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Welsh History

Uploaded by tallshipchick on Jan 21, 2001

Wales has a tumultuous and somewhat violent history. During the early years A.D., the country was in turmoil with the Roman invasions, and the biggest defenses that the Welsh had were the deep, dark hills scattered all over the country. Without the safety of these hills, Wales would certainly have been taken over by the Romans. After the Romans left Wales, the Vikings presented a new threat to the peaceful lands of Wales. The Romans also had a huge effect on the Welsh religion and language. Wales was affected both negatively and positively by these invasions.

In 55 B.C., Julius Caesar planned a series of exploratory expeditions into Wales, which were inspired by tales of large deposits of gold in the vast hills in North Wales. (Millet, 1995, p.187) These explorations prepared the ground for the arrival of the Roman armies (Cunliffe, 1990, p.203). In 43 A.D., the Roman army arrived on the shores of Wales to attempt a completion of their new Roman British empire (Tedesco, 178, p. 387). Wales had a strong military history that took a central role in society as far back as 1200 B.C. (Thompson, 1989, p.735). The old Roman boast “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) might have been applied to other places in their vast empire, but in Wales, their conquest was never complete (Johanson, 1979, p. 359). To help with the invasion, they constructed a city at Caerwent that introduced Roman notions of civilization to the natives. They also built a network of roads that connected their two bases at Chester and Caerwent with some small forts (Avery, 1975, p.687) During some expeditions into the hills of Pumpsaint, the Romans finally found the gold that they had been searching for (McQueen, 1985, p.982)

When the Romans left Wales in the 4th century, they left it unprotected against the Saxons, Picts and Irish Goidel tribes. The end of the Roman Empire meant the beginning of a Dark Age for Wales (Thomas, 1986, p. 13).

From the 9th to 11th centuries, a storm descended over the Welsh in the form of the Vikings - unquenchable in their desire for battle and war (McDonald, 1987, p. 439). The shores of Britain were terrorized by these warriors, who not only plundered and wreaked havoc along Britain’s coastline, but also invaded inland and destroyed native villages (Warner, 1992, p. 489). Rhodri Mawr (Rhodri the Great),...

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Uploaded by:   tallshipchick

Date:   01/21/2001

Category:   History

Length:   4 pages (983 words)

Views:   1607

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