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Ancient Roman Sources

Cassius Dio and the invasion of Britain

An interesting look at how the invasion of Britain came about. Some tricky language, but good for looking at a potential reason for invasion (Bericus was a Celtic leader who had been pushed out by warring Celtic tribes and asked Emperor Claudius for help in pushing them back), Roman superstitions and tactics of the Britons to 'defeat' the Roman invasion.

Greek traveller/explorer Strabo and the Celts

Section 4.4.2 talks about the Celts' warring nature.

Section 4.4.3 the final paragraph talks about Celtic societal structures and the distribution of labour between men and women compared to Greek society.

Section 4.5.2 describes Britain's resources, people, weather, chariots and inability to make cheese!

Tombstone of Regina

A fascinating tombstone that details the British wife of a Syrian soldier in the Roman army who lived at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields. She was a former slave of Barates, who freed and married her. The inscriptions at the bottom are in two languages  - Latin and Palmyrenen. They describe how Regina was from the Catuvellauni tribe in South Eastern Britain. The first link shows the actual tombstone (information underneath the 3D model), the second link (scroll to the bottom of that page) gives a few more details about it.

Roman coin showing Trajan's Column

A fantastic example of how coins were used throughout the empire to explain successes, triumphs and glories of emperors to all that they ruled over.  As travelling to the actual places to see large monuments wasn't practical, printing these achievements on coins was an effective method in showing people them as Roman currency could be spent all across the empire.

Writing tablet written by a woman

A reconstruction of one of the many tablets found at Vindolanda which shows the earliest evidence of handwriting from a woman in Britain. It also shows us that women in Roman Britain may have experienced more freedoms than women of Rome itself as it is an invitation from one woman to another to a birthday party, meaning that these women could both read and write and were allowed to write their own messages.

Female gladiator relief

This relief, found in Turkey, depicts the release of service of two female gladiators. Interesting to show how women in different parts of the empire were allowed to partake in these activities that would normally be reserved for men.

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