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Life in Roman Britain

History of Britain, Life in Roman Britain. Rome was a city, and wherever her citizens went, they built towns. The Britons had never seen such places before, and they did not feel at home in them or take kindly to the Roman way of life.

For thousands of years, the Britons had been banded together in tribes, each with its own king. The Romans changed the system completely. They introduced one ruler for the whole of England, Scotland and Wales. There was now a central government; and laws that had to be obeyed from one end of the land to the others. These laws were administered by courts of justice, a word that Britons had never heard before. The essence of it was that a man was innocent unless he was proven guilty.

Life in Roman Britain 1
At Lullingstone in Kent, this Roman villa was once the home of a wealthy family. The walls were 2,5 metres high; mosaics on the floor depicted ancient legends; and among its amenities was a bath house. The original inhabitants were pagans. Remains of a Christian chapel suggest a change of bilief - probably in the 4th century AD.

But, above all things, the Romans were builders. They constructed fine roads. They erected magnificent houses complete with plumbing. They also taught new methods of agriculture.

Unfortunately, they also demanded high taxation. For the wealthy man who lived in a villa, life was never better. For the slaves who served him, it could be very hard indeed.

Nevertheless, for the 300 years and more that the Romans ruled Britain, there was mostly peace. Trade prospered; civilization had arrived.

Life in Roman Britain 2
The Romans were more than warriors; they were civil engineers and artists, too. Among their greater accomplishments was the composition of beautiful mosaics to decorate floors and, even, pavements.
Read previous : Romans on the March, or read the next article : The Anglo Saxon Invasions
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