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This week we released a film about Roman invasion of the British Isles, featuring insights from the best Roman historians and archaeologists.
Their legacy can be seen through the extensive road networks and urban landscapes that have formed the basis for many key cities and transport routes which dominate Britain today.
We invite you to test your knowledge on the Roman occupation of Britain for your chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher.
First Prize: £20 Amazon Voucher. Top score wins - in the event of a tie, a random drawer will be made.
Entries close 23:59 17 July 2020.
Enjoy Our Range of Roman Programmes
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The Romans and Roman Britain KS2 Quiz
pptm, 11.38 MB
50 questions based around the Romans and Roman Britain where up to 5 teams can play and keep track of their scores within the quiz.
Questions can be generated randomly or you can move through them in sequence. Clicking/tapping on the name of the team will play a sound effect and give them 10 points. The first team to reach 100 points wins the game, which is done automatically.
Great for revising and embedding facts and knowledge to build on long-term learning. Questions can be edited as it is in PowerPoint to suit your own curriculum.
NOTE: DO NOT add or delete slides if you are unfamiliar with basic coding as this will affect the buttons and cause problems with the slides that may appear. Just EDIT existing slides if necessary.
NOTE: Please ‘Allow/Enable Content’ in the yellow banner when you first open it to allow the scores and buttons to work properly.
Test your knowledge of Roman England with our quiz. Click on each question to reveal the answer.
Aulus Plautius assembled an army of four legions, which, along with a number of auxiliary regiments, landed at Richborough in Kent in AD43. The British, under Togodumnus and Caratacus, were taken by surprise and defeated.
Answer: 80 Roman miles
The word mile originates from the Roman 'mille passus', which means 'thousand paces'. There are 5,000 Roman feet in a Roman mile.
Answer: Portchester Castle
The Romans originally built a huge fort on the site, which is in a commanding position at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour, in the late 3rd century. A castle was built in one corner of the fort following the Norman Conquest.
Answer: Corbridge Roman Town
Corbridge in Northumberland is on Hadrian's Wall. It was once a bustling town, where Romans would pick up provisions, and remained so until the end of Roman Britain in the 5th century.
As part of the invasion, Claudius himself even turned up with a herd of war elephants. In total, it took around 30 years of fighting before the Romans took control of most of southern Britain.
The wall extended along the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, from Wallsend on the east coast of Britain to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. Forts were built on the wall approximately every seven miles. There were also smaller milecastles every mile, with two towers between each, creating observation points every third of a mile.
Chesters Roman Fort and Museum
Answer: Julius Caesar
Britain was an unknown land across the sea when Caesar invaded the south of England as part of the Gallic Wars (58-50BC). Caesar's army defeated British tribes but then left to fight elsewhere
Answer: Nerva (reigned 96-98AD), Trajan (98-117AD), Hadrian (117-138AD), Antoninus Pius (138-161AD), Marcus Aurelius (161-180AD)
During the almost 300-year reign of the Five Good Emperors, the Roman Empire expanded significantly and covered northern Britain to Dacia (now part of Romania), Arabia and Mesopotamia.
Ratae Corieltauvorum: Leicester
Answer: The A5
Watling Street ran from Dover to London and then on to Wroxeter via St Albans. The name originated from Anglo-Saxon settlers, who called Verulamium (a town near St Albans that was deserted in the late 5th century) by the name of Wætlingaceaster.
Answer: John Clayton (1792-1890)
John Clayton (1792-1890) was the town clerk of Newcastle upon Tyne, an antiquarian and a lawyer. By the time he died, he owned five forts along Hadrian's Wall, along with most of the wall within this 20-mile stretch. He stopped quarrying near the wall, prevented the use of Roman stone for new buildings, and moved buildings away from the archaeological work that he undertook.
The Corbridge Hoard is one of the most influential Roman 'time capsules' ever discovered in the area around Hadrian's Wall. The objects, which date from between AD122 and 138, include the contents of a Roman workshop and numerous items belonging to a soldier - armour, tools, weaponry, wax writing tablets and papyrus (used for writing and painting on, and for making rope).
Answer: Boudicca, queen of the Iceni of East Anglia
Boudicca's fighters defeated the Roman ninth legion and destroyed the Roman capital of Britain, which was then at Colchester. They also destroyed London and Verulamium (St Albans). Boudicca was finally defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus, and is thought to have poisoned herself so that she wasn't captured.
Answer: Hardknott Roman Fort
Hardknott Roman Fort in Cumbria was established during the reign of Hadrian (AD 117-38). After it was abandoned in the early 3rd century, the fort was used as a shelter by travellers and passing patrols.
From Caesar to Brexit: The English History Quiz
England has a rich and storied history considering the British Isles were inhabited going back more than 800,000 years. From colorful and powerful rulers to modern-day politics, England gives us much to talk about it and it remains a powerful country.
Much of what we refer to as English history began after the Romans lost control of the area. To watch Netflix tell the story, modern-day England started with the rule of the Tudors, specifically Henry VIII and the rest of the clan in 1845. Henry VIII is most famous for having six wives but during his 36 year reign he implemented changes (including his separation from the Catholic church so he can divorce his first wife) that led to the Protestant Reformation. He's also the father of Queen Elizabeth I, considered one of England's greatest and most prominent rulers.
But beyond the country's famous royalty, how much do you know? Are you familiar with Hadrian's Wall? Can you explain the War of the Roses?
If you think you know all about the Tudors, English conflicts, and the events that made England the country it is today, take a stab at this quiz (but don't lose your head if you don't get them all right!).
Spark History Quiz - The Romans in Britain
I am a teacher and a co-founder of Scintilla.ai - we have created the learning platform Spark that uses AI powered spaced repetition to help pupils remember important facts.
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This quiz is designed to give pupils a way to revise common vocabulary from a History unit on Romans.
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A note (and a request) about the RiB site
The site, as you can see, is a bit gaudy, but then the Romans were a bit gaudy :-) We're trying to impart that feeling. PLEASE, let us know your feelings on the site, it's structure and layout, fonts and in general, whatever you think we can make better: RiB Feedback Form .
Fonts, text and other Ephemera.
During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD the province of Britannia was under threat of invasion by Hibernians (Irish), Caledonians and Picts (Scots), and pirates and raiders from northern Europe. The Romans' answer was to build a series of forts around the south and east coasts of Britannia, known as the Forts of the Saxon Shore. For a while they kept the attackers from across the North Sea at bay. Attacks on the whole Roman Empire increased, until finally in 410 AD the Roman army was withdrawn from Britannia and the Britons were left to fend for themselves.
Remember that although the Roman army was recalled in 410 AD, the Romans themselves did not all leave. Examples of those who stayed were retired legionaries and government employees who had settled in Britain, had married Celtic women, or had nothing to go back to in their countries of origin.
ABOUT KS2 HISTORY
This edition of our KS2 History series covers everything primary school students need to know about the Romans and their dealings with Britain. All information is presented in an accessible and engaging way, with numerous questions and activities provided throughout. This allows the reader to take on and retain information more easily as they work through their guide. Finally, at the end of their guide, readers will find two mock exam papers they can use to get a sense of how much they have learned. Throughout this guide, content is supplemented by a range of images that stimulates the reader and brings information to life.
KS2 History is Easy: Romans in Britain contains:
- 161 pages of clearly presented history content with varied practice questions and activities
- All information in accordance with the new national curriculum
- Numerous images and diagrams to support learning and keep the reader engaged
- Clearly defined chapter headings that are easy to navigate
- An opening chapter which provides guidance and advice for parents.
WHY CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT HISTORY IN SCHOOLS – ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT
History is on the primary syllabus in order to give children an introduction to the key events that have shaped Britain over time, and its place in the world as a whole.
Knowledge of these events will create an understanding of how and why the modern world has become what it is today, and inspire a deeper curiosity for learning about how societies and people’s lives have changed as time has passed.
This guide consistently keeps the goals of the new national curriculum in focus, as it has been put together with this government aim in mind.
A SELECTION OF SAMPLE QUESTIONS FROM THIS GUIDE
Answer these true/false questions:
I. Ancient Rome first had a system of government with politicians, and then was ruled by emperors.
II. The Romans were only a force for good.
III. The Roman Empire only spanned modern Europe.
IV. The Roman Army was very important in maintaining control of the Empire.
Below is a paragraph about Romulus and Remus. But, there are some words missing! Using the answers in the box below, fill in the gaps correctly.
Name two ways that Ancient Roman chariot racing is similar to modern sporting events:
Complete the following crossword about Caesar’s invasions of Britain.
Why do you think Boudicca and her warriors were so passionate about defeating the Romans?
On the map below, draw the approximate location of Hadrian’s Wall.
As the legend goes, Romulus and Remus were the son of Mars, the Roman god of WAR .As new borns, they wereabandoned on the River TIBER , in and attempt to get rid of them forever. But, their lives were saved by a WOLF who gave them milk, and a WOODPECKER who found food for them.
Similarities between chariot racing and modern sport:
People fill stadiums to watch, people shout during the sport, people support certain people/teams, people still race horses today.
4. What the Romans called the Celts: Barbarians
5. The Celts dyed this and used it to paint their bodies: Clay
6. Where the White Cliffs are found in Kent: Dover
7. A surprise attack the Celts carried out on the Romans: Ambush
1. The Roman dictator who was desperate to conquer Britain: Caesar
2. What the Celts threw at the Romans from the cliff edge: Javelins
3. Roman soldiers on horseback who could not join Caesar in Britain: Cavalry
Boudicca and her warriors really wanted to defend their land from Roman invasion because they wanted to govern themselves. The Iceni (and others) wanted to be in control of their land and society they didn’t want Romans making decisions for them. The Romans had also disrespected Boudicca and hurt her daughters.
The Romans in Britain
The Romans arrived in Britain in 55 BC. The Roman Army had been fighting in Gaul (France) and the Britons had been helping the Gauls in an effort to defeat the Romans. The leader of the Roman Army in Gaul, Julius Caesar, decided that he had to teach the Britons a lesson for helping the Gauls – hence his invasion.
In late August 55 BC, 12,000 Roman soldiers landed about 6 miles from Dover. Caesar had planned to land in Dover itself, but had to change his plan as many Briton soldiers had gathered on the cliffs ready to fight off the invaders. Even so, the Britons followed the Romans to their landing place and a fierce fight took place on the beach. The Romans were forced to fight in the water as the Britons stormed down the beach. Caesar was impressed with the fighting qualities of the Britons:
|“The Romans were faced with serious problems. These dangers frightened our soldiers who were not used to battles of this kind, with the results that they do not show the same speed and enthusiasm as they usually did in battles on dry land.”|
However, the Romans fought off the Britons who withdrew. But it was clear to Caesar that the Britons were anything but a pushover and by the end of the year, the Romans had withdrawn to Gaul. If a full-scale invasion was to take place, the Romans would need far more men in their invasion force.
Caesar returned the next year in 54 BC. This time he had 30,000 soldiers and the Britons were not prepared to fight the Romans on the beach. This gave the Romans an opportunity to establish themselves as a military force in Britain. Once they had done this, they took on Briton tribes one by one.
Caesar’s success in Britain meant that he neglected Gaul. This encouraged the Gauls to rise up against the Romans and Caesar had to leave Britain with his army to put down the rebellion in Gaul. The Roman Army did not return to Britain for over 90 years.
However, traders from Rome did come to Britain and traded with the tribes that lived there. They realised that Britain was potentially a very wealthy place and if the island was properly controlled by the Romans, Rome itself could do very well out of it.
The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43. This was not as a punishment for helping the Gauls. It was to take over the island. The Romans were to stay for many years. The emperor Claudius sent an army of 40,000 men. It landed safely. The emperor sent not only foot soldiers but cavalry as well. Many tribes in Britain realised the sheer power of this army and made peace quickly with the Romans. Some took on the might of the Roman army. These clashes went on for many years and in parts of Britain, the Romans never actually gained full control. Though the Roman army has achieved fame for its effectiveness as a fighting force, the Britons were skilled and ferocious warriors. Caesar, in particular, was impressed by their skill with chariots:
|“Chariots are used like this. First of all, the charioteers drive all over the field hurling javelins. Generally, the horses and the noise of the wheels are enough to terrify the enemy and throw them into confusion, as soon as they have got through the cavalry, the warriors jump down from their chariots and fight on foot. Meanwhile, the charioteers then move away and place their chariots in such a way that the warriors can easily get back on them if they are hard pressed by the size of the enemy. So they combine the easy movement of cavalry with the staying power of foot soldiers. Regular practice makes them so skilful that they can control their horses at a full gallop, even on a steep slope. And they can stop and turn them in a moment. The warriors can then run along the chariot pole, stand on the yoke and get back into the chariot as quick as lightening.”|
While the Romans thought highly of Britain as a colony, they were less happy about the Britons themselves.
Created Jan 31, 2005 | Updated Jul 16, 2013
Britain experienced almost four hundred years under the control of the Roman Empire. It grew from a Celtic nation full of tribes who were often at war with each other 1 to a (mostly) peaceful Roman province, populated by Romans, Britons, and foreigners. At its height, the Roman Empire encompassed hundreds of thousands of square miles and millions of people. Britain was only a small part of this, but the Roman period brought many changes and was one of the most influential in the history of these islands.
The Expeditions of Caesar
The First Expedition
Julius Caesar was the first Roman to come in force to Britain. In the late summer of 55 BC, while he was Governor of Gaul (modern-day France), he led an exploratory expedition with two legions 2 and an unspecified number of auxiliary troops 3 . He gave his reason for the expedition as to stop the Britons sending military help to the Gauls 4 . The Britons had assembled to meet them and the two sides joined battle on the beach. The Romans eventually overcame a determined British resistance and the Britons asked for peace.
However, many of the Roman ships were wrecked in a storm and the Britons took advantage of this to return to open hostilities, attacking a legion collecting corn and even the Roman camp. They were defeated and again requested peace. They accepted Caesar's terms and he departed once more after only a few weeks in Britain.
The Second Expedition
Caesar returned in 54 BC, possibly because the British had - to a large extent - violated the terms of their agreement with him. Many of the tribes had not sent the hostages he demanded and had stopped paying tribute. This time he brought a considerable force: five legions and 2,000 cavalry. This second expedition was much the same. Caesar defeated several tribes but again left after a short time 5 .
Caesar's successors as rulers of Rome (the Emperors) generally left Britain alone until the time of Emperor Claudius. His hold on the loyalty of the army was not strong and he may have felt that to conquer somewhere was the best way to win their fealty (and glory for himself). He settled on Britain as an easy place to achieve this.
The Romans invaded in 43 AD under the command of General Aulus Plautius, an experienced general and politician. He came with four legions, the second, ninth, fourteenth, and twentieth. Many of the Celtic tribes surrendered and made peace with the Romans. This was a great help to them, as it meant that they didn't have to fight everyone. However, others - such as the Catevellauni - fought and were defeated in battle at the River Medway. Their leader, Caratacus, survived and led revolts against the Romans for many years but was eventually defeated in Wales.
Once most of south-east England was under control, Claudius himself arrived, bringing reinforcements. He supposedly led the Romans to victory against the Catevellauni at Colchester before returning to Rome. The four legions split up under their own commanders, to conquer different parts of the country. For instance, the future Emperor Vespasian (founder of the Flavian dynasty) led the second legion along the south coast, capturing hill forts such as Maiden Castle as well as the Isle of Wight. Eventually, the border of Roman territory ran from the mouth of the River Severn to that of the Humber.
Consolidation of the Conquest
Under later governors, advances were made into Wales (though it was not fully conquered until the later 1st Century) and northern England. Britain also began to develop as a recognisably Roman province, with towns, roads, army bases and other features of Roman control. By this time the south of the country was pacified.
Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni tribe in East Anglia. After the death of her husband, who was called Prasutagus, the Roman procurator 6 seized both his property - which should have gone to Boudicca and her daughters - and that of the Iceni nobility. When Boudicca protested, she was flogged and her daughters were raped.
Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well with Boudicca or the Iceni. In 60 AD, she led a rebellion of the Iceni and the neighbouring Trinovantes against the Romans. They were very successful at first, sacking and razing London, Colchester and St Albans (all major Roman towns by this point) and killing thousands of Romans and Romanised Britons while the Governor, Suetonius Paulinus, was away attacking Anglesey.
Paulinus, receiving news of the revolt, hurried back and marshalled his forces somewhere in the Midlands (possibly near Mancetter). He had about 10,000 men at his disposal, while the Britons reportedly had 100,000. You might think that this was certain to be an overwhelming victory for the Britons. You'd be wrong. They were defeated by the disciplined Roman army and Boudicca died 7 .
The Conquest of Scotland
By 79 AD, most, if not all, of northern England was under Roman control, and the new governor, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, was able to turn his attention to Scotland. Over a period of five years (79 AD to 84 AD) he occupied southern Scotland and pushed further north, defeating the locals and building forts as he went. The most conclusive Roman victory was a major battle at a place called Mons Graupius 8 . He won the battle and began to advance even further, but he was recalled to Rome the same year. The lack of troops meant that the Romans could not continue to hold Scotland permanently.
Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall
When the Emperor Hadrian visited the province of Britain in 122 AD, he ordered the building of a wall right across the border between Roman England and 'barbarian' Scotland. This wall was built by the legionaries but manned by the auxiliaries. It was a large stone wall that dominated the landscape, with a whitewashed front, gates (for trade and collection of taxes) and forts dotted along its length, with much smaller ones every mile. For many years it provided an effective border.
However, in 139 AD, the Romans re-occupied southern Scotland and began the building of the Antonine Wall (named after the then Emperor Antonius Pius). This stretched across a narrow part of Scotland and was built of turf. It was occupied and abandoned several times over a number of years but eventually the frontier was re-established at Hadrian's Wall.
The End of Roman Britain
After this, we have little information about events in Britain. By 401 AD, troops were withdrawn from Britain to deal with growing invasions to the rest of the Empire by the likes of the Visigoths. Britain herself was under attack from the Saxons, but when they appealed to Rome for military aid in 410 AD, the emperor told them to arrange their own defence. This was the end of the Roman period in Britain, and the Western Empire itself fell a few years later.