Trinity College, Cambridge cc 4

Count Theodosius 367 AD Invasion

The Scots, Picts and Attacotti invaded Roman England in 367 AD. At this time Saxons and Franks were marauding the eastern coast of England and the Roman general, Nectaridus, in charge of coastal defences was killed. An army was raised in Boulogne on the French coast which landed at Richborough led by Theodosius (father of the later emperor Theodosius who ruled from 379 to 392) who restored order. The army comprised of Batavians, Heruli ( possibly a Nordic tribe of mercenaries), Jovii, and Victores.

The Picts were divided into two tribes the Dicalydones​ (Caledonians) and Verturiones as well as the Attacotti, a warlike race of men, and the Scots, were ranging widely and causing great devastation as reported by the Roman historian Marcellinus. Theodosius had to deal with wide disorder and offered an amnesty to former soldiers many of whom returned to service and then he picked off the marauding bands one by one.

A map showing Roman coins in Scotland from 300 AD is above. It can not be said that Romans dropped these coins but it shows the extent of interaction.

The poet Claudius Claudianus mentions the naval fleet of Theodosius and the Caledonian spoils he gained. It may indicate that naval power was used. He further states that Theodosius camped in the snow of Caledonia and made the seas safe. He “brought into subjection the coasts of Britain and with equal success laid waste the north and the south. What avail against him the eternal snows, the frozen air, the uncharted sea?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *