By P J Casey
Lower than Carausius and his successor Allectus, Britain for a decade (AD 286-96) completed an independence which threatened the soundness of the Roman Empire. With coastal parts of Gaul additionally forming a part of the separatist dominion, the problem ended in the production of a moment tier of imperial rulers. Constantius Chlorus was once promoted to suppress the insurrection and his good fortune lead the way 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 acceptance. His luck - and his adoption of Christianity because the nation faith - used to be to form the area within which we nonetheless dwell. This little identified yet awesome episode within the historical past of Roman Britain has been brilliantly pieced jointly by means of John Casey, via a painstaking - and now and then detective-like - sifting of the literary, archaeological and numismatic facts. 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 was once dependent upon navel energy. those rulers managed the ocean lanes of the English Channel and North Sea in a fashion that no naval strength had performed because the time of Augustus. within the aftermath of defeat, the abolition of a unified naval command decreased 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 while insular debate was once paramount, the rebellion 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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Additional info for Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers (Roman Imperial Biographies)
On a narrower scale we can see that the types used in the first half of the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161– 81) are almost all of a pacific nature; those used in the second half of the reign which was entirely occupied by the Marcommanic War, fought on the Danube, are mostly of a military or warlike content. If coins convey a message from or about the ruler, who made the actual choice of types? We do not know, but the choice must represent what those who served the administration conceived to be representative symbols of its political, social or religious ideology.
Even a statesman of the calibre of Augustus ritually insulted his enemy Mark Antony (Adams, 1982). THE BRITISH USURPERS 37 For details of the life of Carausius, and such few comments we have about Allectus, we must turn to Aurelius Victor and Eutropius. Both texts are assumed to derive from a lost imperial history dating to the first quarter of the fourth century and, since they offer slightly differing accounts, we may be sure that they have used their mutual source selectively. Because the two accounts derive from a single progenitor we may be justified in using them as a single source in reconstructing a composite narrative.
For instance, the regiment at Birdoswald, the Cohors I Aelia Dacorum, was given the title Gordiana (Gordian’s Own) in the reign of Gordian III (238–44); later they were similarly honoured by the Gallic emperors Postumus (260–9) and Tetricus (271–4) (RIB 1893, 1883, 1885). BRITAIN IN THE THIRD CENTURY 25 Possibly these honours were accompanied by monetary gifts to the soldiers after meritorious action. The award of these unit titles and honours was ineffective; the majority of imperial names attached to regimental titles are those of emperors who were murdered by, or with the acquiescence of, their own troops—Caracalla, Severus Alexander, Gordian III, Gallienus, Probus, Aurelian and Postumus.