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They came, they saw, they conquered – or, as Julius Caesar would have put it, ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’.

That doesn’t quite sum up the Roman invasion and subsequent occupation of Wales. As with all good clichés, there’s more than an element of truth in it. But it doesn’t tell the full story...

Conquest? Not quite

The Romans under the command of Governor Aulus Platius arrived in Britain in AD 43, ending the time we refer to as prehistory. They soon roared through southern England but hit the buffers when they reached the mountains and valleys — and fiercely unwelcoming native Celtic tribes — of Wales.

It would take them another 25 years or so to subjugate this troublesome mix of terrain and tribal resistance, though — unlike intensively Romanised southern and eastern Britain – Wales was never conquered in the fullest sense. Although only a partial conquest, it still left Wales with some of Britain’s most revealing and significant Roman sites.

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