Chapter

New Nations: Caledonia From Cerialis to Caracalla

James E. Fraser

in From Caledonia to Pictland Scotland to 795

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780748612314
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672158 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612314.003.0002
New Nations: Caledonia From Cerialis to Caracalla

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On 4 February 211, L. Septimius Severus died at the city of Eboracum (modern York). The old Libyan usurper was the third ruling emperor of the Romans to set foot in their province of Britannia in southern Britain, and expired in the midst of his country's third major war in the north of the island. According to a History written some years later by Cassius Dio — a senator who had served in the emperor's advisory council during the war — Severus's enemies were two barbarian nations (genoi). One of these, the Calidones, had been known to the Romans for more than a century. Dio observed that in 197 the Calidones ‘did not abide by their promises’ to Rome, a pretext for war which reflected ongoing diplomatic contact stretching back for generations. The relationships cultivated between the Romans and the various barbarian peoples of northern Britain over that time were complex and variable. They remained so after 211, but Severus's achievement in northern Britain represents a watershed of significance for the whole period examined in this book.

Keywords: L. Septimius Severus; Romans; Brittania; Calidones; Cassius Dio; northern Britain

Chapter.  11585 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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