The Kingdom of Venutius – Brigantia – AD 69
“Inspired by these differences between the Roman forces and by the many rumours of civil was that reached them, the britons plucked up courage under the leadership of Venutius, who, in addition to his own natural spirit and hatred of the Roman name, was fired by his personal resentment towards queen Cartimandua. She was ruler over the Brigantes, having the influence that belongs to high birth, and she had later strengthened her power when she was credited weith having captured king Caratacus by treachery and so furnished an adornment for the triumph of Claudius Caesar. From this came her wealth and the wanton spirit which success breeds. She grew to despise her husband Venutius, and took as her consort his squire Vellocatus, whom she admitted to share the throne with her. Her house was at once shaken by this scandalous act. Her husband was favoured by the sentiments of all the citzens; the adulterer was supported by the queens pashion for him and by her savage spirit. So Venutius, calling in aid from outside and at the same time assisted by a revolt of the Brigantes themselves, put Cartimanua into an extremely dangerous position. Then she asked the Romans for protection, and some of our auxiliary troops, cavalry and infantry, after meeting with indifferent success in a number of engagements, finally succeeded in snatching the queen from danger. The throne was left to Venutius, the war to us.” Tacitus (Histories iii, 45).
Tacitus, Roman historian of the 1st Century AD. has provided us with most of the written history of the Brigantes at the time of the Roman conquest. The above text, written about a time when Nero had fallen and Rome endured several emporers in one year – AD69 clearly illustrates the date when Venutius finally became king of all Brigantia.
The few references thast we have from Tacitus and other Roman authors provide a dim glimpse of the events that surrounded the Roman conquest of Brigantia, yet the story is a tantalising one, a tail of royal adultery, power struggles, revolution and conquest. Brigantesnation.com began life as an experiment to see if it was possible to recreate more accurately this lost history of Brigantia, to see if recent developments in archaeology could help fill the gaps left by those ancient authors.
This map outlines a postulated border for the Brigantia of Venutius in AD69. By this time Venutius had ousted Cartimandua from her throne and was King of Brigantia. A small area to the south shows the territory already lost to Roman rule.
In order to verify this border, this research attempts to locate the defences that Venutius set up in anticipation of the Roman advance.
The map has click zones which identify major military sites available to Venutius, although many have date yet to be proven, most can be demonstrated to be pre-Roman, and therefore available for use.