By P J Casey
Less 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 main issue ended in the construction of a moment tier of imperial rulers. Constantius Chlorus was once promoted to suppress the rebel and his good fortune prepared the ground for his son Constantine - who used to be to exploit the province recovered via his father because the base for his personal bid for imperial popularity. His luck - and his adoption of Christianity because the nation faith - was once to form the realm within which we nonetheless stay. This little identified yet outstanding episode within the background of Roman Britain has been brilliantly pieced jointly by way of John Casey, via a painstaking - and every now and then detective-like - sifting of the literary, archaeological and numismatic facts. The latter is as wealthy because it is advanced and is gifted with an impossible to resist mix of enthusiasm and readability. What emerges is that the independence of england was once established upon navel energy. 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 renowned political mythology. within the centuries whilst insular debate was once paramount, the rebel held its position in literary and ancient dialogue, with mythical accretions freely grafted on; curiosity waned in the course of the eighteenth century - in basic terms to be rekindled within the current century, whilst a revival of Carausian reports 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)
This opinion was carried through to Webb’s volume of Roman Imperial Coinage, which covers the issues of the usurpers (Webb, 1933). This date was also accepted by Shiel, with a compression of the dates of issue of mintmarked coins (Shiel, 1977). Carson’s date of 286 has received wide acceptance, especially as it is linked to a coherent scheme of dates attached to the various sequential mintmarks which are a feature of the coins of the London and Colchester mints (Carson, 1959). Carson based his choice of year on the only ancient source with a calendar date, St Jerome’s translation and continuation of the Chronicle of Eusebius.
We are told nothing of his administration of Britain, of the reasons for his overthrow or the reign of his successor except that it was claimed to be oppressive by the panegyricist. ’ Let us examine these accounts in detail in order to extract from them their narrative of events. After this we can look to see whether it is possible to supplement or change that narrative from the archaeological and numismatic evidence, testing the authority of the historical sources by recourse to nonliterary studies.
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.
Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers (Roman Imperial Biographies) by P J Casey