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By P J Casey

Lower than Carausius and his successor Allectus, Britain for a decade (AD 286-96) accomplished an independence which threatened the steadiness of the Roman Empire. With coastal components of Gaul additionally forming a part of the separatist dominion, the trouble resulted in the construction of a moment tier of imperial rulers. Constantius Chlorus was once promoted to suppress the riot and his good fortune cleared the path for his son Constantine - who was once to exploit the province recovered by means of his father because the base for his personal bid for imperial reputation. His good fortune - and his adoption of Christianity because the country faith - used to be to form the area during which we nonetheless dwell. This little identified yet notable episode within the heritage of Roman Britain has been brilliantly pieced jointly via John Casey, via a painstaking - and now and then detective-like - sifting of the literary, archaeological and numismatic proof. The latter is as wealthy because it is complicated and is gifted with an impossible to resist mix of enthusiasm and readability. What emerges is that the independence of england used to be established upon navel strength. those rulers managed the ocean lanes of the English Channel and North Sea in a manner that no naval strength had performed because the time of Augustus. within the aftermath of defeat, the abolition of a unified naval command diminished the Roman reaction to seaborne raiders to a reactive stategy, instead of an aggressively campaigning one. within the long-term this dramatic episode used to be to play an important, if fluctuating, half in well known political mythology. within the centuries whilst insular debate was once paramount, the riot held its position in literary and ancient dialogue, with mythical accretions freely grafted on; curiosity waned through the eighteenth century - in basic terms to be rekindled within the current century, whilst a revival of Carausian stories coincided with a go back to insularity and a redefinition of political horizons.

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At this stage, or earlier, Carausius was assassinated by Allectus. The Panegyric of 297 records this event without mentioning the principals by name. The orator seems to have mixed feelings about the event; although Carausius is described as a ‘pirate chief’ and Allectus as his ‘henchman’, the murder is described as a ‘crime’ (Pan. Lat. viii(v). 12). A motive is also offered in that Allectus ‘thought that his crime would be rewarded by imperial power’. This seems to imply a belief that he would be recognized as legitimate by Diocletian and Maximian as a reward for the deed.

Aurelius Iulianus Sabinius Iulianus Diocles (M. Aur. Illyricum ? Dalmatia Syria Germany Syria Pannonia Italy ″ ″ Egypt Aurelius Achilleus Eugenius Iulianus Carausius Egypt Syria Italy Gaul/Britain Aurelian ″ ″ ″ Probus ″ Carinus ″ ″ ″ Diocletian/ Maximian ″ ″ ″ ″ 253 253/59 260/68 270/75 276/82 283/84 284/305 BRITAIN IN THE THIRD CENTURY 27 In the discussion above we have seen that the bulk of the troops were stationed in the north or in the upland areas of the Pennines and Wales. By contrast, clustered in the lowland areas of the Midlands and the south was the overwhelming majority of towns and substantial rural settlements.

Discussions of the etymological origins of the names Carausius and Mausaeus have been inconclusive. Mauseus, or Musaeus, has genuine Roman antecedents and Carausius has been ascribed to a Celtic or Germanic origin without much conviction (Shiel, 1977). 2) from Penmachno in the Celtic west of Britain which reads CARAVSIVS HIC IACIT IN HOC CONGERIES LAPIDVM (‘Carausius lies here in this cairn’) (Nash-Williams, 1950). 2). Aurelius Victor states that Carausius was a ‘cives Menapiae’ (a ‘citizen of Menapia’), this being the coast of Gallia Belgica, incorporating the coast of modern northern France, Belgium and Holland.

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