When and how did Roman Britain end?

Essay by Chinauk98University, Bachelor'sB-, May 2004

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It is hard to interpret from the evidence that we have available when exactly the Roman Britain came to and end, that is when Britain no Longer came under the Jurisdiction of the Empire and Caesar but we can often come to a date of about approximately AD410. In this year the Emperor Honorius gave instructions that Britain must adopt measures of self defence. However this has been misunderstood as recently it was discovered that this was aimed towards the people of south Italy and not towards the people of Britain. Other sources say that the last legion of Roman troops left in AD409. Therefore we lose an exact date as to when the Roman influence was formally cut and have the chance to see the end of Roman occupation as a process rather than one event occurring within a short space of time.

The processes which finally drove the Romans from Britain was not one which happened within merely a few years as they were already seen to be underway during the second and third centuries.

The end of Roman Britain reflected not only on the Province but proved as a teller of things to come for the whole Roman empire. Overstretched across its borders with its armies desperately trying to hold onto frontiers and while at the same time dealing with its own internal problems with authority and the rights to the claim of Caesar, the Romans simply had to pull back and make their frontiers more compact in order to bring what provinces left under tighter control. Britain is interesting as it shows us how the empire was changing from the days of Julius Caesar who would never have tolerated the north of England to go unconquered. However in the time of Britain, the Romans displayed territorialism...