No Chunnel for Bold Men

When you think of Roman legions you imagine fearless. You don’t imagine that they had to be bullied into boats to cross the English Channel to invade Britain in AD 43. But apparently the four legions under the command of Aulus Plautius did. Really, Romans were not keen on boats or being at sea.

Emperor Claudius crossed the channel a couple of weeks later with elephants. I wonder if they were easier to get into the boats than the soldiers? I’m not sure exactly how they were used in battle but I like to think of elephants as the ancient equivalent of tanks.

It is commonly thought that they sailed from Gesioracum in Gaul (Boulogne, France) to Rutupiae (Richborough, Kent).

Kent is rich with Roman history and Roman remains, including a third century fort at Richborough and another at Reculver.

Bastion of Fort at Richborough

Bastion of Fort at Richborough

The Roman fleet was stationed at Dubris (Dover) and there is a lighthouse in Dover Castle and in the town remains of an official hotel with excellent wall paintings.

English Channel and Roman Lighthouse beside Church in Dover

English Channel and Roman Lighthouse beside Church in Dover

Remains of two villas are open to the public at Lullingstone and Crofton, and there is a Roman Museum in Durovernum Cantiacorum, (Canterbury).

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