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Today in Alternate History
Day in Alternate History Blog
Rosc Kesair Impertaor
Hail Caesar Emperor!
So what if the Romans had invaded Ireland, you ask?
Oh there is still the old chestnut of the Roman having a presence here
Its even made it into Pop Culture
Its part of our National Mythos The Kelta Invincita
Long, long ago, beyond the misty space
Of twice a thousand years
In Erin old there dwelt a mighty race,
Taller than Roman spears;
An Irish monk is supposed to have reminded an Audience.
Licet enim Roma Magna est et Vulgata per istam Cathedram tantum apud
nos est magna et Clara.
``For though Rome be great and famous among us it is only on that
chair, (The Throne of Peter) That her Greatness and Fame Depend''
St Columbus, quoted in Walker 1957. (Not the King of Men!)
The Romans were familiar with this Island, and Agricola had circumnavigated
Scotland. There is a map with Place names and the Names of tribes. From a Roman
Agricola is quoted by Tacitus by saying that with 1 legion and some Auxilia.
Rome could conquer the whole Island. Tacitus mentions that the Island's
Independence was a nusiance, with the Romans relations with the Britons. Some of
the British tribes, may have relations with the Irish tribes.
The Romans may have recruited Irish tribes as Foedatti.
There was a Latin-Irish slave trade. Note the Irish word Cumal, for coin, derives
from an Irish word for woman.
It would be expensive to get here. The Romans would need a fleet of transports.
Rome would have to move through some of their rougher country in terrain and
population. The Invasion would
probably go via Fishguard or Larne. The links with these ports would have to be
beefed up. Roads and Posthouses. Expansion of the Harbours. Light houses.
Once there the Romans would easily sweep what would become the English Pale.
Now it gets tricker.
The Irish would retreat west. Into rougher land. They can live hard. cattle can
be driven into Hills. There are a few cult centers, and Tribal bases but no
capital to take. The Druidic presence means that the Romans will be motivated to
fight. More raids. More Isolated Patrols. being watched, silently. .Basically
what we did during the Viking and Medieval era, when we couldn't stand up we
The Island will be much more forested and Boggy. Again this make the conquest
However if the Romans are determined. They will establish a prescence in
Ireland. A port, a string of forts. Some Veterans, holding small plots of Lands.
Probably the most miserable posting in the empire. Yet Trade will come
Ireland will produce slaves and
Hides and Dogs. The Gold in Wexford and Irish Silver mines become exploited.
Christianty and Taxes introduce a literate class. Now the question is how much
does this filter into the Borderland? Do we get a Hibero Roman class. Roman
Generals and Officals intermarrying into the Irish? In time I think so. Also a
result of the roman prescence is that the Kelts, get hit harder. There may be no
Dal Riadan migration to Scotland. This may affect Britan as the Northern
frontier may be more secure. Or what we now call England starts at the firth of
Forth. Or the Picts sweep the territory, and The country English share two
borders with P Celtic speakers. The Romans may withdraw or give up the
territory. A leigon, and some Auxilaries would be too much to be ignored in the
later civil wars.
All other things being equal, and
the Empire falls. We have a Large Romanised population with an Irish population
who are much more memetically advanced. Coinage markets Literacy. A bump up in
farming, (Roman Foodstuffs) Peace at least in the Pale.
Ireland by distance is shielded from the Barb invasions. Perhaps reinforced by
Roman refugees from Britain............................
What happens then I cannot say. However it is a much different Ireland. We would
know more about Pre Christian Ireland. Actual accounts. Rather then later