I’m continuing to brush up on British history.
In this podcast, we learn about how Roman civilization collapsed and vanished in Britain between 300 and 500 AD. A key cause were the civil wars in which British governors would march on Rome with all of their troops to challenge Roman emperors for control of the Western Empire. In the process, Britannia would be left defenseless against Picts, Scots and Saxon invaders. This was going on for centuries before the final collapse of Roman authority in 410 AD.
As the barbarian invasions mounted on the continent, the Romans cut their losses, pulled out of Britain and left the Britons to fend for themselves. Trade links with the Roman world were severed. Soldiers and administrators were no longer paid. The economy of Roman Britain collapsed and never recovered. Society became more militarized. The Saxons were invited to Britain by Vortigern and given land in Kent to fight off the Scots and Picts. The rest is history.
The great cities built by the Romans like Londinium (London) and Eboracum (York) crumbled and were abandoned. The Saxons tended to settle outside the ruins of the old Roman cities which they believed were cursed and haunted by ghosts. The ruins of old London were only reoccupied centuries later in King Alfred’s time during the Viking invasions.