The Romans in Britain site main banner

The Romans in Britain site main banner

Check out some great books and help the site! I have chosen these books as among the best to illustrate this subject.

The Final Conquest

Claudius issues a directive

Claudius had given the Plautius a firm message that he was not to enter the British capital, Camulodunum. He was to wait on the North side of the Thames until Claudius arrived. It was he who was to be the first to enter the British capital, now renamed Londinium.

Claudius was used to the grandeur of the occasion. Being an Emperor meant having all the advantages and ceremony that went with his position. He would not have traveled lightly, but in an entourage of people ranging in rank from Senate officials to staff performing everyday tasks for their masters. Also included were the Praetorian guard and for some unknown reason, elephants. Dio records that Claudius was used to the luxuries and comfort, so a great deal of planning had already taken place. The vehicles used for the journey would have to be of the highest quality, overnight stays prearranged, all basic facilities catered for. This list is endless. Along with this was the number of personnel that would have to accompany him. It is believed that the tribes of Gaul paid for this through their taxes.

Claudius' journey from Rome

Claudius sailed along the Tiber to Ostia, by ship to Messalina, then through Gaul to the Channel. The journey was not without hazard. Of the Ligurian coast . then again near Iles d'Hyeres passing Cote d'Azurthey were nearly shipwrecked before they landed at Messalina. The notorious mistral winds, a fierce bitingly cold wind caused the problems.

The Emperor arrives in Britain

There is little written about Claudius' visit and his movements. Suetonius wrote 'he fought no battle, nor did he suffer any casualties.' Claudius and Plautius were shrewd tacticians and an opportunists. When Claudius crossed the Thames at the head of the army, One or both would have witnessed token resistance from small bans of native tribes, but nothing that would seriously threaten the Romans. Claudius could then claim these victories for himself. Camulodunum is 50 miles south of Londinium, which would have taken about 2 days to travel. Undoubtedly, there would have been small skirmishes on the way, which Claudius would exaggerate to improve his image, especially in the eyes of Rome. Claudius made certain that these conquests were noted by sending dispatches to his two sons in law, Magnus and Silanus who told the Roman Senate of these glorious victories. This would ensure his award the title 'Britannicus'. The most significant event during the time Claudius spent in Britain was to accept the surrender of the British rulers. This would have been taken with great occasion at Camulodunum. It is claimed that he received the submission of 11 tribal leaders. Plautius must have gathered the tribal kings together for this event, after which Claudius would be installed in the British capital. Before he left, Claudius would have ensured the natives were stripped of all weapons and sent Plautius to bring the rest of the country under Roman rule.

Claudius then departed. His image at an all time high and with the knowledge that he had been associated with a great victory. His standing as an Emperor was now unassailable. It is recorded Claudius was away from Rome for six months. This could be due to him returning to Rome via the Rhine and receiving the acclaim of all those he encountered.

Visit our friends at:

Romans in Britain


Romans in Britain testudo footer art
Please just ASK before using anything on this site -- like we'd say "no"...

This page last updated:

Layout and Design:
Sturmkatze Produktions AG banner

Copyright © 2016 Pace Computing, All Rights Reserved
Powered by Pace Computing