By P J Casey
Lower than Carausius and his successor Allectus, Britain for a decade (AD 286-96) completed an independence which threatened the soundness of the Roman Empire. With coastal parts of Gaul additionally forming a part of the separatist dominion, the difficulty ended in the production of a moment tier of imperial rulers. Constantius Chlorus used to be promoted to suppress the riot and his good fortune lead the way for his son Constantine - who was once to take advantage of the province recovered by means of his father because the base for his personal bid for imperial attractiveness. His good fortune - and his adoption of Christianity because the kingdom faith - was once to form the realm within which we nonetheless reside. This little recognized yet remarkable episode within the heritage of Roman Britain has been brilliantly pieced jointly by way of John Casey, via a painstaking - and now and then detective-like - sifting of the literary, archaeological and numismatic facts. The latter is as wealthy because it is complicated and is gifted with an impossible to resist mix of enthusiasm and readability. What emerges is that the independence of england used to be established upon navel strength. those rulers managed the ocean lanes of the English Channel and North Sea in a fashion that no naval strength had performed because the time of Augustus. within the aftermath of defeat, the abolition of a unified naval command diminished the Roman reaction to seaborne raiders to a reactive stategy, instead of an aggressively campaigning one. within the long-term this dramatic episode used to be to play an important, if fluctuating, half in well known political mythology. within the centuries whilst insular debate used to be paramount, the insurrection held its position in literary and ancient dialogue, with mythical accretions freely grafted on; curiosity waned through the eighteenth century - basically to be rekindled within the current century, while a revival of Carausian reports coincided with a go back to insularity and a redefinition of political horizons.
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Extra info for Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers (Roman Imperial Biographies)
Despite bad weather Constantius prevails, Allectus is defeated, and London is saved from the depredations of the usurper’s fleeing and broken forces, specifically Frankish mercenaries. Allectus’s body is found on the battlefield together with his entourage. Additionally ‘hardly a single Roman died in the victory of the Roman empire’. Constantius is then hailed by a jubilant population of Britain as a liberator (Pan. Lat. viii(vi). 5). 44 THE LITERARY NARRATIVE The Panegyric of 310 adds nothing to this account except to claim, in contrast to the earlier account, that the expedition was blessed with absolutely calm seas (Pan.
In any event, a steady process of homogenization had taken place in the population; the influence of the military recruitment of non-British auxiliaries led to the creation of a large non-indigenous population in the military zone. The deportation of foreign populations to Britain is recorded on two occasions, and for all we know there may have been more. The first of these deportations, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, was of 5500 Sarmatian cavalry from the Danube region who were settled in the region of Ribchester, in Lancashire (Richmond, 1945).
Here we may be able to ascertain whether the production of the rival camps was representative of a campaign of numismatic propaganda and whether the coinage gives an indication of policy or political intent. Perhaps before taking this step we should ask to whom all this numismatic fine art was directed. It is unlikely that the bulk of the population, labouring in the fields, elbow deep in clay in the potteries, or sweating in the forests to fell timber for the construction of fleets, gave much thought to the nuances of imperial numismatic ideology; their concerns were with coins as money.