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The Roman power now began to decay, and after the seat of empire was removed to Constantinople, the remote provinces were left more to their own resources. In the reign of Valentinian I., the Picts and Scots are said to have A. D. pillaged the city of London, carrying off its inhab367.itants as slaves. Theodosius, father of the emperor of that name, repelled these invaders, and restored the wall of Severus; but the northern districts were never after allowed to enjoy any rest. In 382, Maximus, supposed to be of British descent, assumed the imperial purple. Not content with his insular dominions, he aimed at the empire of the West, and established the seat of his brief government at Treves. The number of Britons who followed his fortunes was so great that the island was left almost defenceless, and the Scots and Picts renewed their depredations. Britain was now abandoned to its own resources, and the troops successively raised a number of puppets to the supreme authority. Honorius, in the year 420, formally released the Britons from their allegiance; they afterwards refused to acknowledge the authority of the Roman provincial and municipal governors, and in their stead appointed the ancient chiefs of the native tribes. This confederation of petty rulers was controlled by an elective monarch, probably one of their own number, with the title of Pendragon. But, far from uniting the people and strengthening them against foreign aggression, this new institution became a source of division and weakness. The southern part of the island was distracted by two great factions: Aurelius Ambrosius, a descendant of one of the emperors, being at the head of the Roman party, and Vortigern of the British. Religious controversy and civil war soon reduced the country to a state of anarchy; and it is not improbable that Vortigern had in view the destruction of his rival when he applied for the aid of foreign arms to enable him to repel the incursions of the Picts and Scots.

10. The Romans left behind them in Britain many magnificent relics of their taste and industry. To those accustomed to the civilisation and to the warm sun of Italy, it must have been felt as a calamity to be compelled to live not only in a cold, foggy, uncultivated country, but among a

barbarous people. However, like wise men, they seem to have devoted their talents and industry to make the best of their situation. They protected themselves with a number of fortified towns. Castrum was the term applied to such a fortification, and nearly all the places in England which end in cester or chester have their names from Roman fortresses; as, for example, Manchester, Porchester, and Cirencester. They made a means of passage for themselves throughout the island by paved roads. Their generals and governors of provinces built handsome villas in the sunniest spots they could discover; and fragments of marble sculpture or of brilliantly coloured pavements-the remains of some powerful Roman's mansion-have often been turned up by the plough, or in railway excavations. The Romans enjoyed the luxury of bathing, and as they soon discovered the valuable properties of the warm springs of Bath, it appears to have been used by them as a fashionable wateringplace. The remains of two temples, and of a number of statues, have here been dug up, in laying the foundations of new streets and squares for the accommodation of those who frequent the place for the same purpose as the Romans did seventeen hundred years ago.

11. Under the Romans, the southern Britons made rapid advances in civilisation. Their chief export was corn, and the island became a great storehouse to the northern part of the empire. Its cattle, horses, and dogs were held in high esteem on the continent, while cheese, lime, marl, and chalk were also largely exported. We learn from Tacitus, that besides tin and lead, both iron and the precious metals were obtained in Britain. Its pearl-fishery, which was early celebrated, is said to have been one of the motives of Cæsar's invasion, and a shield, ornamented with British pearls, was suspended by the great conqueror in the Temple of Venus at Rome. Its oysters were highly prized by the Roman epicures, and from the time of Juvenal to the present day, the same neighbourhood has continued to produce those of the best quality.

It is pretty clearly ascertained that a gold coinage was in use not long after Cæsar's invasion, of which numerous specimens have been found, displaying the figures of horses, oxen, pigs, and sheep, while a few bear on the reverse the

head of some apparently royal personage. Carausius and Allectus, during their brief sovereignty, issued a metallic currency, of which several specimens are still to be found in the national museum or in the cabinets of the curious.

But we must ever consider the greatest gift which the early Britons received from their Roman conquerors to be the truths of Christianity. The Romans hated the Druids, and gradually exterminated them. The soldiers of Cæsar and Agricola would of course continue to follow their own system of polytheism; and indeed they erected many heathen altars, which may still be seen in the museums, where they were deposited as they were from time to time dug


But they had not a long intercourse with the Britons before they were themselves made Christians. The inhabitants suffered along with the rest of the Roman empire under the persecutions of Diocletian, four hundred years after the birth of Christ; but as the other provinces of the empire imbibed Christianity, so did Britain. The particulars, however, of the first conversion of the people are not known. Some writers have maintained that Saint Paul preached to the Britons; and one of our best artists painted a picture of the apostle under an oak, proclaiming the truths of the gospel to the wild inhabitants of the island and their Druid priests. All that we can say with truth is, that Christianity made great progress among them, and that they were not behind the rest of the Roman empire in the acknowledgment of the true faith.


1. Where do we find the earliest accounts of Britain and Ireland? State the reasons why these accounts are imperfect.

2. State the reasons for supposing that there was but a small population in Britain when the Romans landed. Were the people a united nation under one government as they are at present? Was it a very glorious thing for the Romans to gain victories over such a people? What was the state of the surface of the country? Mention ordinary things existing all over the island at the present day which were then unknown.

3. How do we derive the best knowledge of the condition of the early inhabitants? Describe some of their works. Where are the principal Druidical circles? Describe their fortifications. Describe the existing specimens of their arms. How far were the ancient Britons acquainted with the use of metals? What remains of metallic proState what is known regarding their

ductions have been found?


4. What was the religion of the ancient Britons called? How were the Druids divided into classes? What did they teach? In what form do traces of their superstitions remain? What connexion are they supposed to have had with the stone circles?

5. When did Cæsar first land in Britain? Describe the event. Describe Cæsar's second invasion. What districts did he penetrate into? What name did the Romans give the leader who resisted him? What was the practice of the Romans in giving names to the people of barbarous countries? What does Cæsar say of the British method of fighting? How long was it after Cæsar's time before the Romans again invaded Britain?

6. How is it that barbarous tribes give opportunities for ambitious nations to conquer them? Who was the next Roman general who invaded Britain? How did the Britons resist him? How far did the reinforcements under the emperor advance? What Roman commander had to fight more than thirty battles? Where did Ostorius Scapula erect forts? Describe the main events in the history of Caractacus. Describe those in the history of Boadicea.

7. When did Julius Agricola take the command in Britain? How is it that we are better informed of his proceedings than of those of other Roman governors in Britain? What celebrated battle did he fight in Scotland? With whom was it fought? What various places is it said to have been fought in? What remains exist of the progress of the Roman arms in Scotland? State where there is a good specimen of a Roman camp.

8. Were the conquests of Agricola long retained? Where was the boundary of the empire subsequently fixed? Where did Lollius Urbicus fix it? What was his rampart called? Describe the proceedings of the Emperor Severus. Who ceded the districts north of the Solway and Tyne?

9. In what state do we next find Britain mentioned by the Romans? Under what circumstances did Carausius come to the island? What did he achieve? How did the Roman power again decay? From what enemies did the southern Britons suffer? Who was Maximus, and what was his history? When were the Britons formally released from obedience, and by whom? What was their history immediately after that event?

10. What indications of their presence did the Romans leave in Britain? How did they accommodate themselves to the country? How are the names of their fortified places still remembered? What remains show the manner in which they lived?

11. What effect had the presence of the Romans on the natives? What was the chief produce of the country under them? What were its exports? What luxury did the Romans derive from the British coast? What do we know of the coinage under the Romans? What was the greatest gift which the Romans conferred on this island? What do we know of the propagation of Christianity among the Britons?




1. THE Countries on the shores of the Baltic and the North Sea, extending southwards to the Rhine, were inhabited by a fierce and savage people, known in history as the Saxons, though, strictly speaking, consisting of several tribes, the chief of which were the Jutes, the Angles, and the Saxons proper. Piracy was their habitual occupation; and even at those times when the storms, so frequent in the German Ocean, compelled the Roman galleys to seek a shelter in their own harbours, these hardy corsairs would put to sea in their frail barks, and fall suddenly upon some unprotected portion of the shores of Gaul or Britain. Their religion, the sanguinary creed of Odin, fanned their martial spirit; for a glorious death in battle was believed by them to ensure their admission to Valhalla, the abode of the blessed. With every returning spring they renewed their adventurous career, under the guidance of some renowned leader. Poetry and music celebrated their heroic exploits; and in the dreary nights of winter, when the season interrupted their predatory excursions, the chief himself would celebrate in rude strains the valiant deeds of his devoted followers. Their weapons were the dagger, spear, battleaxe, and sword; and their more powerful champions frequently wielded a ponderous mace, bound and spiked with iron, against which the strongest defensive armour afforded no protection.

From these wild warriors, described as exulting in battle, and shouting with laughter in the midst of bloodshed, Vortigern, the British king, sought assistance against the Picts. The two leaders from whom he chiefly received aid have come down to our own days with the names of Hengist and Horsa, but very little is known with truth as to their actual history. It is said that their promised reward was the small island of Thanet, at that time separated from the adjacent mainland by a strait nearly a mile in breadth. With the help of his new allies, Vortigern drove the in

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