Introduction: writing history
Pages 13

Cunobelin, ‘King of the Britons’, was dead. He had probably been dead for a few years, but the political and military ambitions of the new Roman Emperor, Claudius, were very much alive and he was desperate for a victory to secure his new regime. So, in the early summer of AD 43, Claudius’ army landed in Britain and rapidly swept through the southeast until they came to their prize, Camulodunum, Cunobelin’s capital. Here the troops stopped to await the arrival of the Emperor himself to lead the fi nal entry into the town as triumphant victor. The fi rst step in the conquest of Britain had been taken. Over the next few generations the Roman forces negotiated, battled and fought their way across the island until much of it fell under the pax Romana. During this period the names of several friendly monarchs are mentioned – Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus in the south of Britain, Prasutagus in East Anglia, Cartimandua in the Pennines – their hazy role acknowledged in paving the way towards Roman hegemony.