Britons Gave Allegiance to Romans in Exchange for Protection (Video)
In ancient Roman Britain, business practices took a unique turn, driven by the empire's strategy to establish dominion over the region. The native tribes' constant discord presented an opportunity for Rome, resembling an early protection racket. Roman authorities offered protection to tribes in exchange for cooperation and adherence to Roman customs. This proposal became hard to resist for many tribal leaders, and 11 out of 17 British kingdoms aligned with Rome. By 47 AD, just four years post-invasion, large portions of Britannia had joined the Roman project, enticed by the prospects offered by the empire. The Roman influence extended over the South and East, with various tribes adopting Roman laws and customs, fostering new opportunities for trade.
One extraordinary relic of this era is a set of preserved writing tablets discovered in London's financial center. These tablets provide a window into the lives of the people in Londinium. They reveal a bustling business community engaged in commerce, sometimes extending loans with dubious borrowers who boast about securing money. These tablets shed light on a flourishing Britannia under Rome's rule, becoming a literate, Latin-speaking society interconnected with the wider Roman world. The legacy of this era continues to influence our understanding of ancient business practices and society.
Top image: Tribes in Britain gave allegiance to the Romans. Source: Bernard GIRARDIN / Adobe Stock.