have Publicans, that is to say, greedy cormorants and horsleeches, who sucked their blood, confiscated their goods and exacted tributes in the name of the dead. Neither were they permitted to use the ancient lawes of their country, but magistrats were sent from the people of Rome, with absolute power and commission to minister justice even in capitall matters. For Provinces had Propretors, Lieutenants, Presidents, Pretors and Proconsuls. Every city also and State had their municipall magistrates. The Pretor proclaimed yeerely solemne sessions and Assizes, at which he determined the waightier causes sitting aloft upon a high Tribunall seat, and guarded with his Lictors about him proudly executed hee his jurisdiction: rods and whipping cheere were presented to the backs, the ax and heading to the necks of the common people, and every yeere they were forced to receive one new ruler or another allotted to them. Neither was this sufficient: they maintained discord and dissension among them, some also they favoured above the rest, that they might have them to be the instruments of this their servitude.
56. This yoke of the Romanes although it were grievous, yet comfortable it proved and a saving health unto them: for that healthsome light of Jesus Christ shone withal upon the Britans, whereof more hereafter, and the brightnesse of that most glorious Empire chased away all savage barbarisme from the Britans minds, like as from other nations whom it had subdued. For Rome, as saith Rutilius,
Compassed the world with triumphs bringing Lawes,
And all to live in common league doth cause.
And in another place, speaking unto the same Rome most truly and in right elegant verses,
Thou hast of divers nations one entire country framed,
Happy it was for lawlesse folke, that they by thee were tamed.
For offering use to them subdu’ d, of thine own proper lore
One civill state thou mad’ st of that, which was wild world before.
For, to say nothing of the rest of the Provinces, the Romanes having brought over Colonies hither, and reduced the naturall inhabitants of the Iland unto the society of civill life, by training them up in the liberall Arts, and by sending them into Gaule for to learne perfectly the lawes of the Romanes (whereupon Juvenal, Gallia causidicos docuit facunda Britannos, Gaule eloquent of Britans hath good pleading lawyers made), governed them with their lawes, and framed them to good maners and behaviour, so as in their diet and apparell they were not inferior to any other provinces: they furnished them also with goodly houses and stately buildings, in such sort that the reliques and rubbish of their ruines doe cause the beholders now exceedingly to admire the same: and the common sort of people doe plainly say, these Romane works were made by Giants, whom in the North parts they use to call in their vulgar tongue Eatons, for heathens (if I be not deceived) or Ethnicks. Certes, they are works of exceeding great admiration and sumptuous magnificence, but especially the Picts wall, whereof I will write more in due place, and those Causeies [highways] thorowout the whole land, a wonderfull peece of worke, what with dreining and drying up the meres in some places, and what with casting up banks where low vallies were in others, so fensed and paved with stone, and withall of that breadth, that they can well receive and with roome enough, waines meeting one another. Now what maner of Causeies these were, let Galene tell you. The waies, quoth he, Trajanus repaired, by paving with stone, or raising with banks cast up such peeces of them as were moist and miry; by stocking up and ridding such as were rough and overgrowen with bushes and briers; by making bridges over rivers that could not be waded thorow; where the way seemed longer than needed, by cutting out another shorter; if anywhere by reason of some steepe hill the passage were hard and uneasie, by turning it aside thorow easier places; now in case it were haunted with wild beasts, or lay wast and desert, by drawing it from thence thorow places inhabited, and withall by laying levell all uneven and rugged grounds. But now adaies these of ours, being dismembred, as it were, and cut one peece from another in some places, by reason that the countrey people digge out gravell from thence, are scarcely to be seene; yet elsewhere, leading thorow pastures and by-grounds out of the rode way, the bankes are so high, that evidently they shew themselves.
57. These causeys or Street-waies the Romanes called vias consulares, regias, praetorias, militares, publicas, cursus publicos, and actus, as to be seene in Ulpian and Julius Frontinus. Ammianus Marcellinus termeth them aggeres itinerarios et publicos, Sidonius Apollinaris, aggeres and tellures inaggeratas, Beda and the latter writers stratas, that is, Streets. Our Chroniclers, doubtlesse herein deceived, doe hold, that there were but onely foure such causeys as these: of which the first was Watling-street, so called of one Vitellian (I wote not what he was), who had the charge thereof (and indeed the Britans named Vitellian in their tongue Guetalin) and Werlam street, for that it went thorow Verolamium, which elsewhere also the people dwelling neere unto it named Highdike, Highridge, Forti-foot-way, and Ridge-way. The second they commonly called Ikenild-street, because it began in the Icenes country. The third, the Fosse, for that (as men thinke) it was fensed on both sides with a ditch; and the fourth Ermin-street by a German word of Mercurie (whom, as I am enformed by John Obsopoeus, a great learned man) under the name of Erminsul, that is, the Columne of Mercurie, the Germans, our ancient progenitors, worshipped. Now, that Mercurie had the charge of waies, his name Ἐνόδιος among the Greeks may shew sufficiently, as also his Statues with foure sides, called in old time Hermae, which were set everywhere upon high waies. It hath been generally thought, that one Mulmutius (I know not what he should be) many hundred yeeres before the birth of Christ, made these causeys, but so far am I from beleeving it, that I dare confidently avouch the Romans by little and little founded and raised them up. Whilest Agricola, saith Tacitus, governed Britaine, severall waies were enjoined, and farre distant places (by the purveyors commandement) that the countrey should carrie from the neerest standing camps, or wintering places, to those that were farre off, and out of the way. And the Britans complained, as the same Tacitus writeth, That the Romanes wore out and consumed their bodies and hands in cleering of woods and paving the Fens, with a thousand stripes and reprochful indignities. Also we read in ancient Records, That in the daies of Honorius and Arcadius, there were made in Britain certain beaten high waies from sea to sea. That this was the Romans work, Beda witnesseth: The Romans inhabited (saith he) within the wall (which, as I rehearsed before, Severus had made overthwart the Iland) toward the southerne side, which the cities, churches, and street waies there made doe witnesse at this day. About the making of such causeys and high waies, the Romanes were wont to exercise their souldiers and the common multitude, lest, being idle, they should grow factious and affect alteration in the State. The Romanes, as Isidorus writeth, made Causeys in sundry places, almost thorow the world, both for the direction of journeys, and also because the people should not be idle, and to the making and paving of such causeys, prisoners were many times condemned, as may be gathered out of Suetonius in the life of Caius. And there are to be seene in Spaine the Causeys called Salamantica or Argentea, as also in France certaine Rode waies, called viae militares, paved by the Romanes, to say nothing of the way Appia, Pompeia, Valeria, and others in Italie.
58. Along these Causies and high waies, Augustus placed young men at first, as posts within small distances one from another; and afterward swift wagons, to give notice with all speed, and out of hand, what was doing in every place. Neere or upon these Cawsies were seated Cities and Mansions, which had in them Innes furnished with all necessaries belonging to this life for travailers and way-faring persons to abide and rest in, as also Mutations. For so they called in that age the places where strangers, as they journied, did change their post-horses, draught beasts, or wagons. He therefore that seeketh not about these Rode waies for those places which are mentioned in the Itinerarie of Antoninus, shall no doubt misse the truth, and wander out of the way.
59. Neither think much of your labour, in this place to note that the Emperors erected at every miles end along these Cawsies certaine little pillars or Columnes, with numerall Characters or Letters cut in them, to signifie how many miles. Whereupon Sidonius Apollinaris writeth thus:
That ancient causey doe not decay,
Where on good old pillars along the way
The Caesars name stands fresh for ay.
Neere also unto these high waies, on both sides were Tombs and Sepulchers, with inscriptions graved upon them in memoriall of brave and noble men, that the passengers by might be put in mind that, as those sometimes were mortall men, so themselves are now. For the repairing likewise of the said cawsies, as wee may see in the Code of Theodosius title De itinere muniendo, that is, Of making and mending waies, They were all willing upon a good and profitable devotion, who could doe best, and make most speede in this businesse. Furthermore, in our owne ancient lawes there is mention made de pace quatuor cheminarum, that is, viarum sub maiori iudicio, that is, Touching the peace of the foure Rhode-waies in some higher Court.
60. Under the raigne of Nerva, the writers have discontinued the Storie of Britannie. But in the time of Trajane, the Britans may seem to have revolted and rebelled, and evident it is out of Spartianus, that subdued they were. Moreover, while Adrian was Emperour Julius Severus ruled the Island: and when he was called away against the Jewes, who then were in an uprore, the Britans could not have been kept in their allegeance to the Romanes, had not Adrianus come among them in person: who being then Consull the third time, in the yeere of Christ 124, seemeth by the prowess of his armie to have discomfited his enemies. For I have seene in one peece of money of his coining the stampe of an Emperour with three souldiers, whom I judge to represent three Legions, with this Inscription, EXER. BRITANNICVS, and another bearing this inscription, RESTITVTOR BRITANNIAE. This Prince reformed many things thorowout the Island, and was the first that built a wall between the barbarous Britans and the Romans fourescore miles in length, laying the foundation therof within the ground of huge piles or stakes, and fastning them together in manner of a strong hedge or mound. For which expedition of his, Florus the Poet plaied upon him thus:
I will in no wise Caesar be,
To walke along in Britanie,
The Scythicke frosts to feele and see.
Unto whom, Adrianus wrote backe in this wise:
And I will never Florus be,
To walke from shop to shop, as he;
To lurke in Tavernes secretly,
And there to feele the Rome wine-fly.
At this time M. F. CL. Priscus Licinus was the Propraetor of Britannie, and emploied in the Journey of Jurie with Hadrian, as appeareth by this antique inscription in a broken Marble:
M. F. CL. PRISCO.
ICINIO. ITALICO. LEGATO. AVGVSTORVM.
PR. PR. PROV. CAPPADOCIAE
PR. PER. PROV. BRITANNIAE LEG. AVG.
LEG. IIII GALLICIAE PRAEF. COH. III. LINGONVM. VEXILLO. MIL.
ORNATO. A. DIVO. HADRIANO. IN EXPEDITIONE IVDAIC.
Q. CASSIVS. DOMITIVS. PALVMBVS.
Under Antoninus Pius (by whose ordinance as many as were in the Roman world became Citizens of Rome) this warre brake out againe into a light fire, which he so quenched by driving the barbarous Britans further off, under the conduct of Lollius Urbicus Lieutenant, and by making another wall of turfe, that thereupon he was surnamed Britannicus; and he deserved singular commendation, for that he had fined the Brigantes with the losse of one part of their Lands, who had infested with roades Gerounia, a neighbour Province, under the protection and allegeance of the Romans. And at this time, as we collect out of Jabolenus, Seius Saturnius was archigubernus of the Navie in Britanie. But whether by this title, hee were an Admirall of the said Navie, or a principall Pilot, or the Master of a ship, I would have the Lawyers to tell.
61. But the Britans, giving occasion still of quarrels and warres, one after another began a commotion under Antoninus, for the appeasing whereof Calphurnius Agricola was sent, and seemeth to have ended the same with fortunate successe. Which commendation for the dispatching of this warre, Fronto, for Romane eloquence comparable to the best, and second to none, would needes give unto Antoninus the Emperor. For albeit he, sitting still and holding his Court in the verie pallace of Rome, gave out onely his commission and warrant for to make this ware, yet he protesteth, that like unto the Pilot sitting at the helme to stere a galley, he deserved the glory of the whole course and sailing in that voyage. At the same time there served also in the armies of Britannie Helvetius Pertinax, brought hither out of the Parthian warre, and here stayed.
62. Whiles Commodus was Emperour, Britanie was all of a Garboile, full of warres and seditious troubles. For the barbarous Britans, having passed over the wall, made great waste, and hewed in peeces the Romanes, both Captaine and Souldier. For the repressing of which rebels Ulpius Marcellus was sent: who had so fortunate a hand in taming their audacious stomacks, that his prowesse was soone defaced and depraved with envie, and himselfe called backe. This Captaine was of all others most vigilant; and being desirous that the rest about him might be as watchfull, he wrote every evening xii tables throughout, such as are commonly made of the Linden-tree wood, and commaunded one of his attendants about him, to carry the same unto divers of the souldiers, some at one houre of the night, and some at another, whereby they might thinke their generall was ever awake, and so themselves might sleepe the lesse. Of whose temperance thus much also is reported: And albeit otherwise his nature was able to resist sleepe, yet that he might do it the better, he brought to passe by fasting and abstinence. For to the end that he would not feed of bread to the full, he caused it to be brought from Rome to him into the campe; that by the reason of the staleness of it, he could not eat any whit more than was needfull. But when he, I say, was called back, all licentious wantonnesse brake into the Campe, and the forces in Britanny, letting the raines loose of military discipline, became unruly, and refused the command and government of Commodus, although by some of his flatterers he was stiled Britannicus. Moreover, they that served in Britanny suborned and sent a thousand and five hundred of their own rank into Italy against Perennius, a man that not only caried an outward shew and countenance, but all of the Emperors minions could indeed do most with him, accusing him that he had made captaines over souldiers certain of the gentlemens degree, and put Senators out of place, and withall that he had laid wait to take away the Emperors life. Commodus gave eare to this information and beleeved it, whereupon he delivered the man into their hands: who after he had with many indignities been whipped, lost his head, and was proclaimed a traitor to his country. Howbeit these seditious slurs Helvius Pertinax repressed, not without great danger, being himselfe almost slaine, and for certain left for dead among those that were slaine.
63. Now when Britanny was in peaceable estate, Clodius Albinus received it from Commodus, and withall afterwards for his worthy exploits in Britanny the name of Caesareus: but soone after, because in a publique assembly he had made an invective against the government of the Emperors, Junius Severus was placed in his roume.
64. At which very time, the thick mists of superstition being skattered (not under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus Emperors, as Beda writeth, but under Commodus, when Eleutherus was Bishop of Rome), the heavenly light and brightnesse of Christianity, by the meanes of King Lucius shone upon this Iland. Which Prince (as we find in the ancient reports and lives of Martyrs usually read in the Church), admiring the integritie and holy life of the Christians, made petition unto Eleutherus the Pope, by the mediation of Elvan and Meduan two Britans, that both himselfe and his subject might be instructed in Christian religion. Then sent he hither forthwith Fugatius and Donatianus, two holy men, with letters which at this day be extant, and (as very many are perswaded) are not forged but authenticall, as bearing date, when L. Aurelius Commodus was second time Consull with Vespronius. Which holy men instructed the King and others in the mysteries of Christian religion. Hereupon it is that Ninnius writeth thus of this King. King Lucius, quoth he, is surnamed Lever Maur, that is, a Prince of great glory, for the Faith which in his time came. Now for those that call these matters of King Lucius into question (as many doe in these daies), as if there had been at that time no King in Britanny, which they suppose was full and whole reduced into a province before, I wish them to call to remembrance this much, that the Romanes by ancient custome had in their Provinces Kings as the instruments of bondage; that the Britans even then refused to obey Commodus; and that themselves possessed and held freely those parts of the Iland which were beyond the foresaid wall, had there Kings of their own, and that Antoninus Pius a few yeeres before, having ended war, permitted Kingdomes to be ruled by their own Kings and provinces by their own Comites. What should let [be an obstacle] then, but that Lucius might be King over that part of the Iland unto which the Romanes forces never came? And verily, that which Tertullian hath put down, may very aptly be referred to the Britans conversion unto Christ: those places, quoth he, among the Britans which yeelded the Romanes no accesse, are now subdued unto Christ. And somewhat after, Britanny is enclosed within the compasse of the Ocean. The nation of the Mauri, and the barbarous Getulians are beset by the Romanes, for feare they might passe beyond the limits of their countries. What should I speake of the Romanes, who with garizons of their Legions fortifie their empire? Neither are the able to extend the poure of their domination beyond those very nations. But the kingdome and name of Christ reacheth father still, it is beleeved in every place, and is worshipped of all those people above named, &c.
65. But our Ecclesiasticall writers who have emploied both time and diligence in the consideration of this point endevor and labour to prove, and that out of ancient authors of credit, that this before this time, in the very dawning and infancies of the Church, Britanny had received the Christian religion: and namely that Joseph of Arimathea a noble Senator, sailed out of Gaule into Britanny, and that Claudia Rufina the wife of Aulus Pudens, which woman, as is credibly thought, S. Paul nameth in his later epistle to Timothy, and whom the Poet Martiall so highly commendeth, was a Britan borne. They cite also the testimony of Dorotheus, who commonly goeth under the name of the Bishop of Tyre, who in his Synopsis hath recorded, that Simon Zelotes, after he had travelled through Mauritania, was at last slaine and buried in Britanny: as also that Aristobulus, whom S. Paul mentioneth in his Epistle to the Romanes, was made Bishop of Britanny (whereto Nicephorus inclineth), notwithstanding he speaketh of Britania and not Britannia. They report likewise upon the authority of Simeon that great Metaphrast, and of the Greeks Menology, that S. Peter came hither and spred abroad the light of Gods word: out of Sophronius also and Theodoret, that S. Paul after his second imprisonment in Rome, visited this our country. Whereupon Venantius Fortunatus, if he may be beleeved as a Poet, writeth thus of him, unlesse he speaketh of his doctrine:
Pass’ d over Seas, where any Ile makes either port or bay,
And lands, so far as Britans coast or cape of Thule lay.
But to this purpose maketh especially that which erewhile I alleged out of Tertullian, as also that which Origen recordeth how the Britans with one consent embraced the Faith, and made way themselves unto God by meanes of the Druidae, who alwaies did beat upon this article of beleefe, that there was but one God. And verily of great moment and importance is that with me, that Gildas, after he had mentioned the rebellion of Boodicia and treated of the revenge thereof, Meane while, quoth he, Christ, that true Sun, shining with his most glittering brightnesse upon the universall world, not from the temporall skie and firmament, but even from the highest cope of heaven, exceeding all times, vouchsaved first His beames, that is to say His precepts and doctrine in the time, as we know, of Tiberius Caesar, unto this frozen Iland full of Ice, and lying out as it were in a long tract of earth remote from the visible sunne. Chrysostome likewise (to note so much by the way) writeth of the Christian religion in this Iland as followeth, The British Islands seated without this sea, and within the very Ocean, have felt the poure of the Word (for even there also be Churches founded and altars erected), of that Word, I say, which is planted in the soules, and now also in the lips of all people. And the same Chrysostome in another place, How often have folk in Britanny fed of mans flesh? But now with fasting they refresh the soule. Likewise S. Hierome, The Britan divided from our world, if he proceed in religion, leaving the western parts toward the Suns setting, will seek Hierusalem, a City known unto him by fame only, and relation of scriptures. But now passe we forward from the Church to the Empire.
66. When Commodus was slaine, Pertinax, being called to the Empire, sent presently Albinus again over into Britanny. But after that Pertinax within eight hundred and two daies was made away, Didius Julianus (who likewise was within a while killed) at Rome, Pescennius Niger in Syria, Clodius Albinus in Britanny, and Septimus Severus in Pannonia all together at once take upon them the soverainty of the Empire. Severus, being next unto Rome, hastneth first to Rome, and, with consent of the souldiers and Senate proclaimed Emperor, straightwaies (Because he would not leave an enemy behind at his back) craftily created Albinus Caesar. This Albinus, chiefe commander of the forces in Britanny and Gaule, and having stamped mony with his image upon it, set up his statues, and conferred upon him the honorable dignity of a Consull, wisely with good foresight dulceth [sweetens] and kindly intreateth the man. Then maketh he an expedition into the East against Niger, whom in a plaine field hee gave battell unto, vanquished and slew. The City Bizantium after 3 yeeres siege he forced and woon: the Adiabenes, Arabians and other nations hee brought to his subjection. Being now puffed up with pride for these fortunate victories, and impatient of a companion in government, he sent under-hand murderers of purpose to dispatch Albinus; but seeing his secret practises tooke not effect, hee openly proclaimeth him Traitor and an enemie to the State, and with all the speed he could make, hasteneth into Gaule against him: where Albinus with the choice and chiefe strength of the British armie made head neere unto Lyons. The Albinians fought most valiantly, in so much as Severus himselfe, throwing from him his purple robe, began with his men to flie. But when the said British forces, as if now the victorie had been in their hands, displaied their rankes in thinner arraies, and ran furiously upon their enemies backs, discomfited and in rout, Laetus, one of Severus his Captaines, who with his fresh and unsoiled troupes waited until then for to see the issue of the battell (having heard withall that Severus was slain), with a purpose and resolution now to take the Empire upon him, charged upon them and put them to flight. And Severus, having by this time rallied his men and resumed the purple Robe aforesaid, followed likewise fiercely upon them, and having slain Albinus with a number of other, obtained a most fortunate victorie. Upon this, Severus (having alone the Soveraigntie of the whole world) sent first Heraclianus to seize upon Britaine, and to rule it; then Virius Lupus, as Propraetor and Lieutenant (whom Ulpian the Civill Lawyer nameth Praesident of Britaine) who, as we shall relate in place convenient, built many new Castles there. Howbeit, driven he was in the end to redeeme his own peace at the hands of the Maeatae with a great summe of money, after hee had recovered some few prisoners, considering that the Caledonians kept not their word, who had promised to keepe under the said Maeatae. And being not able, after many losses and calamities sustained, to represse the sudden rodes and assaults made by the enemies, of necessitie he sent for Severus himselfe: who gladly and thankefully taking of this good occasion to withdraw and weane his sonnes (given to licentious rioting) from the delightsome pleasures of Rome-Citie, and therewith to augment his owne stile with the addition of Britannicus, albeit he was above threescore yeeres of age, and gowtie besides, fully resolveth with his two sons Basianus (whom he had named Antoninus and Augustus), Geta Caesar, and the Legions, to enter Britaine. The Britans forthwith sent Embassadours unto him for peace. Whom after he had of purpose detained with him a good while, till he might prepare all things meet for warre, he sent away as they came without obtaining their suit, and leaving his sonne Geta (whom hee created Augustus at his first arrivall in Britaine) in the hither part of the Province which continued in obedience to the Romanes, for the civill jurisdiction and administration of the affaires there, himself with Antoninus went into the further parts, where being occupied in cutting downe woods, making bridges, and drying up the meres, he fought no battell; howbeit, what with the ambuscadoes of enemies, and what with sicknesse, he lost fiftie thousand of his men. Thus writeth Dio. But Herodian hath recorded, that in certaine light skirmishes, whiles the barbarous Britans kept the fennie bogs and most thick woods, out of which they might more safely assaile the Romans, he had the upper-hand. Yet he enforced them in the end to a league, with this condition, that they should yeeld unto him a good part of their Countrey. And that which is the greatest honour and ornament of his Empire, he fenced it with a wall overthwart the Island, from one coast of the Ocean to another. for these victories he stamped certaine peeces of money with this inscription, VICTORIA BRITANNICA, assumed the surname of Britannicus Maximus, and his sonne Geta named Britannicus bare it, as appeareth by his coines. Howbeit, the Britans afterward (having broken covenent) began to rebell, and make alteration in the state, whereupon his wrathfull indignation against them brake out into such termes, as that in an assembly of his souldiers he gave them in charge to make a generall massacre of them all, using these verses out of Homer, to this effect:
Let none escape your bloudy hands, but be they sure to die,
Spare not the verie babes unborne, in mothers wombe that lie.
These rebels when he had in some sort repressed with the helpe of his own forces. he sickned, not so much upon any bodily disease as for griefe and sorrow of mind, occasioned by the desperate and unreclaimable misdemeanour of his Sonne Antoninus, who once or twice gave the attempt to kill him with his owne hand; and so he yeelded up his vitall breath at Yorke, uttering at the point of death these his last words, A troubled state of Comon weale I found in every place, but I leave it now in peace and quietnesse, even among the Britans. His body here was in militarie sort carried forth by his souldiers, bestowed in a funerall fire, and honoured with a solemne justing, and running at Tilt, performed by his owne souldiers and sonnes. I might peradventure be censured for my vanitie, if I should relate in this place the prodigies that went before his death, and namely as touching the sootie and black hostes or Sacrifices, as also the coronet made of the deadly and mournefull cypress, which a scurrile Buffon and jester presented unto him with these words, Thou hast been all, now bee a God. But after what maner he was canonized a God, I will not thinke much of mine owne paine to annex hereunto, considering that the knowledge thereof may delight the reader also.
67. A Custome the Romanes have, to consecrate those Emperours that die, their Sonnes or Successours surviving And whosoever are in this wise honoured, be canonized and registered in the Roll of their divi, that is, Gods. Now, during this complement, they hold a generall mourning thorow the whole citie, and the same mixed with a festivall solemnitie. For after the Princes death, they burie the bodie honourably, and with sumptuous funerals, according to the maner of other men. But withall, they frame an image of waxe resembling in all points the party deceased, and lay the same openly at the entry of the palace, upon a most ample and stately bed of Ivorie, erected on high, and covered with a cloth of gold. And verily, that image lieth with a palish and wan colour like unto a sicke man. About the bed on both sides there sit a great part of the day the whole bodie of the Senate on the right hand, arraied in their blacks; and on the left hand certaine Dames and Ladies, who are by the place and dignitie of the husbands or parents worshipfull. And there is not one of them seene to weare any gold about them, nor to be adorned with jewels, but clad in white and slender garments, they represent mourners. This do they for seven daies together, during which time the Physitians resort daily unto him to touch his pulse, and consider of his disease, and thereupon as of their patient, judicially pronounce that he groweth worse and worse. This after a sevenight, when it seemed that hee was departed, certaine of the noblest and most choice yong gentlemen, as wel of the Senators as knights degree, take up the foresaid bed upon ther shoulders, and carrie it thorow the high street called Sacra into the old Forum, where the Roman Magistrats had wont to lay down their rule and government. Here on both sides were certain freeses or steps in maner of staires raised, upon which, on the one hand was placed a quire of boies of noblest birth, and of the Patritian degree, and on the other, a company of women likewise of noble parentage, singing in commendation of the dead Prince hymnes and sonets, entuned in a solemne and mournfull note. Which done, they take up the said bed or hearse againe, and carrie it out of the Citie into Campus Martius, where, in the broadest place of the said field, a frame or turret foure square with equal sides was raised, and the same made in maner of a tabernacle, of no other matter than main great peeces of timber. And verily within it was all over filled with dry fewell; but without, adorned with rich hangings woven with gold wire between, with divers ivory portraicts of imagery, and sundry curious pictures. Over this frame there stoode another somewhat lesse: howbeit, in forme and furniture verie like unto the former, with windowes and dores standing open. And for a third and fourth turret, smaller every one that next beneath it, and others likewise still one after another, untill you come to the last and utmost, which is the least and highest of all the rest. The maner of this whole building a man may well compare to these lanterns or light-towers standing by haven sides, and are commonly called Phari, which give light by fire in the night time, and direct ships at sea in their course to safe harboroughs. The hearse then being mounted up into the second tabernacle, they get together spices and odours of all sorts, likewise all the sweet smelling fruits, herbes, juices and liquors that the whole world can yeeld, and thereon powre the same forth heap-meale. For there is not a nation, city or state, nor any person of worthy and marke above the rest, but strive avie [competitively] every one to bestow in honor of the Prince those last gifts and presentes. Now when there is a mighty heape of the said spiceries gotten together, so that the whole roome is filled therewith, then all the Gentlemen of the Knights order first ride about that edifice, marching in a certaine measure, and therewith in their courses and recourses observe a warlike kind of motion round, in just measure and number. The open chariots likewise are driven about by courteours in purple robes of honor sitting thereupon to guide and direct them with visards [masks] on their faces resembling all the redoubted captaines and renowmed Emperors of Rome. These ceremonies thus performed, the Prince that next succeedeth in the Empire takes a torch and first himselfe sets it to the tabernacle aforesaid: then all the rest from every side put fire under, so that foorthwith every place being full of the said dry fuell and odors, kindle and catch fire mightily. Then straightwaies from the highest and least tabernacle, as it were out of some lover [louvre] or high turret together with the fire put underneath, an Eagle was let flie, and the same was supposed to carry up the Princes soul unto heaven. And so from that time forward was the Emperor reputed and by the Romanes adored among the rest of the Gods. Thus much by way of disgression and beside the matter: let us resume.
68. Antoninus Caracalla the sonne of Severus persued the reliques of the war by his captaines for a while in Britaine: but soone after he made peace, surrendring to the enemy their territories and castles. Howbeit in a spirit of ambition he assumed to himselfe in his stile the name of Britannicus, yea and of Britannicus Maximus His brother Geata likewise took upon him the title and addition of Britannicus. For we have seen his mony coined with this Inscription, IMP. CAES. P. SEPT. GETA PIVS. AVG. BRIT. PONTIF. TRI. P. III COS. II PP. From this time forward, writers have in long silence passed over the affaires of Britaine. For Alexander Severus was not slaine, as some would have it, in Sicila a towne of Britaine, but in Gaule. This certaine evidence onely have wee out of an antique stone, that Nonnius Philippus was here Propretor under Gordianus the yonger.
69. Whiles Gallienus the Emperor gave himselfe over to all maner of riotousnesse, the State of Rome, either through the carelesse managing of affaires, or by some inclination of the Destinies, lay dismembred, as it were, and maimed in all parts, and a heavy rent there was and revolt of this province from the Romane Captaine. For thirty tyrants there were who in divers places usurped rule and dominion: among whom Lollianus Victorinus, Posthumus, the Tetrici and Marius bare soveraign sway, as I suppose, in this Iland. For their coines are here in great abundance and digged up daily. Under Aurelian, that notable bibber Bonosus, a Britain borne, entred upon the Empire together with Proculus, who claimed to himselfe all Britaine, Spaine and Braccata Galia, which provinces Florianus had for two moneths governed, but being in a long and bloody battell vanquished by Probus, he hanged himselfe, whereupon this jest went commonly on him, there hangs a tankard, and not a man.
70. Howbeit Probus was welcommed into Britaine with new troubles and commotions. For one, whom Probus himselfe, induced by the commendation of his familiar friend Victorinus Maurus, had promoted to an office of state, practiced a revolt. For which he fell out by way of expostulation with Victorinus, who having gotten leave to depart unto the said party, and feining that he fled and was escaped from the Emperor, beeing kindly entertained of the tyrant slue him in the night and returned to Probus, and therewith was the province rid of these broiles. But who this Tyrant was, no man hath related. Howbeit, he may seem to be that Cl. Com. Laelianus whose peeces of coine are found in this Iland, and not elsewhere. Moreover, Probus sent hither the Burgundians and Vandals whom he had subdued, and granted them places to inhabit: who afterwards, so often as any one went about to raise sedition, stood the Romanes in good stead. Now, whereas Vopiscus writeth that Probus permitted the Britans to have vines, there is a right learned man that feareth lest hee have inconsideratly put this down in writing, as if this land were unfit for vineyards: and yet it hath vines, and for certain it is known that it had very many. In regard of so many tyrants rising up in these daies within this province, Porphyrie, who lived in this age, cried out in these termes, Britaine a fertile Province of tyrants.
71. After this, Carus Augustus the Emperor allotted by decree this our country, together with Gaule, Spaine and Illyricum unto his sonne Carinus. That he warred here, some there be that slightly, but how truly I wot not, gather out of these verses of Nemesianus,
Neither may I the wars in silence hide
Dispatcht of late with happy hand in North
By thee, Carine, thy father Deifi’ d,
Who dost well nere surpasse in works of worth.
Under Dioclesian, Carausius a Menapian borne, a man of very base parentage, howbeit inventive and active withall, for his valour shewed in battels at sea became renowmed, was ordained Captaine of Bologne in Gaule to put back and drive away the Saxons and Frankners that troubled the seas. This Carausius, having at first from time to time taken many of the Barbarians prisoners, and yet neither brought in all the booty and pillage into the Emperors treasury, nor made restitution of goods unto the Provincials: afterwards when as hee vanquished and subdued but few of them, began deeply to be suspected, that of set purpose he admitted the Barbarians to enter, to the end in their passage by he might intercept them with booty, and so by this occasion enrich himselfe, whereupon Maximian Augustus the Emperor gave commandement that he should be killed. Whereof he having certain intelligence, tooke upon him the Imperiall ensignes and seized Britain into his own hands, withdrew the navy that lay in defence of Gaule, built many ships after the Romane manner, adjoined to himselfe the Romane Legion, kept out the companies of forrain souldiers, assembled and drew together the French Merchants to muster, fortified Bologne with a garison, conveied away and tooke to his owne use the publike revenewes of Britain and Batavia, allured by the spoiles of whole provinces no small power of barbarian forces to be his associates, and the Franks especially, whom he trained to sea-service, and in a word, made all the sea coasts every way dangerous to passage. To the vanquishing of him, Maximianus set forward with a puissant army, out of which som there were who in the very voiage suffered death gloriously for Christs sake: but when he was come to the sea-side, being skared partly for want of sea-souldiers, and partly with the rage of the British Ocean, staied there; and having made a fained peace with Carausius, yeelded unto him the rule of the Iland, considering he was taken to be the meeter man, both to command and also to defend the Inhabitants against the warlike nations. Hereupon it is, that wee have seen in the silver coines of Carausius two Emperors joining hands, with this circumscription, CONCORDIA AVG. But Maximian turned his forces upon the Frankners, who then held Batavia, and had secretly under hand sent aid unto Carausius: whom hee susrprized on such a sudden, that he forced them to submission. In this meane while, Carausius governed Britain with incorrupt and unstained reputation, and in exceeding great peace: against the the Barbarians, as writeth Ninnius the disciple of Elvodugus, hee reedified the wal between the mouths of Cluda and Carunus, and fortified the same with 7 castles, and built a round house of polished stone upon the bank of the river Carun, which took name of him, erecting therewith a triumphall arch in remembrance of victory. Howbeit Buchanan thinketh verily it was the Temple of Terminus, as we will write in Scotland.
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