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Thread: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

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    Default Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Greetings,

    along many other factors which led to the abandonment of Roman rule and culture in modern day England and Wales, one was the raiding and onslaught brought by the unconquered tribes in modern day Scotland and Ireland along with the Germanic newcomers.

    My question is, had the Romans managed to wipe out resistance in modern day Scotland and purge the tribes as they did in northern Iberia, how much could have this effected later Roman rule and the Romano-British culture on the island?

    Without the need to man the wall and protect Britain from supposed land incursions by the Picts and others, Britain would become a lot cheaper to maintain as it would require a lot less troops, perhaps it would even become a bit more profitable now that the whole of the isolated island was under their grip instead of just a section of it.

    Perhaps even with a Roman abandonment of the island, it might have fared differently while being a united hold with only naval incursions being an issue instead of both naval and land invasions from the north?

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Hmm...

    I would honestly argue that the Scots would have been Romanized and their culture would have developed alongside that of British culture. As a whole, there probably wouldn't actually be much of a difference between Scotland and England, and although I would argue due to the natural divide that both kingdoms would have existed, there would have been no desire to remain distinct in the British empire and they would consider themselves British today.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    Greetings,

    along many other factors which led to the abandonment of Roman rule and culture in modern day England and Wales, one was the raiding and onslaught brought by the unconquered tribes in modern day Scotland and Ireland along with the Germanic newcomers.

    My question is, had the Romans managed to wipe out resistance in modern day Scotland and purge the tribes as they did in northern Iberia, how much could have this effected later Roman rule and the Romano-British culture on the island?

    Without the need to man the wall and protect Britain from supposed land incursions by the Picts and others, Britain would become a lot cheaper to maintain as it would require a lot less troops, perhaps it would even become a bit more profitable now that the whole of the isolated island was under their grip instead of just a section of it.
    I think you are overstating the military significance of the frontiers, especially the frontier at Hadrian's Wall. Indeed the border areas were not, until the 4th and 5th centuries, very strategically important, in the sense that the people beyond them posed no existential threat to Roman power. It was those inside the borders that posed a threat: Britain was on a couple of occasions home to major revolts, such as in the 350s when the British legions supported the usurper Magnentius, and in the 380s during the reign of Magnus Maximus. Meanwhile the incursions of the Picts in the late 360s and 380s were easily dealt with, even the Great Conspiracy which saw a concerted attack by the Hibernians, Caledonians and Saxons in which thousands of Britons were killed and dozens of cities ransacked. The Roman garrison in Britannia was somewhere in the region of 50,000 in the 2nd century, the entire population of Caledonia was perhaps 250,000 so as you can appreciate there was no question of the Picts representing a serious threat in the way that the Germanic tribes or the Persians did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius View Post
    Hmm...

    I would honestly argue that the Scots would have been Romanized and their culture would have developed alongside that of British culture. As a whole, there probably wouldn't actually be much of a difference between Scotland and England, and although I would argue due to the natural divide that both kingdoms would have existed, there would have been no desire to remain distinct in the British empire and they would consider themselves British today.
    I don't think so. The divide between England and Scotland comes principally from what happened after the Roman period, when Scotland was conquered by the Gaels and England by the Anglo-Saxons, two completely separate peoples. It's possible the borders would have been slightly different but there would still have been an England and a Scotland if Caledonia had been under Roman rule, as of course the Romans were gone by the time the invaders arrived so where they had and hadn't ruled were not the deciding factors on where the invaders settled.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    It's possible the borders would have been slightly different but there would still have been an England and a Scotland if Caledonia had been under Roman rule
    This is what I'm saying, but I'm saying that culturally the Scots wouldn't be as distinct from the English.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius View Post
    This is what I'm saying, but I'm saying that culturally the Scots wouldn't be as distinct from the English.
    The Scots are not and never were very culturally distinct from the Northern English, notwithstanding the Gaels. The Roman influence gradually dissipated as you went further north in Britannia, mostly petering out somewhere beyond the Antonine wall, but it was only really strong in the South. The Roman term 'Picts' was sometimes used of the Northern English. The main difference between Scotland and England after the end of the Roman period was the Gaelic vs Anglo-Saxon distinction, the Britonnic Celts indigenous to Great Britain were the same people whose only real differences came from small regional variations, as well as the aforementioned proximity to Europe. The distinction between the wild, untamed 'Picts' and the more civilised Romano-British became irrelevant once the Romans left and the Pictish kingdom was absorbed into European Christendom along with Ireland.
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    A local administrator was asked to comment. He nodded sagely, and said simply: "Wow. And think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational."

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    So you argue that there would not be any difference with Britain in relation to its Roman ways during the migration period?

    The Anglo-Saxons would still reign supreme in the same territory?

    The Romano-British culture would collapse in the same way?

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    So you argue that there would not be any difference with Britain in relation to its Roman ways during the migration period?

    The Anglo-Saxons would still reign supreme in the same territory?

    The Romano-British culture would collapse in the same way?
    It's the "butterfly effect" thing of changing history along an alternate timeline that really makes all of this theoretical and not very set in stone. Quite honestly anything could have happened. The Western Roman Empire could have lasted another 200 years as a result of changing circumstances and shifting of garrisons once needed in Britannia back to continental Europe, to beef up the Limes along the Rhine and Danube. That could have potentially had some effect on the migration movements of Germanic tribes and kept them in check for a bit longer at the very least.

    All of that being said, the Romans came pretty damn close to securing Scotland with the Battle of Mons Graupius in 83 AD, followed by the Roman occupation of the Scottish lowlands in the 2nd century AD and construction of the Antonine Wall north of Hadrian's Wall, manned and operated as late as the reign of Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century AD. They just didn't have enough economic motivation at the time, since there were no great natural resources that the Pictish lands of Scotland could offer the Romans. The crippling Crisis of the Third Century pretty much ensured Rome would never bother to venture further north again.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    It's the "butterfly effect" thing of changing history along an alternate timeline that really makes all of this theoretical and not very set in stone. Quite honestly anything could have happened. The Western Roman Empire could have lasted another 200 years as a result of changing circumstances and shifting of garrisons once needed in Britannia back to continental Europe, to beef up the Limes along the Rhine and Danube. That could have potentially had some effect on the migration movements of Germanic tribes and kept them in check for a bit longer at the very least.
    Most of the Roman garrison was removed from Britain in AD 383, when Magnus Maximus, commander of the Britannia-based legions, made a bid to overthrow the Western emperor. After Magnus' death (and that of the interim usurper Eugenius) came the accession of Honorius, initially under the regentship of Stilicho, who fought some campaigns against the Picts and Irish before Britain was abandoned for good in the first decade of the 5th century. It was previously thought that Hadrian's Wall was pretty much abandoned in the 380s, although the current consensus seems to be one of some patchy attempts made to regarrison Britain for the next 30 years, although soldiers were constantly being recalled to mainland Europe when needed. Indeed, given the state of Germanisation and shifting allegiances within the army and its commanders, the presence of more British troops in Europe at certain times in the latter 4th century would have been as likely to contribute to the earlier overthrowing of the empire as to push it to a later date. At any rate, the story of Britain from 380-410 is a haemorrhage of Roman troops from the island, with those remaining fighting a losing battle against constant Pictish, Irish and Saxon raids, until the latter two were able to overcome Britain almost completely over the following century or two.

    In the Post-Roman period, Britain was under the control of four different peoples (later, five, with the arrival of the Vikings) who correspond to the current home nations as follows: the Anglo-Saxons, having merged with the Britons in most of Southern Britain, became the English (only after much fighting between rival kingdoms of course), the Britons became the Welsh, the Gaels became the Irish, and the Picts, having been absorbed by the Scoti and Norse, became the Scots. Scotland is the most mixed of all the British nations, because it incorporated literally all of the peoples that were present in Britain in the Dark Ages: Vikings, (semi-)Romanised Britons in Strathclyde, Picts, Gaels and Anglo-Saxons. And so Scotland was a mongrel nation whose identity rests firmly on the Gaelic conquest, although the Picts can be said to have lain the bedrock for what would become the Kingdom of Alba. It's very unclear what would have happened if the Romans conquered Pictland, as the Pictish Kingdom may not have arisen at all. Indeed, without a strong Pictish Kingdom the Northumbrians may have won the battle of Battle of Nechtansmere which was the defining battle in keeping the core areas of Scotland non-Saxon. But I think geography played as much of a part in that as the Picts themselves, Northumbria was not a particularly strong military force and the Highlands are not easy terrain to conquer. At any rate, if there was no strong Pictish Kingdom the Gaels would probably have just overrun Scotland sooner than they did. I can't envision any possible scenario in which Scotland was not created by the Gaels eventually, albeit perhaps a Scotland which ended at the Antonine Wall with Strathclyde, Lothian and the Borders going to England.

    All of that being said, the Romans came pretty damn close to securing Scotland with the Battle of Mons Graupius in 83 AD, followed by the Roman occupation of the Scottish lowlands in the 2nd century AD and construction of the Antonine Wall north of Hadrian's Wall, manned and operated as late as the reign of Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century AD.
    True, although I feel it should be emphasised just how short the period of the garrison of the Antonine Wall was: construction began in 142, was completed in around 155, and the wall was then abandoned again in 162. The second period of operation from 208 until perhaps 212 was less of an actual 'manning' and more of a glorified military campaign. Imagine the people who lived in my local area, just to the South of the Antonine Wall. If they were born a few years before Severus arrived at the Antonine Wall, they would have not even finished childhood by the time the Romans left again. I doubt they felt any different at all to the people who lived on the northern bank of the Clyde, they certainly never viewed themselves as Romans. Not a single one of them was born, lived and grew to old age under Roman rule, the Romans for them were transient invaders and nothing more.

    They just didn't have enough economic motivation at the time, since there were no great natural resources that the Pictish lands of Scotland could offer the Romans. The crippling Crisis of the Third Century pretty much ensured Rome would never bother to venture further north again.
    This is an oft-touted argument, but the truth is the Romans invaded a lot of places without a great deal of natural resources, and they didn't fail to conquer them as they did Scotland. The Romans were simply too over-exposed in Scotland to hold such difficult terrain with such savage natives, if that had not been the case they'd have conquered it the first time around and the question of the 'value' of Scottish resources would be moot. It was first and foremost a military failure, comparable to the US failures in Afghanistan and Vietnam. Nobody disputes the US is incomparably superior to these places in terms of military power, but nevertheless, Afghanistan shows the limitations of the US military machine just as Caledonia showed the limitations of the Roman army even at its height in non-conventional warfare. There were plenty of things the Picts could have offered the Romans, if only slaves and pelts and fish, and I imagine the Romans who fought the Picts (and the Irish) during the 3rd and 4th centuries would not have chosen to leave their enemies unconquered if they had had another option, as these people were a real problem for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    So you argue that there would not be any difference with Britain in relation to its Roman ways during the migration period?
    I don't think it's sensible to regard the Roman occupation of Southern Britain and the building of Hadrian's Wall as the defining event in the divergence of England from Scotland in cultural terms. After the Romans left, Romano-British culture was virtually wiped out, as it was the Anglo-Saxons who created what we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons were not bounded by Hadrian's wall, they ruled as far as Edinburgh and could easily have penetrated up to Pictland and into the core area of Scotland if it were not for the Picts and the Gaels defeating them. It was the peoples within Scotland, abetted by Scotland's geography, who kept out the Anglo-Saxon influence, not a wall which had been abandoned for a century prior to their arrival.

    The Anglo-Saxons would still reign supreme in the same territory? The Romano-British culture would collapse in the same way?
    Undoubtedly. The entire Western Roman Empire was overrun by Germanic tribes after the Roman collapse, there's no way the Romano-British could have survived that just because the Pictish areas had been Romanised. It's a little unclear why the Anglo-Saxons did not make serious attempts to settle directly in lowland Pictish areas like Fife, Angus and Aberdeenshire as they did in the rest of the East Coast of Britain: possibly it was because with the collapse of Roman power, the areas that had previously been Roman were more attractive due to their higher level of development and lack of military defences, as the Picts being non-Roman perhaps contributed to their need to have a proper military establishment in the absence of the Roman protection enjoyed by the Britons. If this were the case, then obviously it would give great significance to the role of the Roman presence in creating a divide. But the Anglo-Saxons didn't start settling Britain properly for 100 years after the Northern Britons had been abandoned, as I mention above, so that doesn't seem 100% credible to me.

    And even that were true, the Pictish heartland areas were still invaded by Germanic tribesmen from a different area, namely the Vikings, which is a large part of the reason for Pictish culture being so poorly known: there are virtually no Pictish placenames surviving in large parts of the East Coast of Scotland where we know the Picts had a major presence: they were culturally-speaking wiped out and replaced by Norse and Gaels. Although it's also worth mentioning the often neglected fact that Scotland embarked on a process of Gaelicisation from the 6th century onwards, which had probably already led to Pictland being a partly Gaelic-speaking area when the Vikings arrived. Which takes me full circle to my main point: it was not the Picts or the Anglo-Saxons or the Romans, and anything they did or didn't manage to do, that are principally responsible for the division of Britain between Scotland and England: it was the Gaels, and more specifically the events in Ulster in the 6th century which led to the splitting of some of the Scoti away from their Irish tribal hierarchy, and the formation of the Kingdom of Dal Riada in Western Scotland. This was absolutely zero to do with the Romans who were long gone by that time.
    Last edited by Copperknickers II; November 26, 2017 at 10:34 AM.
    A new mobile phone tower went up in a town in the USA, and the local newspaper asked a number of people what they thought of it. Some said they noticed their cellphone reception was better. Some said they noticed the tower was affecting their health.

    A local administrator was asked to comment. He nodded sagely, and said simply: "Wow. And think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational."

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    @Copperknickers II

    Solid posting - a couple thoughts.

    Your right I think in theory there was economic value in 'Scotland' (and lets add Ireland) to the Empire - slaves from conquest, animals to be exploited if the locals kept up hunting ways. Fish possible but the North Atlantic Fisheries had yet became systemically utilized. Although a Roman wreck north of Ireland may point to somebody trying.

    I not sure I agree on the Military failure analogy to the US. The US fails (in the forever war of A -stan) because it not Rome. The US makes no claim of parking forever and does not take slaves or nail up its bitterest opponents along roads.

    The failure was the Roman system of Empire - not irregular warfare - Agricola seemed to campaign quite easily in Caledonia and feel Ireland was a cake walk. Ahh but he was not the Emperor... from the view of Rome taking all islands would be a dangerous to allow to anyone but the Emperor (as some of you examples above note) for places that seemed of little note. Thus Hadrian for example he had to let Parthia go because he needed to secure his power in Rome - to designate another was maybe allow an ambitious general to don the mental of Alexander.

    Had Septimius Severus not died and having committed to war I rather do not doubt he could have completed his conquest. The comparison is not Vietnam but a different war a North Vietnam with no friends, not outside aid, a us with no fear of simply invading or blockading... Rome wins.

    Militarily Caledonia got lucky Severus died and Agricola was recalled and retired.


    ------------

    Speculation as to the OP...

    I think the most interesting point of departure is Agricola. He seems (although we might be somewhat beholden to a good write up from Tacitus) not the kind of man to rebel and earnest also in his desire to paint the map if you will (given the basis for this board). So I think that ends up being a Roman-British population - that would alter Scotland a bit no Gaels.

    On far end of tree limb is maybe Roman investors and sailors find the North Atlantic Cod trade which might lead to places unknown - at least Iceland or farther.
    Last edited by conon394; November 26, 2017 at 11:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    Greetings,

    along many other factors which led to the abandonment of Roman rule and culture in modern day England and Wales, one was the raiding and onslaught brought by the unconquered tribes in modern day Scotland and Ireland along with the Germanic newcomers...
    The Romans did march all over the North of Britain, it just wasn't worth holding. The legions in the north were as much about pacifying tribes south of the wall as north of it, and I think it was never really worth it. Pacifying the North would require one or two more walls to carve up the country and prevent mobile raiding parties, and the resources to do this would mean surrendering some other province that actually made a buck or protected a significant frontier like Gaul.

    IIRC the course of events was this: massive incursions from Goidels and "Saxons" did not dislodge the Romans from Britain, and the legions were withdrawn to fight elsewhere because Britain was relatively secure. This is borne out by the fact it was a generation two before the de-Romanisation of the provinces began the so called "Saxon invasion".

    My own feeling is the "Saxon invasion" was started by resettled Germanic foederati who squabbled with British chiefs (also squabbling among themselves) for control of the dwindling resources of the province isolated by various Germanic incursions into Gaul. The "Saxons" still retained their Germanic culture (there is material evidence of German settlers in Britain from before the departure of the Eagles) and possibly relationships with German groups beyond the borders of empire: it would be understandable in the chaos of plague, economic collapse and isolation from Rome that these foederati would invite in their cousins from the continent.

    The British had few places to turn to. Some fled to Armorica, renamed for them as Brittany. Otherwise they were cut off from Rome and its status and elite culture, and trapped between their old enemies the Goidels and the new enemies the Germans. I guess many chose to become German, IIRC the DNA evidence is the Saxon invasion left far less genetic impression than the Viking invasion.

    Roman culture was wide but shallow in the British isles. They completely transformed civilisation there of course, by connecting these remote provinces to the Mediterranean, but the example of Ireland shows that the effect was achieved by proximity as effectively as by conquest. I recall an Irish scholar discussing Roman Ireland in terms of Monty Python: "what have the Romans ever done for us"? They transformed Ireland utterly, so much so it was cultural powerhouse of Latin Christian culture in the Dark Ages, contributing significantly to the renaissance of Roman culture among pagan Germans that culminates in the Carolingian moment. Curiously many German pagans accepted Christ from the Irish, they seemed averse to taking Roman religion from the Romans themselves. Perhaps the Irish offered a less civilised civilisation?

    Wide Rome was, but shallow too: Roman rule was focussed almost entirely through the cities, and when the cities of Britain fell to ruin Roman culture all but vanished. The loss of elite culture, status and administrative capability meant Britain had to find another way to rule itself. Southeast Britain had lost its tribal networks and were already infiltrated by Germans. The North, the West and Ireland had their tribal structure to fall back on and resisted the Germans: parts had been conquered by Rome but stayed independent until the Frenchified Germans arrived in 1066. Other parts fell quick sticks, usually from being near a Germanic settlement.

    I don't see how nominal Roman rule in Ireland would affect the course of Irish or British history much. If the Romans took the time to kill everyone then we get into spacebats territory because 1. why? and 2. say goodbye to the Danube frontier or somewhere else that actually matters. Light Roman rule in Scotland may have contributed to the Highland lowland split, but more likely that was geography then as it is still now. They were never going to settle foederati in the higlands or Ireland in a way that changed those places, the geography militates against it.

    That said the Romans stabbed British culture in the heart by massacring the tribal nobility of the SE, as they had in Gaul. So maybe I'm wrong, and a dose of harsh rule over the Goidels would weaken them enough to Germanify the whole of Britain? France may have DNA going back to the Neolithic, but their culture is 75% Latin, 25% German and 0% Gallic outside Little Britain. Roman rule transformed them no doubt.

    ZI would ultimately argue Roman rule was more effective on the plains. Their resettled German soldiers likewise did better on the plains. The hills belonged to the wilder tribes, and short of total genocide Roman rule was not going to change that in Britain.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Roman colonisation was genetically negligible, wherever they were. They brought scripture and other features of high culture with them. The Germanic expansions almost certainly had a larger genetical impact, because they traveled with women, children and mice from A to B. Unlike the Romans who had the logistical means to create a housing market for newly acquired colonies that was reserved for elites only.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by swabian View Post
    Roman colonisation was genetically negligible, wherever they were. They brought scripture and other features of high culture with them. The Germanic expansions almost certainly had a larger genetical impact, because they traveled with women, children and mice from A to B. Unlike the Romans who had the logistical means to create a housing market for newly acquired colonies that was reserved for elites only.
    Indeed. As far as we can tell, once the Romans left, there wasn't really any more Roman influence in England than there was in Pictland, as Romano-British culture had disappeared meanwhile Pictland was introduced to 'civilisation' at a rate of knots, and became an important part of Christian culture: we're starting to discover that some of the 'Irish' and 'Northumbrian' religious manuscripts made in the monasteries of early Christian Britain may actually have been Pictish.
    A new mobile phone tower went up in a town in the USA, and the local newspaper asked a number of people what they thought of it. Some said they noticed their cellphone reception was better. Some said they noticed the tower was affecting their health.

    A local administrator was asked to comment. He nodded sagely, and said simply: "Wow. And think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational."

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    So, no Hadrian's Wall.

    At least Spain had something worth fighting for, but if they took the bull by the horns, the Romans were no strangers to insurgencies. Ole.

    They'd wipe out entire tribes and/or clans, and the Gaels might turn Eire into Scotland, finding more organized opposition.

    The Picts might turn out to be another branch of Celts, so northern Britain might join the union of Cornwall and Wales, as more remote sanctuaries of their people, culture and language, being considered regions rather than a distinct country.

    The Normans might have found it easier to expand northwards, while Ireland might be more unified when they have to face them, though as I recall, this came more about through independent ventures that alarmed the English crown enough to bring these power bases under their control, rather than an actual organized invasion.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere 40K View Post
    The Picts might turn out to be another branch of Celts, so northern Britain might join the union of Cornwall and Wales, as more remote sanctuaries of their people, culture and language, being considered regions rather than a distinct country.
    It's now universally accepted that the Picts were Celts, little different to the peoples in other areas of Britain except for being slightly less developed and perhaps with a more pronounced pre-Celtic substrate (in names etc). And Wales is certainly considered a distinct country, not a region. Indeed, unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales maintains its own language at reasonably high levels. If you walk around most parts of Wales you'll probably hear the odd person speaking Welsh, and there are many majority Welsh-speaking villages along the West Coast, supposedly with a handful of monolingual speakers. And most people you'll meet will have studied it in school. Whereas 99% of Scottish people have never met anyone who speaks Gaelic or been to a Gaelic speaking area.

    The Normans might have found it easier to expand northwards, while Ireland might be more unified when they have to face them, though as I recall, this came more about through independent ventures that alarmed the English crown enough to bring these power bases under their control, rather than an actual organized invasion.
    The English invasion of Ireland was basically some minor Norman warlords being invited in to help one of the Irish kingdoms fight another of the Irish kingdoms. It was opportunism and was not directly sanctioned by the king to begin with, they just marched in, reconquered the lands for the local guy, and in return demanded he be their vassal. Then having realised how easy the whole business was they sent for a few of their friends and set about conquering the other kingdoms, IIRC.
    A new mobile phone tower went up in a town in the USA, and the local newspaper asked a number of people what they thought of it. Some said they noticed their cellphone reception was better. Some said they noticed the tower was affecting their health.

    A local administrator was asked to comment. He nodded sagely, and said simply: "Wow. And think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational."

  15. #15

    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    I don't think the Roman conquering all of Britain would have had a major impact on the over all history of the islands.

    Even if the Romans had conquered Scotland, it is unlikely the Anglo-Saxon invaders would have also done so. The British conquered Wales, after all, but the Anglo-Saxons did not. The exact boundaries of Scotland and England might be different, but I don't see a completely germanic Scotland similar to England. There is no reason to expect that even if it had been one unitied province, that it would have remained united enough to resist the Anglo-Saxon invaders - Wales and what is now England did not remain united after the Romans left, for example.

    Biggest long term impact is likely the founding of Roman cities in Ireland and Scotland that would remain major cities today, but even that is not certain. What cities in Wales were founded by the Romans?,.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; November 29, 2017 at 06:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    The Lowlands are subject to conquest, and the indigenous tribes could have been pushed by the Anglo Saxons into the Highlands.

    Assuming the Romans invested in infrastructure, those who follow tend to go along the line of least resistance, and can build up their strongpoints in previous Roman towns.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere 40K View Post
    The Lowlands are subject to conquest, and the indigenous tribes could have been pushed by the Anglo Saxons into the Highlands.

    Assuming the Romans invested in infrastructure, those who follow tend to go along the line of least resistance, and can build up their strongpoints in previous Roman towns.
    Didn't the English (rather Scots speaker of the Anglo Saxon dialect) push the Celtic speakers into the Highlands anyways? I thought Lowland Scotland was largely speaking English (well, the Scottish version of English) even by late medieval times. How would history have been different?

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Maybe Whiskey would had never been invented.

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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Didn't the English (rather Scots speaker of the Anglo Saxon dialect) push the Celtic speakers into the Highlands anyways? I thought Lowland Scotland was largely speaking English (well, the Scottish version of English) even by late medieval times. How would history have been different?
    Not the actual speakers, no, only their language. The English language spread into the burghs from its base in the Borders and Lothian, and from there into the rural areas around the Burghs. All of the Lowland areas except Ayrshire and Galloway were English-speaking by 1500, more or less, although Galloway and South Ayrshire were still partly Gaelic-speaking into the 1700s. Robert Burns missed Gaelic by about three or four generations, IIRC. There was not all that many incomers into the Lowlands, and indeed many of the incomers originally integrated and learned Gaelic to begin with after intermarrying with locals: William Wallace was of partial Norman descent but he was bilingual in French and Gaelic, with a decent knowledge of English as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gäiten View Post
    Maybe Whiskey would had never been invented.
    Whiskey (or whisky, as we spell it in Scotland), is just a form of aquavitae, it was invented in Italy and then adapted to local ingredients when it spread to other parts of Europe in the late Middle Ages (whisky is made from beer, Italian aquavitae was made from wine).
    Last edited by Copperknickers II; November 30, 2017 at 02:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Had the Romans conquered the whole of Britannia, how much would this change the course of the islands history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperknickers II View Post
    Not the actual speakers, no, only their language. The English language spread into the burghs from its base in the Borders and Lothian, and from there into the rural areas around the Burghs. All of the Lowland areas except Ayrshire and Galloway were English-speaking by 1500, more or less, although Galloway and South Ayrshire were still partly Gaelic-speaking into the 1700s. Robert Burns missed Gaelic by about three or four generations, IIRC. There was not all that many incomers into the Lowlands, and indeed many of the incomers originally integrated and learned Gaelic to begin with after intermarrying with locals: William Wallace was of partial Norman descent but he was bilingual in French and Gaelic, with a decent knowledge of English as well.



    Whiskey (or whisky, as we spell it in Scotland), is just a form of aquavitae, it was invented in Italy and then adapted to local ingredients when it spread to other parts of Europe in the late Middle Ages (whisky is made from beer, Italian aquavitae was made from wine).
    Sorry for the late response, just saw this.

    IIRC Galloway along with the southern third of Scotland was British speaking not Gaelic (the northern two thirds being Pictish and latterly Gaelic), and most of the British speaking areas changed to forms of Old English. Galloway did have some Norse and Gaelic overlords during the Viking Age but the people were typical lowlands. AFAIK Britons and lowland Gaels/Picts who adopted Ynglish culture and language. British elite culture was replaced by the continentally connected Germanic languages (Norse and Old English, combined to form Ynglish), whereas the Gael had somewhere to turn to for elite status (Ireland) so it was sustained as a spoken as well as an elite and therefore written culture.
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