Romano-British culture

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Romano-British culture describes the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest of AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people Celtic in language and custom. It survived the 5th century Roman departure from Britain. There was even a cultural romanization in the language spoken in Roman Britain: the British Romance. Scholars such as Christopher Snyder believe that during the 5th and 6th centuries — approximately from 410 AD when Roman legions withdrew, to 597 AD when St. Augustine of Canterbury arrived — southern Britain preserved a sub-Roman society that was able to survive the attacks from the barbarian Anglo-Saxons and even use a vernacular Latin for an active culture.[1]


Arrival of the Romans

Roman troops, mainly from nearby Germanic provinces, under Emperor Claudius invaded what is now England in AD 43. Over the next few years the province of Britannia was formed, eventually including the whole of England and Wales and parts of Scotland.[2] As a result Roman businessmen and officials came to Britannia to settle by the thousands along with their families. Roman troops from all across the Empire as far as Spain, North Africa, and Egypt, but mainly from the Germanic provinces of Batavia and Frisia (modern Netherlands, Belgium, and the Rhineland area of Germany) were garrisoned in Roman towns, many intermarrying with local Britons. This diversified Britannia's cultures and religions, while the populace remained mainly Celtic with a Roman way of life.

Later, Britain was independent of the rest of the Roman Empire for a number of years, first as a part of the Gallic Empire, then a couple of decades later under the usurpers Carausius and Allectus.

Christianity came to Britain in the 3rd century. One early figure was Saint Alban, who was martyred near the Roman town of Verulamium, on the site of the modern St Albans, by tradition during the reign of the emperor Decius.

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