The Romanization of Wales
Contributed by David Verne
The Roman governor of Britain, Sextus Frontinus, has been on a campaign subduing the Silures. The Silures are a Welsh tribe that have remained independent from Roman rule through an effective guerrilla campaign. Frontinus has been successful in his campaigns, though it is unknown if he did it militarily or diplomatically. The town of Venta Silurum was built to serve as an administrative center for the surrounding region. The Silures were given some independence and were responsible for their own administration.
My Take by David Verne
One of the Romans' greatest strengths was their ability to integrate and rule a vast collection of different cultures. Most of their gods were borrowed from conquered peoples, and they often saw foreign gods as different versions of their own. Whenever the Romans found a beneficial idea or belief, they would incorporate it into their own culture. Roman citizenship gave the right to vote, the right to appeal legal decisions, immunity from being tortured, tax exemptions, and many other benefits. In the Early Republic, conquered Italian cities revolted and fought for the right to become citizens. The idea of citizenship as something that had to be earned was a powerful tool. As a conquered town became more Romanized, they could be granted a constitution and citizenship. Non-citizens who lived in the Empire could enlist in the auxiliaries, and after a 25 year service period, they and their heirs would be given citizenship. By making everyone feel like they had a stake in the system, integration of conquered peoples happened much faster and smoother than it had in earlier empires.