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The Iron Age Tribes of Britain - page 2



The Iron Age Tribes of Britain - 2

The Iceni along with the Trinovantes occupied what is now East Anglia. The Iceni kingdom based in Norfolk and North West Suffolk with their allies based at Caesaromagus, occupying southern Suffolk and Essex. Their capital was at Venta Icenorum - Caister St. Edmund, Norfolk, with another major settlement at Thetford. The tribe is probably the best known ancient tribe in Britain due to the exploits of the Warrior Queen Boudica in the revolt of the Iceni of AD60. With their allies, the Trinovantes the Iceni attacked and plundered many Roman towns including Camulodunum, Verulamium and Londinium before being crushed by a much smaller Roman force under the astute leadership of Suetonius Paulinus.

The Coritani were the name given to the Iron Age tribes occupying a large region stretching from South Yorkshire through Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.They were not a close knit tribe but more a group sharing the same values. Their main industry was agriculture and they accepted Roman rule when it came with no complaints. Their capital was at Ratae Corieltauorum - Leicester. They are another people with a defined Monarchy and Coinage unlike their counterparts in Western Britain. Another major settlement was at Lindum - Lincoln. The links they were to forge with the Romans helped to protect them from their warlike neigbours the Brigantes of Northern Britain.

The Brigantes were the dominant tribe in Northern England. They are thought to have their ancestral roots in Germany or north eastern Gaul. Their capital was at Isurium Brigantum - Aldborough in North Yorkshire. They were a warlike people who defied Rome on many occasions until defeated by Ostorius. Following this failed revolt they too became a client kingdom of Rome. The Brigantes also had a defined Monarchy but inter-family rivalries caused their society to be somewhat unstable. Other major settlements were at Calcaria - Tadcaster and Luguvalium - Carlisle. After the break with the Carvetii, Luguvalium became the capital of that faction.

The Parisi or Parisii occupied a small area centred on Humberside sandwiched between the Brigantes to the north and the more advanced Coritani to the south. Their capital was at Peturia and it is thought they descended from the tribes of north-central Gaul - and incidentally gave their name to the French capital.

The Cornovii occupied quite a large area centred on Shropshire between the Carvetii to the north and the Dobunni to the south. Their capital was at Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter). They were builders of some outstanding hillforts and also their fine pottery. Copper and Silver-Lead mines were also among their industries. Their capital was the fourth largest town in Roman Britain. Other major settlements were at Deva Victrix - Chester and Bovium - Tilston in Cheshire.

The Carvetii occupied Cumbria and northern Lancashire but also had lands stretching into present day Scotland. Historical texts place them initially as a grouping within the Brigantes being given their own status during Roman rule. They are bordered to the north by the Selgovae, Novantae and Votadini tribes and to the south and east by the Brigantes. Their capital was at Luguvalium - present day Carlisle.

The Iron Age Tribes of Wales

The Ordovices along with the Silures occupied most of Wales. The Ordovician kingdom in southern Gwynedd and Clwyd had no true capital but their neighbours based in Gwent had their capital at Venta Silurum, Caerwent. Both tribes were prolific hillfort builders, with the forts of the Silures showing characteristics from their neighbours across the Bristol Channel.

The Deceangi and Demetae occupied the remainder of Wales. The Deceangi kingdom of north-east Wales (north Gwynedd and Clwyd) had no true capital. Its population spread within its numerous hillforts. The Demetae were based in southwest Dyfed, with their capital at Moridunum, Carmarthen. Both tribes were prolific hillfort builders, with the forts of the Demetae showing characteristics from their brethren in southwest England.



Who were the Celts?


The Rise of Rome & The Fall of Gaul


Iron Age Tribes of Britain - 1


The Roman Invason of Britain


Vortigern and the so called 'Anglo-Saxon Invasion'


Of Arthur and Merlin


Celtic Mythology and Belief



The Timeline of Arthurian Britain   

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