What we know of Britain during the Roman invasion is not overwhelming. However we do know many things about the way of life of the British inhabitants at that time. Our knowledge is based on three types of evidence: Archaeological Evidence: What archaeologists have discovered during excavations. Literary Evidence: What the Romans wrote about Britain, Inscriptional Evidence: Inscriptions in Latin and sometimes in Greek from tombstones, monuments, altars and public buildings, and from personal objects such as writing tablets. The type of evidence that tells us the most of the Roman occupation into Britain is literary evidence. .
There are two well known Latin writings about Roman Britain. One is Tacitus's account of the life of his father-in-law, Agricola. This is useful because more than half of it is about Agricola's overnorship of Britain, Including the defeat of the Scots at the battle of Mons Graupius and the circumnavigation of Britain.
The other piece of literacy evidence about Roman Britain is Julius Caesar's account in which he describes two trips to the island. The brief visit in 55 B.C to the Kent coast and his return in greater force the next year when he stormed a British kings fortress before withdrawing again. The former of the two pieces of evidence is the most useful to us. .
This is because although both are biased to some extent Tacitus's piece is less biased. Tacitus was anxious to preserve the memory of his father-in-law he wrote in a way that was not as biased as Caesar who wanted to justify his actions to the senate of Rome. With this in mind however it was hard for any historian of that era to be completely accurate. There was pressure on a historian from many different sources. .
History was written to be read aloud to an audience, which meant the writer was forced to leave out parts that were not interesting and add in paragraphs to spice up what had happened. .
In AD43 the roman army under the control of Emperor Claudius invaded Britain.