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Roman Rulers – Roman Britain – Julian Claudian Dynasty

Below is a detailed article about the different rulers in Britain that ruled during the Roman era. The Romans invaded England in 43 AD and continued ruling for the next four hundred years. There were different rulers throughout this period that brought in different changes in Roman Britain in terms of politics, administration, and government. Let us learn about the different rulers below.

Who were the Roman Rulers in Britain?

Emperor Claudius

Roman Emperor Claudius

Claudius was born in Lugdunum in Roman Gaul. He was the first emperor that was born out of Italy. He was born in 10 BC and was the great-great grand nephew of Galius Julius Caeser. As a child, he suffered from a speech impediment and limb disability. This made him be treated differently in his family. Never was he considered to become a future emperor.

The successor of the then King – Tiberius was assassinated, only Claudius remained to inherit the throne. Caligula, the successor was assassinated in 41 AD. For two to three days there was opposition from the senate but they eventually accepted him as King. Emperor Claudius and the Senate continued to have bitterness and therefore, Claudius handed much of the administrative responsibility to fellow Greek freedman.

Claudius was known to be lacking military reputation. However, he undertook the conquest of Britain in 43 AD. He started with capturing Colchester and made it the capital of the new Roman Britain province. For this conquest, Claudius had a strategically planned expedition. He appointed Plautius as the first Roman Governor in Britain. He conducted recruitment drives in Gaul, Italia, and Hispania to form the different legion of the Roman army that was to be sent to Britain. He brought with him specialists of medicine, armorers, artificers, stonemasons, and clerks on the expedition. It was one of the most well-prepared battles of the century.

He not only captured the powerful territory of Britain but also Mauretania which is present-day North Africa, Thrace which is present-day Balkans and some parts of Turkey.

Claudius married Messalina and had two children from her – Britannicus and Octavia. Messalina was executed as a result of planning a plot against Claudius. Claudius remarried and had a son Domitius who was his surviving descendant.

In the year 54 AD, he died of being poisoned by the future Emperors mother. Nero then succeeded the throne of the Roman Empire.

Emperor Nero

Sculpture of Emperor Nero

Nero was born in 37 AD. He was the last emperor of the Julio – Claudian dynasty. He was actually adopted by Claudius to become his heir and successor. After the death of Claudius, he took over the throne of the Roman empire in 54 AD as a young boy. Nero’s reign was more about the diplomacy of trade and enhancement of the cultural life in all of the Roman empire. He was known for building community theatres and arranging athletic games for the young in large grounds.

He was one of the few that encouraged community building and social harmony as a means to enhance the skills of the people.  He had a general who took care of military activities called Corbulo. Corbulo negotiated peace within the Parthian empire and another revolt in Britain which was now under Emperor Nero.

During Nero’s reign, the Great Fire of Rome occurred in 64 AD, which destroyed most of the city of Rome in the fire. This made things difficult for the emperor. The people thought that the fire was started by Nero and his people in order to execute his plan for a palatial complex – the Domus Aurea.

He died in 68 AD, ending the reign of the Julio Claudian dynasty by facing assassination and committing suicide on 9 June 68 AD. The rebellion caused was in the famous ‘Year of the Four Emperors’. Read more about Roman Britain.

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