The Role of Roman Army in Britain

The Roman army marched into Britain around 43 AD under the command of Emperor Claudius. During this time, large-scale wars were not common. Therefore, the Roman army participated in a number of roles apart from fighting during wars. One of the roles of the Roman army in Britain was to act as a police force. Through this role, the Roman army was of a great significance in preserving peace in the province. The Roman army was responsible for ensuring that there was an absolute peace and social order in Britain. They executed their responsibilities in the police force by ensuring that all the British citizens adhere to the law and that they respect all the governing institutions brought by the Roman army to the province. They were also charged with the responsibility of combating minor criminal and civil disorders as well as controlling cattle raids, which were very common in Britain during that time. The Roman army would arrest the lawbreakers and punish them accordingly. They would also patrol the province to ensure that unfriendly tribes did not engage in battles and that all the local tribes lived in harmony.

The Roman army also conducted the role of the taxman in Britain. This included enforcing all tax laws upon British citizens. During this time, agriculture was the main economic activity in Britain. Farmers were expected to pay various types of taxes to the provincial governor, which included land possession tax and income tax from farm produce. The Roman army would collect taxes from all farmers on annual basis. The amount of tax levied on every individual was dependent on the size of the land owned and on the volume of the production from the land.

Another role executed by the Roman army during their invasion in Britain between 54Bc and 409AD was to provide administrative services to the provincial governor in Britain. These were skilled administrative services, where the army offered clerical services in the office of the provincial governor. They would hold different administrative posts, such as personal assistance, secretary, and clerk among others. What is more, the Roman army also offered engineering services to the provincial governor of Britain. They were engaged in numerous construction works, whereby they would construct and repair roads and public buildings like those that were used by the provincial governor. Initially, the British soldiers undertook the engineering roles. However, after the Roman army invaded Britain, the roles were quickly divided among the auxiliary forces.

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