Rebellious Britannia: Rome's Northern Flank
In the first of three programmes, Anne McElvoy explores the challenges of governing the peoples of Europe across three of the continent's great empires ...and the parallels today. To begin the series, Anne looks at the Roman era, when Colchester was the capital of Britannia. With the help of Roman expert Professor Catharine Edwards of Birkbeck, University of London, she discovers how hard it was for Rome to exercise control over its most northerly province.
Roman Britain was a fringe state on a vast empire; conquered late it was initially hard to run. The story of its rebellion and subsequent assimilation into the Roman Empire tells us the story of an experiment into a new kind of rule and governance; running a province was a balancing act between local custom and the idea of being part of a greater whole.
Producers Vicki Perrin and Simon Elmes
In the next weeks: Charlemagne and the empire of faith, and Napoleon sets the European standard.