Book 1, Chapter 4, 78 AD to 306 AD – Agricola – Continued
These achievements won for Agricola wide renown, but they also awaked the jealousy and dislike of the emperor Domitian, who had ascended the throne. The name, without the reality, of a public triumph was decreed on his recall, but the empty honours of such parade were more than atoned for by the tranquillity which existed in the island for more than twenty years. During that period it is scarcely mentioned by the Roman historians, a sure proof that it occasioned little or no trouble to the authorities. The immediate successors of Agricola appear to have abstained from active military exploits, and to have occupied themselves with consolidating the administrative work which he had begun, and in assimilating the province to other annexed portions of the empire. Colonies were formed, municipal rights were conferred upon towns, the privileges of citizenship bestowed for personal valour and public service, a regular administration was secured for the laws, and an efficient system provided for the collection of the imperial taxes. But every native was jealously excluded from posts of trust and authority, and was forbidden to serve as a soldier or to bear arms in his own country. The interests of the rulers and the governed were thus made to appear distinct and opposite, and so changed had the national spirit become that this was submitted to without a murmur.
The names of some of the original tribes, as specified by Caesar, died out, for in a very exact survey of Britain, made about thirty years after the recall of Agricola, Ptolemy, the geographer, omits all mention of some tribes known to have dwelt in the country within the preceding one hundred and fifty years. It was, possibly, during this interval that Ireland was first visited and partly subdued by the Romans, for the poet Juvenal speaks in one of his satires (supposed to have been written in A.D. 96) of Ireland as one of the most recent acquisitions of the Roman arms. The same poet also speaks of British oysters as favourites at the tables of the rich, and of whales in the British seas as being proverbial for their magnitude. He further says that the learning and eloquence of Greece and Rome had been copied in Gaul and in Britain. It may be inferred that by the end of the first century there was constant and close communication between the Capitol, and this it’s most distant province.
Chapter 4, Agricola
Treatment of Conquered Provinces by the Romans
Chapter 4, Roman Roads and Towns
Chapter 4, Roman Memorial of Death
Categories: Book 1