Sunday, March 11, 2007

Silures revolt subject of new research


I found this article very interesting. I had not read about the Silures tribe and their quarter-century battle against the Romans. I'll have to look up Dr. Howell's book.


"A leading historian has documented the exploits of the ancient Silures tribe, who fought a long campaign against the Romans two millennia ago.

Dr Ray Howell from the University of Wales, Newport, even says our penchant for wearing red may spring from the tribe's favourite battle colour.

Dr Howell, a reader at the university's School of Education, has published an examination of the South-East Wales tribe, who came close to thwarting the Roman domination of southern Britain.

He said, "What emerges is not only a warrior society, but also a sophisticated people who traded widely and made good use of horses and horse-drawn vehicles...

They had war chariots with equestrian equipment decorated with red enamel. For the Silures the colour of war was emphatically red...

He believes the Silures tribe were more advanced than most people give them credit for, having waged a ferocious guerrilla campaign against the Romans which lasted far longer than even the famous Boudica-led revolt.

The Iron-Age tribe managed to defeat a whole Roman legion during their bloody campaign.

And even though their attacks from hill forts were eventually subdued after a quarter of a century, Dr Howell believes some of the culture of the tribe, which is likely to have spoken an extremely early form of Welsh, lived on after the Romans left Britain for good...

He believes there is still plenty more for archaeologists to discover about the civilisation, with just five of some 40 hill forts in Gwent having been explored."

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