Author Topic: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions  (Read 2441 times)

Offline Rena

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Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« on: Saturday 12 August 17 15:16 BST (UK) »
It's obvious from many postings that chatters are surprised when their DNA result shows that there's an unexpected percentage of genes from far flung places. The main gene base of the UK is normally associated with neighbouring European Tribes, such as Scandinavian Vikings, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Barbarians and Norman French.

It's easy to think of the enormous Roman Empire being policed by soldiers from Rome but the truth is that during their two periods of rule over Britain; (the first being Julius Ceasar before Christ was born and then again from 43AD), , their Armies consisted of Legions of soldiers raised from all over their Empire.  Additionally they traded with sources outside of their Empire and, as is the norm today, it was also the case that Merchants would have their own representative inside the Roman Empire where inter marriage might have taken place, which could explain any ancient Asian genes.

I thought chatters might like to view the list of countries where the Roman Empire formed its military units which could give them more of an insight of their ancestry.  I was more than surprised to see that the Roman Army that fought Boudica leader of the Celtic English Icene tribe was raised in Wales

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_legions

Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

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Offline Berlin-Bob

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 12 August 17 16:50 BST (UK) »
There is a discussion (with the usual sh*t-storms) going on in the papers and social media about DNA and "ethinicity" of britons at the moment;

here's one of the articles:
Quote
The village was classified as white British in ethnic origin from census data, but the saliva samples contributed by almost 120 of the residents including the pub landlord, a farmer, an artist, a marketing director and the village historian told another story: not a single individual of those tested was 100% English.

Just 42.5% of their DNA was Anglo-Saxon in origin: other ancestry derived from Europe, from Finland to Spain, the Celtic nations, including Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Native American, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Melanesia.
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/aug/11/ive-got-some-viking-surprising-results-of-dna-test-on-english-villagers
 
and another:
https://www.the-tls.co.uk/roman-britain-black-white/

These are two of just many articles.

Bob
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My research interests (and data found) can be seen on my website:   http://www.margulies-chronicles.com/

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Offline John915

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 12 August 17 17:50 BST (UK) »
Good evening,

I have to disagree with your saying that the Roman army that defeated Boudica were raised in Wales. No Roman legio's were ever raised in Britain although they would have recruited locals to replace losses in battle.

4 legions were sent from Europe in AD43 to conquer Britain, legio's II Augusta, IV Victrix, IX ?? And XIV Hispana. The XIV Hispana brought Boudica to battle at Watling st where they defeated her. They were raised in Gaul by Ceaser, destroyed and replaced immediately. They were based in Germanica Superior from AD9 until the invasion of Britain.

Their main base after the battle was in Wales  so would probably have recruited there.

John915

Added; Sorry, VI Victrix arrived later and were the builders of Hadrians wall. The 4th invading legion was XX Valeria Victrix.

Stephens, Fuller, Tedham, Bennett, Ransome (Sussex)
Rider (Fulham)
Stephens (Somerset)
Kentfield (Essex)

Offline Rena

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 12 August 17 19:33 BST (UK) »
Good evening,

I have to disagree with your saying that the Roman army that defeated Boudica were raised in Wales. No Roman legio's were ever raised in Britain although they would have recruited locals to replace losses in battle.

4 legions were sent from Europe in AD43 to conquer Britain, legio's II Augusta, IV Victrix, IX ?? And XIV Hispana. The XIV Hispana brought Boudica to battle at Watling st where they defeated her. They were raised in Gaul by Ceaser, destroyed and replaced immediately. They were based in Germanica Superior from AD9 until the invasion of Britain.

Their main base after the battle was in Wales  so would probably have recruited there.

John915

Added; Sorry, VI Victrix arrived later and were the builders of Hadrians wall. The 4th invading legion was XX Valeria Victrix.

Must say, I was surprised reading about the Welsh on the link that I gave.

Despite the thoughts about my age that my gt grandchildren hold,  ;D    I didn't live in those times, so I'm reliant on TV programmes such as documentaries and "Time Team", etc., for any snippets about our islands past history.
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 12 August 17 21:10 BST (UK) »
Alistair Moffat in "The Scots, a Genetic Journey!" claims that there is only slight evidence in the Ydna of the Roman occupation of the south of what was to become Scotland & surprisingly, despite the temporary northward push of Northumbria, not much evidence of Anglian dna from that era either.

Skoosh.

Offline Rena

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 13 August 17 00:20 BST (UK) »
Alistair Moffat in "The Scots, a Genetic Journey!" claims that there is only slight evidence in the Ydna of the Roman occupation of the south of what was to become Scotland & surprisingly, despite the temporary northward push of Northumbria, not much evidence of Anglian dna from that era either.

Skoosh.

My rudimentary history knowledge of the border between Scotland and England was learnt in the 1940s and was really basic.  All I recall of those lessons were that the Scottish Picts were a fierce tribe who disliked any encroachment by the tribe living on land south of their border.  This land being occupied by a tribe going by the name of "the Scots".  The invasion of Britannia by the Angles came later in history and the southerm part of the large/great island of the Britannia islands was thence known as Angleland = England. 
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline John915

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 13 August 17 00:37 BST (UK) »
Good morning,

The romans 4 legions were spread around England and after some time here fraternisation took place.

In East Anglia there was little at first because it was a scene of much skirmishing against the Iceni. Scotland wasn't really touched at first and was then the scene of several attempts to quell the Scots and Picts. No permanent base was ever established up there and the Romans eventually withdrew past Hadrians wall.

Having subdued much of England then fraternisation became greater except in the far south west and in Wales. They made several forays into Wales culminating in the battle to defeat the druids in their base at ??? (Gone brain dead). They then invaded Anglesey.

So most Roman genes would be found within England, some in Wales and Anglia with little in Scotland.

Of course, with the movement of people around the UK since then the gene pool will have spread.

John915
Stephens, Fuller, Tedham, Bennett, Ransome (Sussex)
Rider (Fulham)
Stephens (Somerset)
Kentfield (Essex)

Offline Rena

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 13 August 17 01:37 BST (UK) »
Good morning,

The romans 4 legions were spread around England and after some time here fraternisation took place.

Having subdued much of England then fraternisation became greater

John915

There's occasional news about the discovery in Britain of Roman writing tablets and I recall one being read out on TV which was from an imported celebrity "slave" gladiator to his wife who seemed to be living the "life of Riley". 

What I thought striking was the discovery under London of more tablets and one particular one that was published in a newspaper:-

"The first evidence of Roman Britain's slave trade has been unearthed: a receipt for a young French girl bought for the equivalent price of a small sports car today.

Faint scratchings on a wooden writing tablet show that a wealthy slave working for the imperial household bought a girl named Fortunata (Lucky), a member of a Celtic tribe living on the borders of Normandy and Brittany. The silver-fir tablet had been preserved in wet London soil for 2,000 years.

Although many Roman slaves were forced to work in mines or on farms, others had relatively high status. Those with a good education were given paid jobs helping to run estates and households for the wealthy. Many became rich enough to buy their own slaves - and their freedom by their thirties.

The 5.5in by 4.5in tablet, found at a City building site, shows that Fortunata cost 600 dinarii, two years' salary for a Roman soldier. The deed, written around AD80, states that she was "warranted healthy and not liable to run away".

The girl was bought by Vegetus, an assistant slave owned by Montanus, who in turn was owned by the emperor. They were both officials in London. As a slave, Vegetus could not technically own property, but in practice Fortunata would have been regarded as one of his personal possessions, possibly a concubine.

Francis Grew, of the Museum of London where the tablet is on display, said it was the first deed of sale for a slave found in Britain"
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Roman Empire in the UK and DNA of the Roman Legions
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 13 August 17 10:56 BST (UK) »
Rena, briefly, on a post-card!  Pictavia didn't come as far south as the present border, the south of Scotland was the territory of the kingdom of Strathclyde, so Welsh speaking. These Britons were squeezed by the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria & the Vikings from Ireland. The Scots & Picts were united by Kenneth MacAlpine & Northumbria was defeated by the York Vikings who took Deira & the Scots & Picts took Bernicia post the Battle of Carham. The Scots king inherited Strathclyde thus uniting Scotland, leaving only a bit of territorial tidying-up taking territory back from Norway & getting the Northern Isles eventually from Denmark. Gaelic became the language of the whole kingdom for a time as the place-names testify, Galloway already Gaelic speaking. The Northern Isles excepted.

Skoosh,