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CHAPTER I: Preliminary Account of the State of Britain under the Dominion of the Romans. - John Millar, An Historical View of the English Government 
An Historical View of the English Government, From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Revolution in 1688, in four volumes, edited by Mark Salber Philips and Dale R. Smith, introduction by Mark Salber Philips (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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Preliminary Account of the State of Britain under the Dominion of the Romans.
The downfal of the Roman state, and the formation of those kingdoms which were built upon the ruins of it, may be regarded as one of the greatest revolutions in the history of mankind. A vast unwieldly empire, which had for ages languished under a gloomy despotism, was then broken into a number of independent states, animated with all the vi-<10>gour, but subjected to all the violence and disorder, natural to a rising and unsettled constitution. The arts and literature which had grown up in the ancient world were, in a great measure, overthrown; and a new system of political institutions, together with a total change of manners, customs, and ways of thinking, spread itself over the greatest part of Europe.
The plan of government, which the Romans adopted throughout the greatest part of their dominions, was uniform and simple. After that people had enlarged their city, as far as was convenient, by incorporating some of the neighbouring tribes, and had joined to it the possession of a considerable adjacent territory, they divided their future acquisitions into distinct provinces; in each of which they placed a governor, invested with almost unlimited authority. It cannot escape observation, that the Roman patriotism, even in the boasted times of the commonwealth, was far from being directed by a liberal spirit: it proceeded from narrow and partial considerations; and the same people who discovered so much fortitude and zeal in establishing and maintaining<11> the freedom of their capital, made no scruple in subjecting the rest of their dominions to an arbitrary and despotical government. The governor of every province had usually the command of the forces; and was invested with the supreme executive and judicial powers, together with the privilege of appointing the greatest part of the inferior officers, to whom the distribution of justice, or the care of the police, was intrusted. The oppressive taxes to which the inhabitants of the provinces were subjected, and the still greater oppression which they suffered from the arbitrary and illegal exactions of their magistrates are sufficiently known. The tribunals of Rome were at too great a distance to take a strict account of her provincial officers; and the leading men in the Republic, who expected, in their turns, to enrich themselves by the plunder of the provinces, were seldom disposed to enter very heartily into measures for restraining such enormities. The riches amassed by the offender afforded him, at the same time, the means of preventing any troublesome inquiry into his behaviour; and in proportion to the extent of his guilt, was commonly the degree of security which<12> he afterwards enjoyed. Cicero1 affirms, that in the small government of Cilicia,2 after saving to the public the amount of a full million sterling, which the former governors had applied to their private use, he had, at the end of the year, about twenty thousand pounds of clear gain.
But while Rome was thus extending conquest and slavery over the world, she communicated to the conquered nations her knowledge, and her refinement in the arts of life. The great military establishment maintained in every province, in order to keep the inhabitants in subjection; the large body of civil officers necessary in the various departments of public administration; the numerous colonies, composed of Roman citizens, who settled in every part of the empire, and carried along with them the Roman institutions and customs; and, above all, the frequent resort of the chief provincial inhabitants to the capital of the empire, a natural consequence of their dependence; these circumstances produced an universal imitation of Roman manners, and throughout the dominions of Rome contributed to spread her language, arts, and literature.<13> These advantages compensated in some measure, and were sometimes more than sufficient to counterbalance, the loss of independence. Wherever the Roman dominion was established, the ruder parts of the world were civilized.
Among all the countries subdued by the Romans, none was in a more uncultivated state than Britain; and it is probable that no country derived greater advantages from her subjection. A great part of the inhabitants, before they were incorporated in the Roman empire, seem to have been strangers to agriculture, and to have been maintained chiefly by their herds of cattle. They were divided into small independent tribes, under their several chiefs, as commonly happens in that early state of mankind; and these little societies being much addicted to plunder, and for that reason frequently engaged in hostilities, a regard to mutual defence had occasionally produced alliances among some of them, from which a variety of petty princes, or kings, had arisen in different parts of the country.
The Roman administration of Britain does not appear to have been distinguished from that<14> of the other provinces at a distance from the seat of government. After the reduction of all that part of the island accounted worth the trouble of acquiring, the first great object was, to ascertain and preserve the conquest by a permanent military force. For this purpose the inhabitants were completely disarmed; and a standing army, composed, according to the lowest account, of three legions, amounting to upwards of thirty-six thousand foot and six thousand horse, was introduced, and regularly maintained* These troops were distributed over the province, and placed in stations where their service could be most useful, either by overawing the natives, or by repelling the invasions of the unconquered tribes in the North. When not engaged in war, they were employed, according to the usual practice of the Romans, in public works; in building and repairing these two northern walls, which at different times were intended as the boundary of the province; in constructing forts; in clearing the country of its forests<15> and marshes; and in opening a communication between different parts of it, by an uninterrupted chain of high roads.
There are said to have been, in the whole province, about a hundred and fifty Roman stations; which were connected with inferior fortresses, erected at convenient distances, and garrisoned with regular troops* Each of these garrisons occasioned a resort of the neighbouring inhabitants, and probably gave rise to a sort of village or town, in which a promiscuous settlement was formed by Roman families, and those of the natives. The effect of such an intercourse, in the communication of manners and customs, may easily be conceived. In particular, as the military people were often rewarded by the public with landed possessions, their example could not fail to spread the knowledge and practice of agriculture, while their industry in the management of their estates contributed to beautify and improve the face of the country.
The connexion with Britain, which the soldiers of the British army acquired by living in<16> the country, was even seldom broke off when they were dismissed from the service. Though drawn originally from different parts of the empire, yet, having formed an attachment to the place in which they had so long resided, they were commonly disposed, in their old age, and when they had merited their dismission, to pass the remainder of their days in the province. The offspring of these people became natural inhabitants: and Britain, in this manner, was continually receiving fresh supplies of Romans, who compensated for such of the natives as, in the course of recruiting the armies, were naturalized into other provinces.
After establishing a sufficient military force to maintain her authority, the attention of Rome was directed to the suppression of internal disorder among her subjects, by the regular distribution of justice. The jealousy entertained by the first emperors had suggested an important regulation for limiting the dangerous power of their provincial governors. From the time of Augustus,3 the provinces near the seat of the empire, as they enjoyed the prospect of tranquillity, were distinguished from such as were situated at a distance, and<17> on that account more exposed to disturbance. In the former, the governor was merely a civil officer, and had no direction of the forces; but in the latter, it was thought necessary that his authority should be rendered more effectual, by raising him to the head of the military, as well as the civil department.*
The president or governor of Britain was in the latter situation; having the command of the army, together with the supreme jurisdiction, and the appointment of inferior magistrates. In the courts held by all these officers, the laws of Rome were considered as the standard of every decision. Wherever the Romans extended their dominion, it was their constant aim to introduce their own jurisprudence; a system which was calculated to establish good order and tranquillity among the conquered people, as well as to promote the interest of the conquerors. The introduction of that system into Britain was more immediately necessary, to prevent those private wars, and to restrain those acts of violence and injustice, to which the inhabitants were so much<18> addicted. It is not likely, however, that an innovation of such importance was accomplished all at once. In the public administration of the province, the Roman magistrates assumed an absolute authority; but, in matters of private property, the British chiefs and petty princes appear, for some time after the conquest, to have retained their ancient jurisdiction, and to have determined the differences of their own tenants and dependants. But this jurisdiction became gradually more circumscribed, and seems at last to have been entirely annihilated. The continual migration of foreigners into the province, brought along with them the fashions acquired in other parts of the empire; while the multiplication and enlargement of the British towns, which, for the most part, were governed according to the policy of Rome, extended the influence of the Roman judges. The province of Britain is said to have contained about an hundred and forty towns, nine of which were of the rank of colonies; and the customs, as well as the notions of order and justice, which prevailed in those places of common resort, were easily propagated over the surrounding country. The<19> long continuance of the provincial government, and the progress of the natives in civilization, disposed them to neglect their original magistrates, and to court the favour of the ruling powers, by an immediate appeal to their protection.
To procure a revenue, not only sufficient for defraying the expences of the civil and military establishments, but also capable of affording annual remittances to the emperor, was a third, and perhaps the principal object of his administration. The Britons were subjected to taxes of the same nature with those which were levied from the other provinces.* The proprietors of arable land paid an annual quit-rent, supposed to be equal to a tenth part of the fruits; and the possessors of pasture ground were also loaded with a duty, proportioned to the number of their cattle.† The customs and excise, in this part of the Roman dominions, are said to have been remarkably heavy;† but the impositions which excited<20> most complaint were, a poll-tax, and a duty upon funerals. These, being levied at a fixed rate, without any regard to the poverty or riches of the people, and having no immediate dependance on the prosperity of trade and manufactures, were most easily increased at pleasure, and therefore seem to have been the usual expedients for raising supplies, when every other taxation had been found ineffectual.§
The charge of collecting the revenue was committed to an imperial procurator, who had the superintendance of all the inferior officers employed in this branch of administration; and in Britain, as well as in the other provinces, the principal taxes were let to farmers for the payment of a yearly rent. From this mode of collection, so liable to abuse, and from the nature of the government in other respects, it may seem unnecessary to remark, that the Britons were exposed to grievous extortions. If the countries near the seat of the empire, and within the observation of the sovereign, were abandoned to the arbitrary measures of the<21> provincial officers, it cannot be supposed that those at a distance were in a better situation. Tacitus4 mentions, in terms of the highest indignation, the unfeeling rapacity of the Roman officers in Britain; which, at an early period, excited a general revolt of the inhabitants.‖
It is well known, that the cities and provinces under the Roman dominion were often reduced, by the demands of government, to such distress, as obliged them to borrow money at exorbitant interest: and that, by taking advantage of their necessities, the monied men of those times were enabled to employ their fortunes in a very profitable manner. In this trade, though prohibited by law, and however infamous in its own nature, the best citizens of Rome (such is the force of example) were not ashamed to engage. Seneca the philosopher,5 whose philosophy, it seems, was not incompatible with the love of money, lent the Britons, at one time, above three hundred and twenty-two thousand pounds.* <22>
Were it possible to ascertain the extent of the revenue drawn from the province of Britain, we might thence be enabled to form a notion of the opulence and improvement attained by the inhabitants. Dr. Henry, who has made a very full collection of the facts mentioned by ancient authors concerning the provincial government of this Island, supposes that its annual revenue amounted to no less than two millions sterling.† But this is a mere conjecture, unsupported by any authority; and it should seem that no accounts <23> have been transmitted by historians, from which the point can be determined.
The improvements made by the Britons in agriculture were such, as to produce a regular exportation of corn, for supplying the armies in other parts of the empire. Their houses were built in the same style of architecture; and many of them were adorned with statues and public structures, in the same taste of magnificence which prevailed in Italy. In this branch of labour, their mechanics were even so numerous, and had such reputation, as to be employed upon the neighbouring continent. In weaving cloth they appear also to have made considerable proficiency. We are informed, in particular, that linen and woollen manufactures were established at Winchester.*
The foreign trade of Britain, arising from her valuable tin mines, and for which the island was, at a very remote period, frequented by the Phenicians,6 and other commercial nations of antiquity, is universally known. When this branch of commerce, together with those of<24> lead, wool, hides, and some other native productions, came to be secured of a regular market, under the eye and protection of the Roman magistrate, they were undoubtedly pushed to a considerable extent.
In taste and literature, the advances made by the Britons were no less conspicuous than in the common improvements of life. Even in the time of Agricola, “the youth of distinguished families,” according to the great historian of that age, “were instructed in the liberal arts: insomuch that those who but lately were ignorant of the language, began to acquire a relish for the eloquence of Rome. They became fond of appearing in the dress of the Romans, and by degrees were led to imitate their vices, their luxury, and effeminacy, as well as their elegance and magnificence.”†
The fashion of travelling for education, and of residing in Rome, and in other learned and polite cities of the empire, was early introduced among the Britons; who, in a noted passage of Juvenal, are mentioned as being indebted<25> to the Gauls for their eminent proficiency in pleading at the bar.* In Britain, as well as in other provinces, the utmost attention was given by government, to propagate the knowledge not only of the Latin and Greek languages, but of all those branches of science that enjoyed any reputation; and for this purpose, academies and schools, with public encouragement, are said to have been erected in the principal towns. From these different sources the Roman learning, in all its parts, was communicated to this Island; where it flourished for some time, and was afterward subjected to a similar decay as in all the other provinces of the empire.
The successive changes which happened in the political situation of the Roman empire produced alterations in the administration of all the provinces, as well as of Britain in particular. The despotical government of Rome, as it had been at first established, so it was afterwards entirely supported by a military force. In its original, therefore, it contained<26> the seeds of its destruction. As, by his tyrannical behaviour, the reigning emperor became naturally the object of detestation and resentment to his subjects, he was exposed to the continual hazard of insurrection, from the disgust or caprice of that army which he kept on foot for maintaining his authority. It was, at the same time, impossible that he should command in person the different armies necessary for the defence of the whole empire, or that he should prevent the general of every separate army from acquiring influence and popularity with the troops under his direction. The greatest and most veteran of those armies were unavoidably employed on the frontiers, where their service was most needed, and where their courage and activity were most exercised; and their leaders being too far removed from the chief magistrate to meet with any disturbance in forming their ambitious plans, were frequently in a condition to render themselves independent, or to open a direct passage to the throne.
But the independence of the opulent and leading men, in the distant provinces, was increased by another circumstance of still greater<27> importance. The first emperors, who possessed the extensive and rich countries lately subdued by the Roman arms, enjoyed an immense revenue, and their influence must have been proportionably great; but the oppressive nature of their government, and the unbounded licence which they gave to the plunder of their subjects, could not fail to discourage industry, and of course to reduce the people to poverty and beggary. The extent of the Roman empire had, in the mean time, become so great, that the expence of maintaining forces on a distant frontier, with a view of making any farther conquest, seemed to overbalance the advantages which it might be supposed to produce. Adrian,7 a prince no less distinguished for activity than wisdom, was induced to contract his dominions, and to abandon a part of what had been already acquired, that he might be able to preserve the remainder in greater security. Thus, while the old channels of public revenue were drained, no new sources could be provided to supply the deficiency. In this situation the emperor felt a gradual decline of his authority; and as he became less able to protect the inhabitants of the provinces,<28> or to punish their disobedience, they were more disposed to shake off their allegiance, and emboldened to follow the fortunes of any adventurer who found himself in a condition to disturb the public tranquillity.
For preventing these disorders, it was thought a prudent measure to associate different leaders in the supreme power. The first traces of this practice may be discovered about the time of Trajan and the Antonines;8 who partly, as it should seem, from affection, and partly from political motives, adopted in their own life-time a Caesar, or successor to the crown. The same plan was farther extended by Dioclesian;9 who divided the sovereignty between two emperors and two Caesars; and who seems to have thought that, to preserve the empire from falling in pieces, it was requisite to submit to the manifest inconveniences arising from the jealousy and bad agreement of so many independent heads. The emperor Constantine10 rendered this division more permanent, by erecting a great Eastern capital, which became the rival, and even superior, in opulence and dignity, to that of the west.<29>
In conformity to such views of dividing the sovereignty among those leaders who might otherwise be disposed to tear the empire asunder, subdivisions were made in those territories which had formerly composed a single province; and in each subdivision a chief officer was appointed, whose authority might serve to limit and circumscribe that of him who had the government of the whole. Thus the same prince who founded Constantinople, having disbanded the old praetorian guards,11 whose power had long been so formidable, distributed the whole empire into four great praefectures, corresponding to the four joint sovereigns already established. Each praefecture he divided into certain large territories, called jurisdictions, under their several governors; and each jurisdiction he parcelled out into smaller districts, under the denomination of provinces, which were committed to the care of deputy-governors.
Britain, which originally formed a single province, but which, by the emperor Severus,12 had been divided into two, was, according to this arrangement, multiplied into five provinces; and the vicar or governor of the whole,<30> enjoyed a paramount authority to that of its five deputy-governors.
The direction of the civil, and that of the military establishment, were, for the same reason, separated, and placed in different hands. After the dismission of the praetorian guard, and of its commander, two military officers were appointed, the one of which had the command of the infantry, and the other of the cavalry, throughout the empire; and under them the number of generals, in particular districts, appears to have been considerably increased. The Roman forces in this Island came, in the later periods of its provincial government, to be under the direction of three independent officers; the duke of Britain, who commanded on the northern frontier; the count of Britain, who conducted the troops in the interior parts of the country; and the count of the Saxon shore, employed in superintending the defence of the southern and eastern coasts, which, from about the beginning of the third century, had been exposed to frequent incursions from the Saxons.
All these precautions, however, by which the Roman emperors endeavoured to maintain<31> subordination and dependance in the different parts of their dominions, were ineffectual in opposition to the prevailing current of the times. The same unhappy system which tended to loosen the bands of government, contributed also to render the military establishment unfit for defence against a foreign enemy. As all power and distinction were ultimately derived from the army, it was the interest of every general to court the favour of the troops under his command, not only by enriching them with donations and emoluments, but by treating them with every kind of indulgence. The natural consequence of such a situation was the procuring to the soldiers an exemption from the laborious duties of their profession. Feeling their own consequence, the military people set no bounds to their licentious demands, and were rendered inactive and effeminate, in the same proportion as they became haughty and insolent. The heavy armour, which in former times had been used with so much advantage, was therefore laid aside, as too cumbersome and fatiguing; and the ancient military discipline, the great cause of all their victories, was at length entirely neglected.<32> It was thus that the Romans, being deprived of that superiority which they had formerly possessed, in their encounters with rude and ignorant nations, found themselves unable to resist the fierce courage of those neighbouring barbarians, who, about the fifth century, were invited to attack them by the prospect of plunder and of new settlements.
In this declining state of the Roman empire, the revenue of the provinces, by suffering a gradual diminution, became at length insufficient for the support of their civil and military establishments; and whenever any country had been reduced to such a degree of poverty as to be no longer able to repay the trouble and expence of maintaining it, good policy seemed to require that it should be abandoned. To such an unfruitful condition the distant provinces, and Britain more especially, appear to have been fast approaching, in the reign of Arcadius and Honorius,13 when a deluge of barbarians, pressing on all sides, threatened the state with sudden destruction, and made it necessary to withdraw the forces from this Island, in order to defend the richer and more important parts of the empire.<33>
The situation of Britain, when thus deserted by the Romans, was no less new and singular, than it was alarming and unhappy. When mankind are formed into political societies, and have acquired property, they are usually provided with one set of regulations for repelling the attacks of their enemies, and with another for securing internal tranquillity. But the Britons, upon this extraordinary emergency, were left equally destitute of both. From the distrustful jealousy of Rome, they had been removed from all concern in military transactions, at least in their own country, and made to depend for their safety upon an army composed entirely of foreigners. In such a state they had remained for more than three centuries, enjoying the protection of their masters, without any call to exert themselves in their own defence, and cultivating those arts which tend to soften the manners, while they inspire an aversion from the dangers and hardships of a martial life. Thus the Britons, in their advances towards civility, lost the courage and ferocity of barbarians, without acquiring the skill and address of a polished nation; and they ceased to be warriors by nature,<34> without being rendered soldiers by discipline and education.
But the departure of the Romans from Britain was no less fatal to all the institutions of civil government. The governors and other officers, who directed the administration of public affairs, the farmers engaged in the different departments of the revenue, the magistrates of Roman appointment, who determined both civil and criminal causes, and who had now acquired a complete jurisdiction over the whole province, had no longer occasion to remain in a country which was totally abandoned by its master, and in which, by the removal of the army, they had lost the means of maintaining their authority. The courts of justice, therefore, were dissolved; the taxes were abolished; and all order and subordination were destroyed. Even private individuals, of Roman extraction, who had acquired estates in Britain, endeavoured to dispose of their fortunes; and by leaving the Island, avoided the storm that appeared to be gathering around them.
The disasters which followed were of such a nature as might be expected from the anar-<35>chy and confusion which prevailed in the country. The Scots and Picts,14 who, in the northern part of the Island, had remained unconquered, and retained their primitive barbarous manners, took advantage of this favourable opportunity, to invade and plunder their more opulent neighbours. They met with little resistance from the Britons, who, giving way to their fears, and conscious of their inferiority, seemed to place their only refuge in the protection of their ancient rulers. The abject manner in which they, at different times, solicited that protection; the behaviour of their ambassadors, who in the presence of the emperor rent their garments, and putting ashes upon their heads, endeavoured to excite commiseration by tears and lamentations; the letter which they wrote to Aetius, the praefect of Gaul, inscribed the groans of the Britons, and in which they say, the barbarians drive us into the sea, the sea throws us back upon the barbarians, and we have only the hard choice left us, of perishing by the sword, or by the waves; these particulars, which are handed down by historians, exhibit the shocking picture of a people totally destitute of spirit, and unable to collect<36> resolution even from despair.15 Upon two occasions they obtained from Rome the aid of a military force, by which their enemies were surprised, and repulsed with great slaughter; but the relief which this afforded was merely temporary, and they received a peremptory declaration, that, from the embarrassed condition of the empire, no future supplies of this kind could be spared.*
The consternation of the Britons, in this helpless condition, may easily be conceived, though in the rude annals of that period it is, perhaps, painted with some degree of exaggeration. Time and necessity, however, suggested the means of guarding against the evils to which they were exposed. The proprietors of land possessed a natural influence over the people whom they maintained upon their estates; and this was the source of a jurisdiction, which, during the subsistence of the Roman dominion, had been in great measure extinguished, but which, upon the dissolution of the Roman courts, was of course revived and rendered independent. The same influ-<37>ence enabled these persons to call out their tenants to war, and to assume the direction of their conduct during a military enterprize. By these two branches of authority, a very simple form of government was gradually introduced. The whole country was broken into separate districts, according to the extent of territory in the possession of individuals; and fell under the civil and military power of so many chiefs, the most opulent of whom appear to have been dignified with the title of princes. By the efforts of these leaders, it is likely that private robbery and violence were, in some degree, restrained, and the people were encouraged to return to their tillage and ordinary employments, from the neglect of which, it is said, a famine had been produced. But their great object was to oppose the northern invaders. For this purpose they elected a general of their united forces, upon whom, after the example of the Romans, they bestowed the appellation of the duke of Britain. The same person presided in the assemblies held by the chiefs, in which the great affairs of the nation appear to have been determined.
After the government had remained for<38> some time in this channel, Voltigern,16 one of the most opulent of their princes, was promoted to that high dignity; and upon a new alarm of an invasion from the Scots and Picts, he is said to have called a national council, in which it was agreed to solicit the assistance of the Saxons. As this measure was fatal in its consequences, it has been universally decried, and stigmatised as the height of imprudence; but we ought to consider that it proceeded from the same system of policy which has been practised and approved in all ages, that of courting the alliance of one nation, in order to form a balance against the formidable power of another; and the censures which, in this instance, have been so liberally bestowed upon the Britons, are a plain proof how ready we are to judge of actions from the good or bad success which attends them, or how difficult it is to establish any general rules of conduct; that will not appear grossly defective in a multitude of the particular cases to which they may be applied.<39>
[1. ]Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 ): Roman orator, author of many philosophical and rhetorical works, including On Duty, On the Orator, and Tusculan Disputations.
[2. ]Cilicia: a Roman territory in Asia Minor.
[* ]Horsely Brit. Rom. Whitaker Hist. Manchester, v. i. b. i. ch. 6.
[* ]Whitaker Hist. Manchester, v. i. b. i. ch. 8.
[3. ]Augustus (or Octavian): first Roman emperor (r. 31 – 14).
[* ]Dio. Cass. 53.—Hein. ad. lib. i. dig. tit. 16. 18.
[* ]See an account of the taxes throughout the Roman dominions, in Burman. de Vect. Rom.
[† ]This tax upon cattle was called Scriptura.
[† ]Strabo, lib. iv.
[§ ]See the terms in which Boadicea is made to complain of the two last-mentioned taxes. Xiphilinus in Nerone.
[4. ]Tacitus (ca. 56–ca. 120): Roman historian, an important source for the history of the Germanic tribes. His works include Agricola (ca. 98), a biography of his father-in-law and former governor of the Roman province of Britain; Germania (ca. 98), a comprehensive work on the Germanic tribes of central Europe; the Histories (105–8); and the Annals.
[‖ ]Tacit. Agric. ch. 15.
[5. ]Seneca the Younger (ca. 4 – 65): Roman politician and author of works on philosophy, rhetoric, morals, and drama.
[* ]χιλίας μυριάδας, quadrigenties sestertium; viz. £. 322,916. 13. 4. Xiphilinus in Nerone. [[The word drachmae is implicit in the Greek text, but the word is not actually there: ten million drachmae. A translation of the anecdote is found in Earnest Cary, Dio’s Roman History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961), 8:83. Quadrigenties sestertium, forty million sesterces. ]]
[† ]This supposition is built upon a calculation of Lipsius, who makes the revenue of Gaul amount to £. 2,421,875. This calculation is only supported by a passage of Cicero, quoted by Strabo, which mentions the revenue of Egypt, in the time of Auletes, the father of Cleopatra, as amounting to that sum; and by a passage in Velleius Paterculus, asserting that Egypt in taxes yielded nearly as much as Gaul. But the evidence arising from this is too slight, when opposed to the authority of Suetonius, and that of Eutropius; who say, that Caesar drew from Gaul only quadrinenties, £. 322,916. 13. 4. Supposing, however, the fact to be ascertained, that the revenue of Gaul was about two millions and a half, is there sufficient ground to infer from this that the revenue of Britain was, at least, two millions?—Lipsius de Magn. Rom.—Henry’s Hist. v. i. [[Robert Henry (1718–90): Scottish minister and historian, author of the History of Great Britain ... Written on a New Plan (vols. 1–5, 1771–85; vol. 6, 1793). Henry notes that “Though it is impossible to discover the exact value of the Roman revenues in Britain, we have reason to believe, that these revenues were very considerable. ... If the calculations of Lipsius, concerning the Roman revenues of Gaul, be just, those of Britain could not be less than two million sterling annually.” Vol. 1 (London, 1771), 238.]]
[* ]Henry’s Hist. v. i. [[Winchester: an ancient town in Hampshire of importance to both the Romans and Saxons. Later the capital of Wessex, and subsequently of England.]]
[6. ]Phoenicians: an important commercial and maritime people of the eastern Mediterranean.
[† ]Tacit. Agric. c. 21. [[Gnaeus Julius Agricola (40–93): Roman statesman and soldier, governor of Britain 77–84. For a modern translation of this discussion in Tacitus, see Agricola and Germany, trans. Anthony R. Birley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 17.]]
[* ]Gallia causidicos docuit facunda Britannos.—Juv. Sat. 15. [[“Eloquent Gaul has trained the pleaders of Britain.” Juvenal, Satire 15.111; see Juvenal and Persius, trans. G. G. Ramsay, rev. ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940; repr. 1969), 297. Juvenal (55–128) was a Roman verse satirist.]]
[7. ]Hadrian: Publius Aelius Hadrianus, Roman emperor (r. 117–138) who established frontier defenses for the empire, including Hadrian’s Wall in Britain.
[8. ]Trajan: properly Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, Roman emperor (r. 98–117); the Antonines is the collective name of certain Roman emperors of the second century, namely Antonius Pius (r. 138–61), Marcus Aurelius (r. 161–80), and Commodus (r. 180–92).
[9. ]Diocletian: properly Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian, Roman emperor (r. 284–313).
[10. ]Constantine the Great: properly Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, Roman emperor (r. 306–37). He founded the new capital, Constantinople, on the site of Byzantium in Asia Minor (324–30).
[11. ]The Praetorian Guard was created by Augustus to act as the emperor’s private army in 27 Its size and proximity to the capital enabled it to become highly influential in deciding political contests. It was disbanded by Constantine in 312.
[12. ]Lucius Septimius Severus: Roman emperor (r. 193–211).
[13. ]Flavius Arcadius, Eastern Roman emperor (r. 395–408), and Flavius Honorius, Western Roman emperor (r. 395–423), oversaw the Roman evacuation from Britain (407–10).
[14. ]The Scots, who began to raid the Scottish shore from Ireland in the third century, and the Picts, a group of probably Celtic origin, were a significant threat to the Britons in the post-Roman era. Though distinct through the better part of the Saxon period in England, the Scots and Picts merged and evolved in the ninth century into the kingdom of Scotland.
[15. ]Flavius Aetius (ca. 390–454): Roman general and consul. “The groans of the British” may be found in Gildas, The Ruin of Britain and Other Works, ed. and tr. Michael Winterbottom (London: Phillimore, 1978), 23–24; for the discussion in Bede, see Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), 47.
[* ]Gildae Hist.—Bedae Hist. Eccles.
[16. ]Voltigern was the first high king of Britain (r. ca. 425–ca. 466 and ca. 471–ca. 480) in the post-Roman period. It is thought that Voltigern’s decision to seek help from Saxon mercenaries was made ca. 449.