Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC. He was
a great soldier. He helped to take over new land for the Roman Empire.
He made many changes like the new calendar and the starting of a daily
newspaper. He also totally changed the law. He became the most powerful
man and sole leader in Rome and some people thought he was too powerful
and that he wanted to be king. A group of senators (led by Brutus and Cassius)
decided to kill him and take his power back. They surrounded him and stabbed
him with their daggers on 15th March 44 BC.
Augustus' proper name was Octavian. He was
the adopted son of Julius Caesar. After Caesar's death he took over with
two other men. One of them was Mark Antony. Later on, these two fell out
and Augustus beat Antony in battle. Octavian ruled on his own and was given
the special name Augustus. He was a clever and fair ruler and when he died
in AD14, the people did not want to go back to a republic.
Claudius was a wise ruler. During his reign
Britain became part of the empire. He came to Britain to accept the surrender
of the leaders of the tribes of south-eastern Britain at Colchester in
After AD305, the Roman Empire was split
into an eastern and a western empire. Constantine the Great managed to
join the two sides together for a while. He was the first emperor to be
a Christian. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to a new city
in Turkey which he called Constantinople. Today it is called Istanbul.
Carthage was a powerful city
which controlled most of the Mediterranean Sea. By the middle of the 260sBC
the Romans and the Carthaginians were at war. This went on for nearly 20
years until the Romans won a big victory.
swore to crush Rome once and for all. They gathered an army and moved westwards
towards Rome. They were joined by Spanish troops and soon had an army of
The leader of the
troops was Hannibal a brilliant young general. He had 40 African war elephants,
trained to charge at the enemy and trample them.
The army marched North gathering even
more men. But then they reached the Alps.
The icy mountains
were hard to cross and by the time he reached Italy in 218BC, a quarter
of his troops and lots of elephants were dead.
However they did
win three battles and should have attacked Rome then but Hannibal decided
to gather more troops and food.
Rome rebuilt its
army and sent an army to attack Carthage. Hannibal and his army had to
go back to protect their capital city and were defeated there. this meant
that tha nation came under Rome's control.
An Iceni Coin
Boudicca became leader of the Iceni (in
Norfolk) when her husband Prasutagus died. The Romans took his treasure
and Roman soldiers assaulted Boudicca and her two daughters. The Iceni
people were very angry and decided to revolt. Within a few weeks Boudicca
was leading an army of 70,000 men. They attacked Camulodunum (Colchester)
a wealthy Roman town with only a few soldiers to protect it. The people
hid in a temple to Claudius. Boudicca's army rushed through the town stealing
things. They then battered down the temple doors and hacked the men, women
and children to pieces. Then they set fire to the town and left it smoking.
The rebels moved in on Londinium (London).
Suetonius (a roman leader) set-off for London with his cavalry, leaving
his infantry to follow as fast as they could. When Suetonius reached London
he realised he could not win and withdrew ordering the citizens to leave
town. Boudicca killed anyone they could find in London and threw many bodies
into the river. Some were killed in horrible ways as sacrifices. They then
set of for Verulamium (St. Albans) and took that city. She had destroyed
all three of the largest towns in Roman Britain and killed 60,000 people.
She decided to take on the Roman army led by Suetonius. They met half way
between St. Albans and Wroxeter. Boudicca had an army of about 100,000
including women and children against a small roman army of 10,000.
The Romans killed 80,000 men, women
and children and lost only 400 of their own men. Boudicca escaped and took
poison before the Romans could take her prisoner. The most serious threat
to the Roman conquest was over.
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