Londinium came into existence as a town due to the Romans following the invasion of 43 AD, which was led by Emperor Claudius. Archeologists claim that Londinium came into existence as a military settlement. The city was first built by the Romans in the same location where London stands today, whereby they bridged the river Thames by constructing a road network connecting Londinium with the other region of the country. AD50 to AD410 was a period which separated Queen Elizabeth one from the present Queen, and Londinium was the biggest city in Britannia. The city was unsurpassed as a port where goods were imported from far contacts of the Roman Empire (Perring, 2002, p. 231).
The Roman troop commander known as Aulus Plautius pushed his army men from the landing place which was in Kent in Colchester, the most crucial town in Britannica then. However, their advance was halted by Thames and Aulus had to build a bridge to reach the destination. The Roman Bridge was a convenient central position for road networks that became popular as a crossing point allowing swift movement of troops. Romans settled on the Northern side known as the Londinium, which became a significant trading center (The Museum of London, 2006). These goods were brought through river Thames by boat and were offloaded at the wooden docks around the bridge. Eighteen years after the Romans arrival, the Iceni tribe queen currently East Anglia began her rebellion, which was against the Britain rules. She mainly targeted Londinium, which was the new trading center. Her warriors attacked the city killing thousands of traders who even had started settling there. Londinium was a frequent market with many trading vessels and merchants (McLachlan, 2013).
Building works in Londinium over the past century have offered an opportunity to archeologists to investigate a number of these buildings. For instance, the palace, which is an elaborate building with impressive offices and reception rooms lie underneath the Cannon station. The procurators residence would also have been at the same location. The amphitheatre was revealed unexpectedly below the Guildhall. The fort, which was home to the city garrison, lies below the Barbican, and the remains of the temple to the Mithras are close to the Wall brook. Development of the town went on until when Emperor Hadrian paid a visit to Londinium in 122 AD (Wacher, 1995, p. 133).
The population was approximately forty five thousand from all ends of the Empire. The Londinium’s name was changed to Augusta during the fourth century AD. As the Roman Empire started dissolving during the fifth century, many barbarians penetrated Spain and Gaul seriously weakening communication between Britain and Rome (Milne, 1995, p. 28). British troops voted in their own leaders among them Constantine III, who declared himself an emperor in the Western Roman Empire. The Emperor used extreme force across the region leaving Britain with fewer soldiers. In 200 AD, the Romans built a protective wall around the city, which was about twenty feet high, eight feet thick and three miles long. For more than a millennium London’s shape has been defined by this wall; the area around the wall is referred to as the City, which is London’s financial district and traces of the perimeter wall are still visible (Wohlfart, 2010).
The Londinium’s star was declining in the third century due to political instability and tightening recession across the Empire. A deteriorating population was not ready to support the cost incurred on the projects of the building, which were systematically demolished, conceivably as a punishment due to the rebellion of the Roman rule. The entire settlement south of river Thames was abandoned also. The only construction works that went on were for defense purposes (Truscoe, 2010).
While the Roman province developed very soon after the arrival of the Romans they largely relied on imported goods. Ports were very crucial during this time, and the Londinium port was created in order to take gains from the tidal river that allowed incoming tides to carry vessels to the port. The ebb was also important during this period because it would help them carry the vessels out. The Roman London expanded gradually over 200 years, and the port grew due to the expansion. During the Roman era, the southward composed of small islands of firmer, higher ground, which was set on boggy, wet marshland (Museum of London, 2000).
River Thames was much wider and lower than it is today since it was about one kilometer wide during a high tide. Today Thames is about two hundred meters wide; the continued land reclamation process has slowly changed the waterside. Every quay extension on the north was built at a lower level than the existing one, therefore, dropping the size of the river. In the fourth century, the river had declined to an extent that there were no tides that allowed entrance of vessels to the port (Hall, 1999). This had adverse effects on the economy of the Roman London because the port was not making any profits. The quays were not maintained, and they disappeared due to rubbish, mold and other remains.
The native population of London was influenced by the Roman occupation in many aspects. It resulted in a fusion of the foreign and native lifestyles, fashions and cultures. This is mainly seen in religion, which was essential to all facets of Roman life operating at many levels both spiritual and secular as well as both informal and formal. Personal religious values were carried out in a more superstitious way seeking permission to carry out the daily activities as well as asking for favors from the gods (Perring, 2002, p. 238). Payment was with extreme simple personal ornaments or collectibles, which were left at shrines and the religious areas like the banks of the wall brook stream and the religious shafts for the gods.
The existing structural evidence in temples from the Roman London is limited, and it only shows a mixture of eastern, classical and provincial cults. In addition to the broad population was the mix of foreigners who worked for the management, were occupied in trade and served in the military. A number of them came from the neighboring provinces of Germany and Gaul, but some came from far provinces. This resulted in a cosmopolitan melting pot of beliefs and influences and evidence for Romano-British, eastern and classical is there in London.
Mithraism prominently rose in the third century A.D even though its roots were extended much back. It emphasized integrity, courage and moral behavior, which became highly popular with the Roman army soldiers. It was an early threat to Christianity because of its focus on rebirth, sacrifice and savior. It was exclusively for men, who were raised through seven levels by means of fearless initiation ceremonies (Potter, & Johns, 1992, p. 150). Mithraism practices varied from the traditional paganism because its services were conducted communally with followers sitting on a bench. They shared a meal, particularly during the festive season of Christmas. The Mithras temple was built in the mid of the second century A.D, and within the temple there were likenesses of Serapis, Bacchus and Minerva, which were imported from Italy. They can be observed at the London museum today.
In conclusion, after Britain was invaded by the Romans, their position was strengthened and made one of the British tribal centers known as Colchester one of their capitals. Seven years later they began building a new settlement in London. The first settlement lasted for ten years, and it spanned between two sides of the Thames River. Large ships could reach it, which made it an outstanding trading center of the Roman Empire. It became popular once the army set up a crossing point, land speculators, traders and foreign merchants shifted to the area. The town grew bigger and was named Londinium. Queen Boudica destroyed London whereby thousands of traders were killed, but it was rebuilt hosting administrative centers and major public buildings. By AD122 Londinium was at its best when Emperor Hadrian paid a visit, but during the third century economic recession and political instability caused London to decline.
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