Why did the Romans never conquer Ireland?

Aug 2018
285
london
#11
I think I read an article a while back that said they found evidence of a Roman fort in Ireland
Drumanagh (Irish Droim Meánach)[1] is a headland near the village of Loughshinny, 20 km north of Dublin, Ireland. It features an early 19th-century Martello tower and a large (200,000 m²) Iron Age promontory fort which has produced Roman artefacts.

Some archaeologists have suggested the fort was a bridgehead for Roman military campaigns, while others suggest it was a Roman trading colony, or at least the site of a regular trading "fair", or a native Irish settlement that traded with Roman Britain.[2][3]

The site was acquired, reportedly for about €1 million, by Fingal County Council in 2017. In early 2018 they announced a Draft Conservation and Management Plan for consultation, including protection from further damage by motorbike scrambling, and integration into coastal walking paths.[4] The purchase has raised hopes that the site will finally receive proper archaeological investigation, which will answer many of the questions that have been the subject of speculation for decades.[5]

Drumanagh - Wikipedia


Interesting article on Drumanagh and the question of whether the Romans invaded Ireland or not:

Roman contacts with Ireland | Irish Archaeology

« The question of whether the Romans invaded Ireland remains unanswered, although the current archaeological evidence would suggest that there were no large scale military incursions. For example, sites normally associated with the Roman military in Britain, such as large square/rectangular forts and linear, well-made roads, are conspicuously absent from the Irish archaeological record. It does seem, however, that there were extensive trade contacts between Ireland and Britain and it is likely that Romanised Britons and indeed Romans themselves would have been regular visitors to Irish shores. They probably came to trade, make political alliances, and to visit sacred sites such as Newgrange. Some may even have stayed long enough to form small communities, who chose to bury their dead according to Roman custom. »
 
Last edited:
Aug 2014
943
United States of America
#12
Once Britannia had been conquered, and especially with the construction of Hadrian's Wall, it seems to me that the Romans had set the finēs of their empire. They were not going to expand with any seriousness after that. And, I think, Julius Caesar had passed down an important lesson from his stab at Britannia: maritime invasions are difficult.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,853
UK
#13
Yes I said earlier one programme showed (Bettany Hughes????, dunno) showed great archeological evidence of trade up the Dee from Ireland. As indeed there was considerable tarde by Rome to southern England before any invasion. It's not always necessary to invade everywhere.
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Yeah, it did end up as trade as numismatic evidence and other types point out. At one point there was consideration for invasion when Agricola was governor, (he was offered local knowledge and control via a disenchanted warlord in Ireland) and the legion stationed their had naval experience, then you take into account the dee. The rebellions in Scotland and then his later recall back to Rome but a stopper in any plans for that, if it was the case.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,332
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#14
Once Britannia had been conquered, and especially with the construction of Hadrian's Wall, it seems to me that the Romans had set the finēs of their empire. They were not going to expand with any seriousness after that. And, I think, Julius Caesar had passed down an important lesson from his stab at Britannia: maritime invasions are difficult.
Yes, Romans had great fleets, but they did prefer to move their legions along streets [they even calculate time with reference to how much time a legion took to go from point A to point B ... marching]. The modern Great Britain was so near to the continent that Romans projected to invade it. We can say that the isle was unlucky ...

Ireland was an isle reachable from an other isle. Romans didn't like this situation. They needed a stable continental base to invade an isle. To invade an isle from an other isle wasn't their way to plan the expansion of the Empire. Of course we are considering wide isles.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,090
#16
It's my unbderstanding that archaeology in the western side of England tends to underline the possibility that an invasion was being seriously looked at, but never begun. The 'Roman' remains in Ireland are almost certainly to do with trade or refugees, not any official station of Roman control.
 

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