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82 AD - Roman invasion of Ireland contemplated


FloatingVoterTralee

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Interesting to read in Fergal Keane's introduction to The Story of Ireland that Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain, contemplated an invasion of Ireland after an Irish prince sought assistance to aid his claim to the throne (shades of Dermot McMurrough). He derives the account from Tacitus, who writes that "the conquest of Hibernia would only require one legion", but a rebellion in Scotland required attention and the moment was lost. It seems unlikely that the Romans could ever have completed an Irish campaign - Scotland proved most difficult to subdue as demonstrated by the swift retreat from the Antonine Wall, and the combination of sea-crossings, rough terrain and numerous tribes would have strained Imperial resources. That said, it was a mere generation since the conquest of Britain, and the Empire would continue to expand until the death of Hadrian, so one can see the temptation visible across the water.
 


wombat

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Interesting to read in Fergal Keane's introduction to The Story of Ireland that Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain, contemplated an invasion of Ireland after an Irish prince sought assistance to aid his claim to the throne (shades of Dermot McMurrough).
I always wondered what crime a Roman had to commit to be sent to Holyhead:lol:
 

Rural

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The auld straight roads would have been a blessing though!
 

ergo2

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The logistics would have been daunting.

The crossing to Ireland much more difficult than Gaul to Britain.

Legions' style of fighting more used to open country - the Germans caused them a lot of bother in the forest
 

diy01

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The reason for the building of Hadrian's wall is unknown apparently. The popular perception is that it was built to keep out the vicious 'barbarian hordes' who the Romans had been unable to subdue. Another interpretation I've read is that present day Scotland was too resource-poor to be worth the bother so the Romans just built the wall instead of conquering northern Britain.
 

Morgellons

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Was Agricola the brother of Coca?
 

Drogheda445

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It may just be only speculative but I believe that the Romans did have preparations in place for an attack on Ireland. The Roman fort of Deva Victrix, for example, near to modern day Chester, was located close to the sea and had easy access to Ireland across the Irish Sea. It could have been a base for a potential invasion.

However, it has to noted that Ireland would not have been seen as a major target for the Romans. The Empire didn't simply expand into whatever territory was nearby, there were several key factors involved. For example, the Britons were providing support to Gaul when Rome invaded it, hence Caesar's invasion in 55BC. There was also the presence of valuable resources like tin and copper in Cornwall and Devon, and gold in Wales. Ireland neither provided support for Rome's enemies nor had any significant natural resources that the Romans wanted. It's also important to remember that the Romans were seriously overextending themselves militarily even when invading Britain, and Ireland would simply have been too impractical for the Romans, being as it was in the fringe of Europe.
 

Rural

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But, the Romans gave a lot to England, including sanitation, the hot baths, straight roads (as mentioned) and lots more stuff. Why couldn't we get a piece of that?
 

Tea Party Patriot

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It may just be only speculative but I believe that the Romans did have preparations in place for an attack on Ireland. The Roman fort of Deva Victrix, for example, near to modern day Chester, was located close to the sea and had easy access to Ireland across the Irish Sea. It could have been a base for a potential invasion.

However, it has to noted that Ireland would not have been seen as a major target for the Romans. The Empire didn't simply expand into whatever territory was nearby, there were several key factors involved. For example, the Britons were providing support to Gaul when Rome invaded it, hence Caesar's invasion in 55BC. There was also the presence of valuable resources like tin and copper in Cornwall and Devon, and gold in Wales. Ireland neither provided support for Rome's enemies nor had any significant natural resources that the Romans wanted. It's also important to remember that the Romans were seriously overextending themselves militarily even when invading Britain, and Ireland would simply have been too impractical for the Romans, being as it was in the fringe of Europe.
All valid points, the other to add to this (although not always a hard and fast rule with all Roman leaders) was that primarily invasions and annexations were because of serious security threats to the empire. Carthage, Gaul, Germany, Palestine, all were annexed/invaded because of security threats to the empire.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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But, the Romans gave a lot to England, including sanitation, the hot baths, straight roads (as mentioned) and lots more stuff. Why couldn't we get a piece of that?
[video=youtube;ExWfh6sGyso]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso[/video]
 

Morgellons

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But, the Romans gave a lot to England, including sanitation, the hot baths, straight roads (as mentioned) and lots more stuff. Why couldn't we get a piece of that?
I often felt we missed out on not being colonised by the Romans on a national psyche level.
 

Catalpast

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Was Agricola the brother of Coca?
Tacitus was his son in law

The Agricola is Tacitus praising his career and rule over Britain in the manner of what a True Roman should be

Its doubtful if one Legion would have been enough to subdue

- the Romans had great difficulty in putting down the Picts

- so they would not have found Ireland any easier
 

Morgellons

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Agricola sounds like a Coke drink for farmers.
I'm guessing he was born in a field. Catalpla might set us straight on what his name means.
 

Lain2016

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Interesting to read in Fergal Keane's introduction to The Story of Ireland that Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain, contemplated an invasion of Ireland after an Irish prince sought assistance to aid his claim to the throne (shades of Dermot McMurrough). He derives the account from Tacitus, who writes that "the conquest of Hibernia would only require one legion", but a rebellion in Scotland required attention and the moment was lost. It seems unlikely that the Romans could ever have completed an Irish campaign - Scotland proved most difficult to subdue as demonstrated by the swift retreat from the Antonine Wall, and the combination of sea-crossings, rough terrain and numerous tribes would have strained Imperial resources. That said, it was a mere generation since the conquest of Britain, and the Empire would continue to expand until the death of Hadrian, so one can see the temptation visible across the water.
I remember reading abook by an Italian lad who claimed that the Romans actually did land here. There is also the claim that there was a trading post at Drumanagh

Juvenal's claim was dismissed as poetic exaggeration until archaeological discoveries suggested that the Romans may, after all, have extended their power across the Irish Sea. In 1927 a unique group of burials was unearthed on Lambay, a small island off the coast of County Dublin... Irish archaeologist Barry Raftery plausibly suggests that the burials may represent Britons fleeing reprisals after the Romans crushed a revolt by the Brigantes in the year 74... At Drumanagh in County Dublin, trial explorations have revealed traces of a Roman coastal fort on a promontory jutting into the Irish Sea. The 40-acre site is defended on three sides by steep cliffs and on the remaining side by a system of three earthen ramparts separated by ditches. Coins found at Drumanagh date to the Flavians and early second century, precisely the period in which Tacitus and Juvenal hint at a possible Roman invasion.
The Romans in Ireland

Romans in Ireland? Volume 49 Number 3, May/June 1996
by Andrew L. Slayman

Scholars have discounted as "nonsense" and "wild speculation" a report in the Sunday Times of London that the Romans invaded Ireland. The story alleged that the coastal site of Drumanagh, 15 miles north of Dublin, held "clear evidence...of a Roman coastal fort of up to 40 acres...a significant Roman beachhead, built to support military campaigns in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D." The claim was based on the discovery a number of years ago of Roman coins dating to the reigns of Titus (A.D. 79-81), Trajan (98-117), and Hadrian (117-138), as well as Roman brooches and copper ingots. Over the years other Roman artifacts have been found in Ireland. Most archaeologists regard these as evidence not of conquest but of trade with Roman Britain, raiding of coastal settlements in Britain, or the presence of Romanized Britons in Ireland. According to Barry Raftery of University College Dublin, Drumanagh "may well have been (and probably was) a major trading station linking Ireland and Roman Britain. It was probably populated with a mixture of Irish, Romano-British, Gallo-Roman, and others, doubtless including a few genuine Romans as well." Unfortunately the artifacts were found with metal detectors and illegally excavated. The subject of a legal dispute between the looters and the Irish government, they have not been available for scholarly study. A final verdict on the site must wait at least until the lawsuit is resolved. As for a Roman military occupation of Ireland, historian Michael Meckler of Yale University says, "the case remains to be proved, and proved somewhere other than in newspapers and on television. We all remember the recent travesty surrounding the so-called discovery of Alexander's tomb" (see ARCHAEOLOGY, May/June 1995).
Romans in Ireland? - Archaeology Magazine Archive
 
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Rural

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Agricola-

Gnaeus Julius Agricola - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Agricola in Ireland?

In 81, Agricola "crossed in the first ship" and defeated peoples unknown to the Romans until then. Tacitus, in Chapter 24 of Agricola,[6] does not tell us what body of water he crossed, although most scholars believe it was the Clyde or Forth, and some translators even add the name of their preferred river to the text; however, the rest of the chapter exclusively concerns Ireland, so southwest Scotland is perhaps to be preferred.[7] The text of the Agricola has been emended here to record the Romans "crossing into trackless wastes", referring to the wilds of the Galloway peninsula.[8] Agricola fortified the coast facing Ireland, and Tacitus recalls that his father-in-law often claimed the island could be conquered with a single legion and auxiliaries. He had given refuge to an exiled Irish king whom he hoped he might use as the excuse for conquest. This conquest never happened, but some historians believe the crossing referred to was in fact a small-scale exploratory or punitive expedition to Ireland,[9] though no Roman camps have been identified to confirm such a suggestion.

Irish legend provides a striking parallel. Tuathal Teachtmhar, a legendary High King, is said to have been exiled from Ireland as a boy, and to have returned from Britain at the head of an army to claim the throne. The traditional date of his return is 76–80, and archaeology has found Roman or Romano-British artefacts in several sites associated with Tuathal.
 

Rural

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Thats probably just your inferiority complex :)
The Celtic Irish Christians had no inferiority complex until Armagh (ruled by the Vatican), pushed their form of christianity down here. Funny enough.
 

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