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Cantiaci. A British tribal grouping and civitas. The Cantiaci seem to be an artificial creation of the Roman government, for there is no record of either a tribe or federation of this name before the Roman conquest. Caesar records the existence of at least four small tribes in Cantium (Kent), but although he gives the names of their kings he does not know the names of the tribes. Nevertheless it was probably these and other small tribes who were brought together in the later 1st cent. ad to form the civitas of the Cantiaci. Its territory will have included all of Kent, and the eastern parts of Surrey and Sussex, but Ptolemy's attribution of London to the Cantiaci is clearly in error. The capital of the new civitas was established at Canterbury, where there had been an important native settlement before the invasion, and was given the name of Durovernum Cantiacorum.

Keith Branigan

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