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Ostorius Scapula

Ostorius Scapula. Second governor of Roman Britain, ad 47–52. Publius Ostorius Scapula's career before his arrival in Britain is unknown, though he had served as consul, probably in 45. On his arrival he expelled invaders from provincial territory. He may have ordered the disarming of Britain south-east of the Trent–Severn line, provoking the first revolt of the Iceni, quickly dealt with. He tried to cut off the tribes of Wales under Caratacus from supporters amongst the Brigantes of the north by advancing into the Cheshire Gap, but this provoked trouble. So Ostorius attacked Wales directly, first the Silures in the south, then the Ordovices of the centre. In 51 he brought Caratacus to bay in a hill-fort (possibly Llanymynech) and defeated him. Caratacus fled to Brigantia but was handed over by Cartimandua. The Silures continued to harry Roman forces and Ostorius died in 52 ‘worn out by the cares of his office’.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

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