Petillius Cerialis was governor of Britain 71–73/4. Probably originating from Umbria, Cerialis is first attested in Britain as legate of legio IX Hispana during the Boudiccan revolt. Attempting to stem the rising after the sack of Colchester he was defeated, and spent the rest of the revolt besieged. Subsequently he probably married the daughter of the future emperor Vespasian. When Vespasian came to power in 70 Cerialis was appointed joint commander of the large force to suppress the revolt of Civilis in the lower Rhineland. From there he was posted to Britain. His governorship saw the resumption of military expansion following the deposition of Cartimandua of the Brigantes. The areas of modern Lancashire and Yorkshire were annexed and forces may have penetrated further north. Cerialis probably held the consulship before governing Britain, and again in 74 and possibly also in 83.
Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary
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