Planned Roman invasion of Ireland?

Jun 2011
146
A documentary on Discovery revealed that modern Deva (Chester, near N.Wales in a north-western line from Londinium), pronounced Dewa after the spirit of the River Dee, hides a secret- a huge military fortress beneath the city!

Deva existed before the Boudiccan revolt of 60ad, but was built as a military town in 74ad by II Legion as a huge, strategically-located fortress, five times the size of Wembley stadium, with the intention of conquering northern Britain.
The Pomoerium, often confused with Pomarium (fruit orchard) was the original but wall-less sacred city boundary of Rome within which weapons were forbidden, was only expanded four times- one was Deva, so something prolific was intended to happen here. What was the reason?

It is believed that a full invasion of Ireland was planned from here, perhaps under the mighty Agricola in order to elevate the Emperor Vespasian to Godlike status, and large-scale reconnaissance parties may have even landed. But Vespasian died in 79ad and the policy of Irish invasion became shelved, legions left the city to battle the Germanic tribes then raiding their Imperial borders.

In c.90ad the veteran XX legion moved into Deva, and the huge second phase of building began. But by 122ad they also had left the fortress- ordered to build hadrian's huge wall at Vinda Landa, using Deva as a base to transport building materials, men, supplies and weapons. It then slowly fell into disrepair.

At some point the massive fortress was again rebuilt, using 300,000 tons of stone used as a military base to garrison 'special forces', shock cavalry troops (Sarmatians?) to quell northern Britons and Picts, as revealed in the names and ranks on the tomstones of some of over 200 since found there.

So, were the Romans intending to invade Ireland?
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,135
Navan, Ireland
Perhaps, they liked invading places.
But Ireland why?
as I understand it they prefered to trade, more cost effective that way. Any Irish warlord who started causing problems would find raids or rivals would be found and backing given to remove the problem.

IMO Britain was marginal Ireland even more so.
 
Jun 2011
146
For slaves and raw minerals etc? Caesar also wanted the prestige, Claudius even more so?

Ireland could have soon been broken down, as was Britain, by pitting the emnity of the warring Celtic tribes against one another, allies and foes?
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,135
Navan, Ireland
For slaves and raw minerals etc? Caesar also wanted the prestige, Claudius even more so?

Ireland could have soon been broken down, as was Britain, by pitting the emnity of the warring Celtic tribes against one another, allies and foes?
Slaves? Irish would sell you them quite happily. raw materials? not that i know off-- Wales had gold , Cornwall tin, Ireland? How many legions to hold Ireland, think it was at least two plus auxilleries and for what (as much as I love Ireland)?
 

Clodius

Ad Honorem
Jun 2011
2,701
Tacitus tells us that Agricola believed he could "take" Ireland with just a single legion (Tacitus, "Agricola" 24). And he may have been right - he wasn't the sort of commander who made rash or baseless military judgements. However, the invasion itself never materialised. Tacitus (who admittedly was highly biased towards Agricola) claims that the Emperor Domitian was jealous of the success Agricola had enjoyed in Britain: the Emperor's jealousy may well explain why the governor was not allowed to try his luck on the other side of the Irish Sea.
 
Jun 2011
146
Yep. Agricola said he could take the island with 'one legion', but that remains in our imagination.

Dah, beaten to it by Clodius!
 

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,694
Europe
It was at one end of the Roman version of the M62 ?

Chester/York
 
Last edited: