chapter  3
Pages 24

A king, being given title to a kingdom by Rome and all the trappings of power to go with it, is all very well, but it is of nought unless the monarch has the ability to resort to the ultimate sanction of force to back up his claim. Violence, or the threat of violence, cannot have been far from the surface as the Commian and Tasciovanian dynasties secured their dominion over the populace of the southeast. Killing people was certainly one method of getting rid of political dissent, but a far more profi table way was slavery, a product that Strabo attests was exported from Britain in the Augustan period (Strab. Geog. 4.5.1). But what did institutional violence look like in Late Iron Age Britain? Were these kings supported in their role by a chariot-riding woad-painted militia, complete with lime-washed hair and swirling tattoos; or did this institution of ‘friends and allies of Rome’ lead to changes in the appearance and articulation of institutionalised violence?