ST. BEDE THE VENERABLE
Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum:
The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book One, Chapter Three
Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.
The second Invasion of Britain by the
Romans, under Claudius, who conquers
the Orchades; and, sending Vespasian to
the Isle of Wright, brings it into subjection to the Roman Empire.
Claudius, who was the fourth Emperor
from Augustus, was no sooner raised to the
imperial dignity in the year, from the build-
ing of Rome, 797, than he conceived an
ardent desire to prove himself to be worthy
of it; by performing such exploits as might
promote greatly the interests of the empire.
As war only could afford him opportunities of
signalizing himself by his victories, he sought
after it every where. Accordingly, he undertook
an expedition into Britain, to repress
the insurrection which had taken place there,
on account of the Romans not having
delivered up some deserters. He passed over
into the island, which no one before or after
Julius Caesar had dared to enter: and there,
without either fighting or bloodshed, in a few
days received the greatest part of it under his
dominion. He also added the Orchades [Orkneys],
situated beyond Britain, to the Roman Empire;
and, returning to Rome the sixth
month after he had departed from it, gave
his son the name of Britannicus. This war
he finished in the fourth year of his reign,
and the 46th of Christ; when that most
dreadful famine, mentioned in the Acts of the
Apostles, as foretold by the prophet Agabus,
happened in Syria.
Vespasian, who succeeded Nero in the imperial
been sent by Claudius into Britain, subdued
also the Isle of Wight, which is situated not
far to the South of Britain. From East to
West it is about 30 miles, and about 12 from
North to South, being six miles distant from
the southern coast of Britain at the eastern
end, and but three at the western extremity.
Nero, succeeding Claudius in the empire,
had no courage sufficient to attempt any
thing in martial affairs; and therefore, besides
the great detriment he occasioned to the
state in many other ways, he almost lost Britain;
for under him two of the chief cities
were then taken and destroyed.