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The Cantium Tribe

Background to the Cantium

Location of the CatellauniLocation of the tribe

Far South East of England, Kent and a smail part of Sussex

Background information

Julius Caesar noted in his writings that this part of Britain was occupied by what he considered to be the most civilised tribe in Britain.

Mostly this attributed to the fact that being the furthest south and east, therefore closest to the continent, they were the tribe most influenced by European ways and innovation, due to their extensive trade with Gaul.

Some of the writings about the Cantium

Caesar

'The natural shape of the island (Britain) is triangular, and one side lies opposite to Gaul. Of this side one angle, which is in Cantium (where almost all the ships from Gaul come in to land), faces the east, the lower angle faces south.'

Caesar

'Of all the Britons the inhabitants of Cantium, an entirely maritime district, are by far the most civilised, differing but little from the Gallic manner of life.'And provides us with further snippets on the political

Caesar

'Cassivellaunus¹ sent messages to Cantium, a country by the sea, as above set forth, over whose four districts Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus, and Segovax ruled as kings, and commanded them to collect all their forces for a sudden attempt and assault upon the naval camp.'
Principal towns and settlements in Cantium territory

Durovernum Cantiacorum - (Canterbury, Kent) - Pre-Roman settlement, later Civitas capital served by a port three miles down the Stour at Fordwich.

Pre-Roman Settlements

  • Durobrivae - (Rochester, Kent) - Pre-Roman native settlement on the Medway. One of only two walled towns in Cantium territory. The other being Canterbury.
  • Durolitum? - (Ospringe, Kent)
  • Hastings (Sussex) - This iron port had overland connections with Kent rather than Sussex.
  • Loose - (near to Maidstone, Kent) - Pre-Roman native settlement on the upper Medway.
  • Maidstone (Kent) - A Roman settlement of some kind is suspected.
  • Noviomagus Cantiacorum -(Crayford, Greater London) - Posting Station on Watling Street
  • Portus Dubris - (Dover, Kent) - Coastal Station
  • Portus Lemanis - (Lympne, Kent) - Coastal Station
  • Rutupiae - (Richborough, Kent) - The main port of entrance to Britain.
  • Titsey (Kent) - Rural temple may mark the western border of the Canton.
  • Vagniacis or Vagniacae - (Springhead, Kent) - Posting Station on Watling Street
Some of the Cantium kings and queens

Dubnovellaunus Perhaps one of several kings of the Cantium in the latter half of the first century BC. He could well have been the second British king mentioned in the Augustan record, but it is not likely.

Cunobelin The coins of Cunobelin of the Catuvellauni appeared throughout Cantium territory during the early part of the first century AD. It is widely beleived that the Catuvellauni became extremely powerful sometime between the second expedition of Caesar and the Roman invasion. There is much evidence to suggest that the Cantium tribe were overrun by the Catuvellauni, as were the Atrebates and the Trinovantes.

Adminius Adminius was probably the eldest son of Cunobelin, who was given the administration of Cantium by his father around 30AD

IceniTrinovantesCatuvellanuniCantiumAtrebatesDumnonniDurotrigesDobunniSiluresDemetaeOrdovicesCornoviiCorieltauviDruidsDeceangliBrigantesParisiVotadiniSelgovaeNovantae?VeniconesThere be Dragons here!TaexaliVacomagiCaledonni

To see the details of a tribe from an area, pass your mouse pointer over the map and select a specific region.

This section is not quite complete, as there are some tribes for which there is little information. These will be updated when the necessary facts have been established.

 

 

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