C. 9.—The Iceni, on the other hand, were subject allies of Rome, with Vericus, in all probability, on the throne. The Atrebates would seem also to have been “friendlies.” But the great mass of the British clans were chafing under the humiliation and suffering which the invaders had wrought for them, and evidently needed a strong hand to keep them down. Under the Empire provinces requiring military occupation were committed not to Pro-consuls chosen by the Senate, but to Pro-praetors nominated by the Emperor, and were called “Imperial” as opposed to “Senatorial” governments. Britain was now accordingly declared an Imperial Province, and Ostorius Scapula sent by Claudius to administer it as Pro-praetor.
Ostorius Pro-praetor—Pacification of Midlands—Icenian revolt—Camb’s dykes—Iceni crushed—Cangi—Brigantes—Silurian war—Storm of Caer Caradoc—Treachery of Cartismandua—Caradoc at Rome—Death of Ostorius—Uriconium and Caerleon—Britain quieted—Death of Claudius.
D. 1.—When Ostorius, in A.D. 50, reached Britain he found things in a very disturbed state. The clans which had submitted to the Romans were being raided by their independent neighbours, who calculated that this new governor would not venture on risking his untried levies in a winter campaign against them. Ostorius, however, was astute enough to realize that such a first impression of his rule would be fatal, and, by a sudden dash with a flying column (citas cohortes), cut the raiders to pieces. As usual the Britons hoisted the white flag in their familiar manner, making a surrender which they had no intention whatever of keeping to longer than suited their plans; and they were proportionately disgusted when Ostorius set to work at a real pacification of the Midlands, constructing forts at strategic points along the Trent and Severn, and requiring all natives whatsoever within this Roman Pale to give up their arms.
D. 2.—This demand the Britons looked upon as an intolerable dishonour, even as it seemed to the Highlanders two centuries ago. The first to resent it were the chieftain and clan whose alliance with Rome had been the raison d’etre of the Conquest, Vericus and his Iceni. Was this brand of shame to be their reward for bringing in the invaders? They received the mandate of Ostorius with a burst of defiance, and hastily organized a league of the neighbouring tribes to resist so intolerable a degradation. Before their allies could come in, however, Ostorius was upon them, and it became a matter of defending their own borders.