Talk:Gnaeus Julius Agricola
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The conquest of Scotland
Recent dating evidence of Roman sites in central Scotland show conclusively that the area was occupied for some time before Agricola ever became the British governer - I don't mean visited, I mean truely occupied. In other words, his "conquest of Scotland" (such as it was) was accomplished by one of his predecessors. It is now thought among many historians even that the battle of Mons Graupus did not actually even take place, or was simply a minor skirmish. See here, for example. Lianachan 12:45, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Governor of Britain
He also expanded Roman rule north into Caledonia (modern Scotland). In the summer of 80 he pushed his armies to the estuary of the river Taus, virtually unchallenged, and established forts there. This is often interpreted as the Firth of Tay, but this would appear to be anomalous as it is further north than the Firths of Clyde and Forth, which Agricola did not reach until the following year. Others suggest the Taus was the Solway Firth
I would suggest that the assumption that Agricola did not reach the Clyde/Forth isthmus until the year following his expedition to the Taus is a misreading of Tacitus, and for these reasons:
- Tacitus 22 : "The third year of his campaigns opened up new tribes, our ravages on the native population being carried as far as the Taus". New tribes - so he's talking about a large area.
- Tacitus 23 : "The fourth summer he employed in securing what he had overrun", He then goes on to talk about Agricola defending the narrow strip of land between two estuaries "which the tides of two opposite seas carry far back into the country". This can only mean either the Solway/Tyne isthmus, or the Clyde/Forth isthmus, It cannot be the Solway/Tyne isthmus, which had been reached in the earlier 70s - a timber fort was founded at Carlisle (Lugovalium) in 72.
- Since Agricola was securing this territory which had been overrun, his army must have explored further north than the Clyde/Forth line, and retreated to that line to build the series of forts. The northernmost point reached was the Taus, so the Taus must be to the north of the Clyde/Forth line.
- There is only one significant river to the north of the Clyde/Forth isthmus - the Tay
Having read further, It appear that there is evidence for the establishment of the Gask Ridge frontier in Scotland as early as 70, but certainly by the late 70s. In that case, there can be little doubt that Agricola, if he WAS campaigning in Scotland, and if he WAS "opening up new tribes" as Tacitus says, must have been operating far to the north of the Clyde/Forth Line, let alone the Solway/Tyne line,by 80. Rambler24 (talk) 19:58, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
- Reliable Sources by academic scholars to support your assertions? Because our personal research is valueless to the Wiki project.18.104.22.168 (talk) 03:44, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
The introduction says Agricola was recalled from Britain in 83. The "Later Years" section says that he was recalled in 85. I don't have the knowledge or time for research to correct it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Esobocinski (talk • contribs) 10:22, 11 August 2010 (UTC)