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Colchester

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  • James Mathews
    ... A town in southeastern Britannia (Britain) in an agricultural district ten miles from the coast of Essex. Named after the Gallo-British God Mars Camulus,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2014
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      >>>> Camulodunum (Colchester) <<<<

      A town in southeastern Britannia (Britain) in an agricultural district ten miles from the coast of Essex.  Named after the Gallo-British God Mars Camulus, and situated on a promontory bounded on three sides by marshy valleys, the pre-Roman town at Lexden Heath belonged to the tribe of the Trinovantes, but was occupied in c AD 10 for the second time, by the Catuvellauni -- the most powerful Belgic people -- under their King Cunobelinus (perhaps the legendary Old King Cole), who before his death in 42 made Camulodunum his capital fortress and mint (the Great Lexden Barrow was the grave of a member of his family); the place was now the leading port of Britain.  The Emperor Claudius was present at its capture by his general Aulus Plautius in 43, whereupon it briefly became the legionary headquarters: some six years later Publius Ostorius Scapula founded a colony of ex-soldiers, which at first served as the capital of the British province.  During the rebellion  of Boudicca (Boadicea), queen of the Iceni, in 60, Camulodunum was destroyed, but was subsequently reconstructed, under the name of Victricensis, to become once again, until 70, a legionary headquarters (of which the outline has been discovered) and -- although the provincial capital had been moved to Londinium (London), fifty miles to the southwest -- still ranked as one of the principle towns of Roman Britain, covering an area of one hundred and ten acres.

      Its earthwork defenses were supplemented in the second century by a stone wall, of which the greater part, over a mile long, survives, together with the western (Balkerne) gate, which had originally been a triumphal arch.  Other important remains include those of the Temple of Claudius (under the later Norman castle; the subject of a recent full report) and of other shrines, of Celtic type in the suburbs, where there is also a theatre of a very unusual plan (now explored) which was perhaps the meeting place of the Trinovantes after the establishment of the colony.  Camulodunum may have been one of the mints of Carausius and Allectus, Roman officers  who usurped the imperial throne in Britain (c 287 -- 296), although the attribution is disputed.  In the later empire Camulodunum formed part of the province of Maxima Caesariensis in the administrative diocese of the Britanniae.  One of the three British bishops at the Council of Areate (Arles) in 314 was either from Camulodunum or Lindum (Lincoln). <<<<<<<<<<
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      M. Audens Comment:  I live in Connecticut, and just a few miles away, is the city of Colchester, named after the British city, in the period, before the Revolutionary War, seemingly by British immigrants who moved here and established many towns in Conn. with British names.  So the name of Colchester goes down in history not only in England, but in New England as well.

      Reference:

      >>Michael Grant, “A Guide To the Ancient World, ---,” (H. W. Wilson Co., 1986)

      Respectfully Submitted;

      Marcus Audens   

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