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Early British History.

Prehistory

Two thousand years ago there existed an Iron Age Celtic culture throughout the British Isles. The Celts had been coming from Europe since the 8th century B.C. They mixed with the original peoples. This prehistoric period, for which no written record exists, is filled with the sense of mystery, mostly focused in the astonishing monumental architecture of those times. The remains of it can be found throughout the country. Wiltshire in the south-western England, has two examples: Silbury Hill, the largest burial mound in Europe and Stonehenge.

 

The Roman period (43 410)

The Roman province of Britannia covered most of present-day England and Wales. The Romans imposed their culture, encouraging the Celtic aristocracy to adopt Roman dress and the Latin language. They exerted their influence, without actually governing there, over the southern part of Scotland. It was during this time that a Celtic tribe called the Scots migrated from Ireland to Scotland, where they became allies to the Picts (another Celtic tribe) and opponents to the Romans. This division of the Celts into those who experienced direct Roman rule (the Britons in England and Wales) and those who did not (the Gaels in Ireland and Scotland) may help to explain the development of two branches in the Celtic group of languages.

The remarkable thing about the Romans is that, despite their long occupation of Britain, they left very little behind. To many other parts of Europe they brought a system of law and administration which forms the basis of the modern system and the language which developed into the modern Roman family of languages. In Britain they left neither. Moreover, most of their villas, baths and temples, their impressive network of roads, and the cities they founded, including Londinium, were soon destroyed. Almost the only lasting reminder of their presence are place-names like Chester or Lancaster, which include variants of the Roman word casta (a military camp).

 



Date: 2015-01-29; view: 549


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