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Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings in Britain

Updated on March 8, 2009
Boudicca,the Celtic Queen led the great revolt
Boudicca,the Celtic Queen led the great revolt

Celtic People lived in Britain before Roman times; the Celts started coming to Britain from Europe around 700 BC.

In the year AD 43, the Romans invaded Britain.

The Romans mainly settled in the south of Britain. They called this land Britannia. They ruled over it for nearly 400 years.

Sea-raiders from Europe invaded and settled in Britain. Some of the invaders were Angles, some were Saxons, some were Jutes. We call them all Anglo-Saxons.

In AD 793, raiders attacked the monnastery at Lindisfarne, a small island off the north-east coast of England. They were Vikings from Scandinavia. Vikings terrorized parts of the world for about 300 years.

Boudicca Revolt

Boudicca was a Celtic Queen. She lived in the area that is now called East Anglia. In AD 60, Boudicca’s husband died. The Roman raided his land and homes. This made Boudicca very angry and she decided to fight back. She led a huge revolt against the new Roman rulers. This made her one of the most famous women in British history.

Boudica and her army attacked the Roman towns of Colchester, London, and St Albans. Around 70,000 Romans and Romanized Britons were killed. However, in the end the British rebels did lose. Tacitus was a roman historian who lived soon after Boudicca’s time. He wrote that ‘ almost 80,000 Britons fell. Our own soldiers were 400 dead. Boudicca poisoned herself.’

Dio Cassius was a Roman historian who wrote about Boudicca 100 years after she was alive, This is how he described her:

‘She had great intelligence … She was very tall and grim; her gaze was sharp and her voice was harsh; she grew her long auburn hair to the hips and wore a large golden torque and a big patterned cloak.’

Tacitus wrote about what she did before the battle: ‘ Boudicca drove round all the tribes in a chariot with her daughters in front of her. “I am not fighting for my kingdom and wealth. I am fighting as an ordinary person for my lost freedom … Consider how many of you are fighting - and why. Then you will win this battle, or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do!”

Hadrian’s Wall

To guard against future Rebellion, the Roman army built more roads and larger fortresses. They also built Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, to stop raiders attacking from Scotland. This wall is 117 kilometers (72 miles) long. and stretches from one side of the country to the other. It was about 6.4 meters (20 feet) high. It was begun in AD 122 by order of the Emperor Hadrian. About 14,000 soldiers manned the wall. They lived in sixteen forts.

Socialize at public baths

Roman towns had streets in a grid pattern, and at the centre was the forum. This was a market place and meeting place. People also met to socialize at the public bath.


Viking dragon-ship had at least 32 oarsmen and a large sail. There frightening figures carved on the prow. Viking dragon-ships could sail in bad storms and in shallow water, and were light enough to be lifted across land.

In 865, a large Viking army conquered East Anglia, Northumbria, and Mercia. By 870, all the kingdoms in England except Wessex were controlled by the Vikings. The king of Wessex, Alfred the Great, stopped the Vikings taking his land. the Vikings settled in the kingdoms they had won. This area was called the Danelaw.


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    • profile image

      Anandu 6 years ago

      Thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      zainab 7 years ago

      hi georgia

    • profile image

      georgia 7 years ago

      i love this it is cool i have to do it for my project

    • profile image

      zainab  7 years ago

      hi guys i am new over here i read tis fist time because i am learning in my school so my teacher give me tis website so i went here and saw a boudicca revolt and saw you all. ok! bye bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      bodicca 7 years ago

      i love history story

    • profile image

      ha ha 7 years ago

      Ilike Boudicca

    • profile image

      Dharini  7 years ago

      Yeah it is wonderful

    • profile image

      avani 8 years ago

      This is Wonderful!!! ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jim.sheng profile image

      Dalriada Books Ltd 9 years ago from UK

      What a shame!

      You are right, LondonGirl. Thanks.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      Great hub - the final sentence should end "Danelaw", I think?

      I love how Tacitus described the ROman's actions - "they made a desert and called it peace"

    • jim.sheng profile image

      Dalriada Books Ltd 9 years ago from UK

      Thanks, SparkyCola.


    • profile image

      SparkyCola 9 years ago

      LOL You made an epic typo:"She led a hug revolt against the new Roman rulers."I think you mean huge xD Just thought I'd point that out- otherwise, a good, brief overview. =)


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