Roman Britian

As well all know, despite being one of the most loyal province in the entire roman empire, Britain was abandoned to its fate by the romans.

Now, is it possible for the romans to maintain britian as a semi-automous region, but still being offically under the roman empire?

And here's the most important bit.

Make the western roman empire survive through britian, with the emperors still there.

So instead of seeing a Kingdom of England in during the medivial age, we will see a western empire down there during the medivial age.


Is this possible?
 
I dont think so... Saxons would have swept the remnants of the Western Empire in no time... Besides who could use Britain as his power base? It was just too far away for anyone to care or help....
 
I dont think so... Saxons would have swept the remnants of the Western Empire in no time... Besides who could use Britain as his power base? It was just too far away for anyone to care or help....
Hmm...I was thinking of the last few roman senators and generals decide to do a general retreat to whatever province that was loyal to them.

So some parts of the roman army manage to reach Britian, thus keeping the Saxons at bay while they build over a very long period of time.

And I was thinking of a scenario where the romans have decided that as Britian was one of the most loyal province, they could use britian as a place for the government in exile if Italy has fallen.

So instead of pulling all the troops out, they left a few troops down there to help and create a regional army down there. So it might steam the tide of the saxon invasions.


And given the relative distance of britian from the Goths and etc, other kingdoms might not want to invade a WRE britan for a while.
 
I recently read that Britain could be considered an independent country for much of the 'Roman' period. Apparently there were long delays between rebellions and when they were put down on many occasions. Also Britain was one of 2 provinces who had 3 legions stationed there.
 

ninebucks

Banned
As well all know, despite being one of the most loyal province in the entire roman empire, Britain was abandoned to its fate by the romans.
Argh. Too... much... revisionism!! During the Roman period Britain was not exceptional in any way, its trading-élites were solidly pro-Roman and everyone else was solidly indifferent.

Britain didn't really mean much to Rome, and Rome didn't really mean much to Britain, and despite what 19th Century academics said to try and create a solid line of descent between the Roman and British Empires, honestly, when the two split apart noone really shed a tear.
 
Wasnt this the main theme on the novel "The Last Legion"? Some Romans escape to Britain and establish a new line of Kings there?
 
Hmm...I was thinking of the last few roman senators and generals decide to do a general retreat to whatever province that was loyal to them.

So some parts of the roman army manage to reach Britian, thus keeping the Saxons at bay while they build over a very long period of time.

And I was thinking of a scenario where the romans have decided that as Britian was one of the most loyal province, they could use britian as a place for the government in exile if Italy has fallen.

So instead of pulling all the troops out, they left a few troops down there to help and create a regional army down there. So it might steam the tide of the saxon invasions.


And given the relative distance of britian from the Goths and etc, other kingdoms might not want to invade a WRE britan for a while.
The problem with trying to pull a Kingdom of Soissons in Britain is that it's inevitably going to go the same way as the real Kingdom of Soissons -- ground underfoot by stronger German tribes. At that point, the WRE just didn't have the strength to stand up to the Germans, in Britain or elsewhere.
 
Perhaps an idea could be for Constatine III to settle for Britain and not cross to Gaul if you want a surviving 'Roman Britain'.

Part of the problem with this debate is that the traditional view of the end of Roman Britain (410 Romans bugger off) is increasingly under challenge. Archaeology is showing that many Roman sites continued to function with a Romanised lifestyle for long after this date (villas are still a problem) and that at many military sites there is no indication in a break in occupation-no evidence of a formal withdrawal in most cases (for example, many of the forts along the Wall continue to be occupied with no sign in change of useage or settlement patterns). The most interesting thing is that rather than a collapse after 410 there is increasing evidence of an economic boom in many parts of the country; Francis Pryor's book "Britain AD" is a good accessible source for the info.
 
Perhaps an idea could be for Constatine III to settle for Britain and not cross to Gaul if you want a surviving 'Roman Britain'.

Part of the problem with this debate is that the traditional view of the end of Roman Britain (410 Romans bugger off) is increasingly under challenge. Archaeology is showing that many Roman sites continued to function with a Romanised lifestyle for long after this date (villas are still a problem) and that at many military sites there is no indication in a break in occupation-no evidence of a formal withdrawal in most cases (for example, many of the forts along the Wall continue to be occupied with no sign in change of useage or settlement patterns). The most interesting thing is that rather than a collapse after 410 there is increasing evidence of an economic boom in many parts of the country; Francis Pryor's book "Britain AD" is a good accessible source for the info.

Hmm...there might be chance for a roman emperor to say screw this and relocate the captial to Britian, away from the barbarian invasions and etc.
 
The problem is if whatever political body in England does have a clear line of descent to Rome then the temptation to reclaim the rest of the Empire will be there. Sooner or later some leader would wish to retake, Gaul, Iberia, etc. Setting a never ending series of wars, destruction and decline.

Michael
 
Hmm...there might be chance for a roman emperor to say screw this and relocate the captial to Britian, away from the barbarian invasions and etc.
I think the situation in Italy would have to be very desperate for any emperor to do that. There were times when an ambitious general or whoever who seize Britain and declare himself Emperor but it was always as a springboard for the rest of the Empire.

You also need to bear in mind that Roman Britain was nowhere as Romanised as Rome, Italy or most of Gaul. Even the cities like Rome, though extremely Romanised when compared to the more 'rural' parts of Britain, were rustic compared to any of the cities on the continent. I suspect it would be too much of a culture shock for any emperor to consider this, I think they would rather go for a city in Gaul, Spain or even north Africa (or even Greece).
There is also the problem that Britain, whilst a wealthy province in its own way, would not have been able to support the costs of the imperial court and it lacked the required infrastructure to do so, esp by this period.

It's an interesting idea but for it to work I think you would need a far more romanised Britain with a process that started a lot earlier so it was more self supporting; it was in earlier times (had its own mint at one stage) but by the beginning of 5th C it seems that a lot of industry and such services had shut down.
 
The problem is if whatever political body in England does have a clear line of descent to Rome then the temptation to reclaim the rest of the Empire will be there. Sooner or later some leader would wish to retake, Gaul, Iberia, etc. Setting a never ending series of wars, destruction and decline.

Michael
Even if a Roman court was set up in Britain and a potential Emperor wishes to take over Gaul Italy etc. he would have his ass kicked as soon as winter sets in... He would be cut off from Britain during winter and he would be a sitting duck for the Barbarian hordes...
 
Even if a Roman court was set up in Britain and a potential Emperor wishes to take over Gaul Italy etc. he would have his ass kicked as soon as winter sets in... He would be cut off from Britain during winter and he would be a sitting duck for the Barbarian hordes...
Not so sure, this didn't stop Constantine from giving it a go in 407 or 408 and he was just the latest in a line of wannabe emperors who used Britain as a base. Yes, he got beat but that wasn't to do with being cut off from Britain or anythign like that (I think someone betrayed him to the 'proper' emperor, constantine seemed to be good at annoy his supporters).
Of course, winter crossings of the channel might be more difficult than at other times of the year but not impossible.
 
An idea for a timeline I had was during the Crisis of the Third century, Postumus the Gallic Emperor is not killed, and Britannia remains a province of the Gallic Empire, and so does Hispania.

Maybe if the Gallic rulers managed to keep a strong hold on Britain and maintain its defenses, when they eventually lost France to Barbarians they would retreat to Britain and be able to defend it from invasions...
 
The problem with having Britain break away from the Empire is that every time a would-be emperor was declared by the British legions, he immediately withdrew troop strength from Britain to take Rome and become Augustus. Constantine I, Magnus Maximus, Constantine III, they all wanted to be emperor of all Rome, not just some province on the edge of the world. Carausius was the only emperor of Britain who stayed in Britain and built up its infrastructure and defenses, and that was probably because the emperor at the time was Diocletian. Another problem with Britain being a Roman succesor state is that, like Byzantium, the British emprors will ultimately become, well, British instead of Roman.
 
This would be akin to the government of the US deciding to abandon the lower 48 and relocate to Alaska to rebuild their strength (presumably the German hordes would then be played by Canadians :p).

Britian was a minor province that contributed little to the Western Empire. It certainly didn't have the tax abse to support any sort of signifcant Roman Imperial Class and it's attendant Legions. It was a back-water at the edge of the world, low agricultural productivity, a realitvelyunpleasant climate, with numerous hostile tribes on the doorstep or across the North Sea. It is tempting to think this could have happened (I've done so myself with a Romans-conquer-the Picts-and-fend-off-the-Saxons idea) but economics votes heavily against.

Now, if you wanted to have Italy overrun and Carthage become the seat of a new Western Imperium I could believe you. North Africa held some of the richest provinces and was erlatively secure from barbarians (until the Vandlas showed up in the 440's...)
 
Interesting. I'd still be playing R:TW if I could remember where I put all the disks necessary for installation.

Back on topic, the last real chance for an Independent Roman Britain would be Carausius's breakaway kingdom. Any later and you wind up with an independent Celtic Britain with Roman influences.
 

bard32

Banned
As well all know, despite being one of the most loyal province in the entire roman empire, Britain was abandoned to its fate by the romans.

Now, is it possible for the romans to maintain britian as a semi-automous region, but still being offically under the roman empire?

And here's the most important bit.

Make the western roman empire survive through britian, with the emperors still there.

So instead of seeing a Kingdom of England in during the medivial age, we will see a western empire down there during the medivial age.


Is this possible?
In a word, no. The reason being that the Pope, on December 25, 800, created the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted over a thousand years, and
ended in 1806, when Napoleon said of it: "The Holy Roman Empire isn't holy,
it isn't Roman, and it's not an empire." The Romans abandoned Britain because they were undermanned.
 
In a word, no. The reason being that the Pope, on December 25, 800, created the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted over a thousand years, and
ended in 1806, when Napoleon said of it: "The Holy Roman Empire isn't holy,
it isn't Roman, and it's not an empire." The Romans abandoned Britain because they were undermanned.
I'm pretty sure that quote's from Voltaire...

And what does the HREGN have to do with this topic anyway?
 
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