DRAMA OF THE LOST DISCIPLES TO BRITAIN #8
by George Jowett (1961)
JESUS OR JUPITER?
THE Commander-in-Chief selected by the Emperor Claudius to
carry out his edict was none other than the famous Aulus
Plautius, called the Scipio of his day. He stands in Roman
history as one of the most brilliant commanders and conquerors in
her military record. He arrived in the area of Britain, we now
know as England, A.D.43, making his headquarters at Chichester.
Plautius lost no time in sending his veteran Legions into action,
directing his campaign to the south against the Silurians, thus
cutting off the powerful Brigantes in the remote north, who were
the Yorkshire Celts. Both armies clashed with appalling violence
and in this first conflict the Romans, probably underestimating
the quality of their opponents, were forced to retreat. In the
various battles that followed, to his surprise the Roman General
realized he was confronted with a military intelligence that
matched his own and an army of warriors, though greatly
outnumbered, were undaunted and fought back with a fearless
ferocity which had never before been encountered by the veteran
soldiery of Rome.
For the first time the Romans found they were not opposing a
race of people who could be terrorized by numbers or brutalities.
To their dismay, as reported by Tacitus and like the Nazis in
World War II, they found that destruction of the British sacred
altars increased their anger, making them blind to odds and
circumstances. The more destructive and brutal the Roman
persecution the more determinedly did the Briton strike back.
At the onset the British Silurian army was led by Guiderius,
the elder brother of Arviragus, who was second in command.
Guiderius had succeeded his father to the kingdom of the Silures.
Arviragus, as Prince, ruled over his Dukedom of Cornwall. In the
second battle with the Romans Guiderius was killed in action.
Arviragus succeeded his slain brother in command of the army and
to the kingdom of the Silures. At this time the second branch of
the Silurian kingdom lying farther south in what now is Wales,
had not entered the conflict. Caradoc, King of the Welsh Silures,
was fist cousin to Arviragus, a much older man and an experienced
military leader. A few years before this record his father, known
as 'the Good King Bran', had abdicated his throne voluntarily in
favour of his son Caradoc. Bran was a deeply religious person and
had resigned his kingship to become Arch Druid of Siluria. He and
his family had accepted the new faith and some of the members of
the family had been already converted and baptized by Joseph by
the laying on of hands, but Bran and Caradoc had not received
this final act of conversion. Now as the conflict between Roman
and Briton increased in vigour and territorial scope, Caradoc
realized the seriousness of the situation, particularly since the
death of his cousin Guiderius. It was agreed that a more
concerted and determined military action was needed against the
Romans. Arviragus, by necessity, was only substituting in command
for his slain brother. It was law among the British that the
supreme leader of the army, especially when more than one clan
was involved, could only be appointed by general acclamation of
the people, the military council and the Arch Druids. The
election to such a command was known by the official tide of
Pendragon, meaning Commander-in-Chief. By popular election
Caradoc, better known in history by the name the Romans gave him
- Caractacus - was created Pendragon.
THE GREAT CARACTACUS
Caractacus, as we shall now call him, was a man of great
vigour, intelligent, versed in the arts of politics and warfare.
As is to be expected, being raised in a religious household, he
had deep religious convictions. He had received his education
chiefly in the British universities and partly at Rome. He was an
able administrator, of noble men and outstanding stature. His
countenance was described by Roman writers as 'bold and
honourable'. Such was the man who was elected Pendragon to
conduct the war against the invading Romans. He began the
continuation of the strife with all his natural energy. Out of
this bitter conflict his outstanding military genius, his
indomitable character and invincible courage carved for him an
immortal name in history that was never to perish in British and
Roman annals. In them he stands out as one of the greatest
examples of all that is grand and noble. A magnificent patriotic
representative of the unconquerable valour of his race. Feared by
the foe, it is said that Roman mothers used his name to quiet
their children. His military merit won the unstinted admiration
of the enemy who named him 'the Scourge of the Romans'.
Historically his achievements are well known, but not so
well the reasons for them. Modern historians in dealing with the
Roman invasions completely ignore the reason for the great Roman
invasion of Britain. Never once do they mention the Edict of
Claudius, or explain that it was a war of religious
extermination, designed to crush Christianity at its source.
Evidently they were totally ignorant of the true reason. They
could easily have been enlightened by reading the Roman records
of that time. They write off the nine years of ceaseless warfare
between Roman and Briton, led by Caractacus and Arviragus against
the greatest Roman generals, as though it was of no significance.
(Oh it's not that they did not read the Roman records, I'm sure
many did; it is because of deliberate bias and just out and out
fraudulant mis-application of history. They wanted us to believe
not the truth but their purposely retelling of history from their
bias - Keith Hunt)
They give the impression that the British armies were driven
like wild sheep before the Roman Legions. Surely it takes but
little imagination from even a casual perusal of this campaign to
realize that it would not take nine years for the Roman Empire to
subdue opponents who were merely wild, painted barbarians. By
this time Rome had conquered all the world except Britain. They
had defeated mighty armies skilled in warfare and led by
brilliant kings and generals. The conquered nations they had
enslaved in Africa, Asia and Europe testify to their despotic
brutality. The same Roman generals who had accomplished these
conquests led the Roman army in Britain and failed, one after the
With such a far-flung Empire to protect the Roman emperors
could not afford to keep their greatest army and best commanders
in Britain for nine years. Less could they afford the decimation
of their veteran Legions in useless combat. The enormous loss of
lives on both sides sustained in many of the battles in Britain,
according to the records, were larger than the loss in most of
the battles in World War I and World War 11. Such losses do not
indicate a leisurely Roman campaigns in Britain. In some of the
battles several of the greatest Roman generals were engaged in
conducting battle strategy at the one time. 1 This was an
experience never before called for of Roman generalship.
In World Wars I and II, when the full forces of the Allies
were engaged, their numbers greatly outnumbered the enemy. It was
the absolute reverse in the British-Roman, Claudian campaign.
Common sense shows there could only be one reason for this long
conflict. The Romans had met their match in military genius and
in man-to-man combat a warrior ferocity that outmatched their
tough veterans. The fierce, fearless spirit of the British
soldiery appalled the Romans. Their bravery and disdain of death
shocked them. The great Agricola, engaged in the British
campaign, stated that it would be no disgrace if he fell in
battle among so brave a people.
This had to be more than a defence of the shores which could
1 Tacitus, Agricola, ch, 14 and 17.
(The Roman historian Tacitus gives us great details in some of
the batlles and words of the Roman leaders and the British
leaderrs. 30 years ago the writings of Tacitus were easily
obtainable in the large public Libraries - it seems it is not so
easy today, maybe the Libraries of Toronto, New York, London, and
others will still have Tacitus' books - Keith Hunt)
have been readily ended by coming to terms with the Romans. It
was a battle against extermination of all the Briton held dear
and, as Winston Churchill promised the Nazis, would happen again.
They fought on the sands, on the fields, in the streets and the
lanes and by-ways, to very death.
On these fields the Cross of Christ was unfurled as given to
Arviragus by St. Joseph, so 'all nations should see', for the
first time in military history. This alone proclaimed what the
British were fighting for: defence of their new faith,
Christianity, the Gospel of Jesus, with the freedom it gave to
all who believed in Him.
Caractacus is given official credit as being the first
general to lead a Christian army in battle in defence of the
faith. As Pendragon of the British, elected by them in open
council, this is true. But it was Guiderius and Arviragus who led
the first battle against the Romans. It was they who first
stopped Aulus Plautius in his tracks. Guiderius was the first
British king to fall for Christ. Before Caractaus was elected
Pendragon the British battalions had marched towards the foe
flying the coat of arms bequeathed to Arviragus by Joseph, on
their battle standards and painted on their war shields and this,
long before St. George was born.
(It is very doubtful that Joseph and other disciples of Christ
ever gave their consent for any British army to go to war. The
New Testament Christian is not of this world, the New Testament
Christian cannot partake in a nation's war machine, nor stand
behind and give support to a nation's war machine. The time for
New Testament Christians to make war on physical people is when
Christ comes again; when Christians will be made immortal and
will come from the clouds of heaven with Jesus, to fight against
those who will fight Christ at His coming - Zechariah 14 - Keith
Fearlessly they met the full force of unconquered Rome and
defeated them. This is the imperishable record of the valiant
British in the Claudian nine-year war. Throughout the entire
campaign Arviragus fought as the right-hand man of the Pendragon,
Caractacus, and for years after when Caractacus no longer led the
British forces against the plundering, murdering Romans, he
conducted the conflict. Though the Romans destroyed every altar
in their path, not once were they able to pierce through to their
objective, the Isle of Avalon, the Sanctuary of Christendom. St.
Joseph and his Bethany companions were never molested nor was
their shrine ever violated by Roman intrusion.
(At best the leaders of the British armies were nominal
"Christians" - more political people who were defending not just
some relatively at this time, a small group of true Christians,
but were mainly defending their land against a known barborous
Empire of ruthfulness as they desired to conquer the samll area
of the known world of the West - Keith Hunt)
No better picture can be obtained of the relentless manner
in which this war was fought, with victory swinging from one side
to the other, than by reading the reports of the foremost Roman
writers, Tacitus, Martial, Juvenal and others. The story
chronicled by the pens of the enemy gives more substance to the
truth than if it were written by our own. With ungrudging
admiration they tell how the Silurian warriors, led by
Caractacus, Arviragus and the Arch Priests, swept onward in
irresistible waves over the bodies of their dead and dying
comrades with a battling savagery that appalled the hardened,
war-scarred veterans of the Roman Legions. Their fierce outcries
of defiance rang over the din and clash of sword and shield. For
the first time the Romans met women warriors fighting side by
side with their men in righteous combat. Tacitus states that
their long-flowing flaxen hair and blazing blue eyes were a
terrifying sight to behold. 1 For the first time the Roman
soldiery heard the amazing motto of the ancient Druidic
priesthood transferred into a clarion Christian battle cry: "Y
gwir erbyn y Byd", meaning "The Truth Against the World". No
finer battle cry was ever employed with equal truth. It has never
died. It has lived through the ages and today it is the motto of
the Druidical Order in Wales.
Truly the British stood alone against the world, fought
alone and died alone, even as they did in the most hazardous
early years of the last two world wars, battling for the Great
Truth and the preservation of its principles of freedom, in the
name of their accepted Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Tacitus, the Roman historian, writing of the Claudian
campaign that lasted for nine years, except for one brief six
months' pause, dismally wrote that, although Rome hurled at the
British the greatest army in her history, it failed to prevail
against the military genius of Caractacus and the reckless
fierceness of the British warrior. Many drawn battles were fought
and the famed Legions of Rome frequently suffered defeat with
terrible slaughter. On occasions when the British suffered severe
reverses Tacitus said, "The fierce ardour of the British
After two years of ceaseless warfare Claudius, recognizing
the futility of the struggle and the terrible drainage on his
finest Legions, took advantage of a reverse against Caractacus,
at Brandon Camp, A.D.45, to seek peace through an armistice. A
sixmonth truce was declared in which Caractacus and Arviragus
were invited to Rome to discuss the possibilities for peace. The
facts that followed prove that Claudius went to great lengths to
come to satisfactory terms with the obstinate British leaders.
Hoping to clinch the peace the Emperor Claudius offered to
Arviragus, in marriage, his daughter, Venus Julia. And, amazing
as it appears, they were married in Rome during the truce period,
Here we have the strange instance of a Christian British
king becoming the son-in-law of the pagan Roman Emperor Claudius,
who had sworn to exterminate Christianity and Britain.
1 Tacitus, Annals, 14:30.
2 Venus Julia, named after Venus, mother of Aeneas, and of the
Julian family, therefore of Trojan stock.
(The Trojans being from the house of Judah, hence Jewish - you
will find that truth expounded on this website - Keith Hunt)
Surely one is justified in asking would the Emperor of a
nation, then the most powerful in the world, high in culture and
intellectual pursuits, have sacrified his natural daughter in
marriage to be the wife of a 'crude barbarian', just for the sake
of peace? Impossible. There had to be some other valid reason
and, as we shall see as time moves on, the unseen Hand of God was
writing the script. The circumstances refute the later pernicious
propaganda of the Christian-hating Romans who in their benighted
prejudice sought to label their most noble foe - barbarian.
It is inconceivable.
This marriage was but the beginning of other similar strange
circumstances that were swiftly to arise. They were to have a
tremendous influence on the Christian movement in Rome, with the
British dominating the entire scene. For sheer drama and stirring
romance these incidents have no equal in the pages of history.
During the six months' truce while Caractacus and Arviragus
were at Rome discussing peace terms and the latter was getting
married, Aulus Plautius, the Roman commander, remained in Britain
maintaining the truce on behalf of Rome. During this interval
another strange alliance took place in Britain. Gladys (Celtic
for Princess), the sister of the British war lord Caractacus, was
united in marriage to the Roman Commander-in-Chief, Aulus
Plautius! Again we witness the amazing spectacle of a member of
the Silurian royal family, a Christian, married to a Roman pagan.
Gladys had been personally converted by Joseph of Arimathea,
together with her niece, Eurgain, Guiderius, Arviragus and other
members of the British aristocracy. Like her father, the ex-King
and present Arch Druid, she was devoutly religious, completing
her religious instruction at Avalon and in association with the
Bethany women. Considering all this, one is immediately intrigued
by this unusual situation. It is made more exciting as we realize
that her brother and husband were wartime opponents.
The marriage of Gladys and Plautius is brought into the
Roman limelight by Tacitus in his Annals, 1 wherein he relates
with humour the peculiar circumstances and results of a Roman
trial in which Gladys, the wife of Plautius, is accused of being
Christian. On her marriage Gladys took the name of Pomponia,
according to Roman custom, which was the name of the Plautium
clan. Later the name Graecina was added, so that she is
thereafter known as Pomponia Graecina Plautius. The added name
was a distinctive academic
1 Tacitus, Annals, 13;32.
honour conferred upon her in recognition of her extraordinary
scholarship in Greek.
As we shall see, the truce fell through and hostilities were
resumed between the British and Romans. Following the marriage of
the Roman Commander Aulus Plautius, to the British Princess, it
appears as though the Emperor Claudius distrusted leaving further
operation of the war in Britain to Plautius. He is recalled to
Rome, A.D.47, though honourably relieved of his command.
Reference to these events and the trial of Gladys is well
covered by Tacitus, as will be noted from the following quoted
"Pomponia Graecina, a woman of illustrious birth, and the wife of
Plautius, who, on his return from Britain, entered the city with
the pomp of an ovation, was accused of embracing the rites of a
foreign superstition. The matter was referred to the jurisdiction
of her husband. Plautius, in conformity to ancient usage, called
together a number of her relations, and in her presence, sat in
judgment on the conduct of his wife. He pronounced her innocent."
From our point of view, the method of the trial provides a
It was the custom, by Roman law, to give priority to the
nobility to judge and settle any legal disputation where the
family was concerned. Consequently it was in order for Plautius
to judge his wife. Next we note that Pomponia is judged in the
presence of her own relations, all immediate members of the Royal
Silurian Christian household undoubtedly acting in her defence.
It is quite certain that not much defence was needed. Plautius
knew his wife Gladys was Christian before he married her, as were
all the immediate members of her family, as well as her royal
relatives. Theirs was a love marriage, free of all political
significance on either side. The fact that they were married in
Britain makes it certain that the bond of holy matrimony was
sealed by the Priesthood of her Christian faith. Evidently
Plautius had a svmpathetic leaning to the new faith, for we are
later informed that he also became a Christian. Viewed in the
light of these circumstances it as a forgone conclusion that
Plautius would judge his wife guiltless, which he did.
The Rev. C. C. Dobson, M.A., a keen student of Celtic-Roman
history, in his learned works goes into much detail covering this
whole situation, pointing out that Tacitus refers to Pomponia as
'a woman of illustrious birth' - an aristocrat. Her marriage to
the Roman nobleman bears this out. Plautius certainly recognized
her social station to have been equal to his Roman dignity. That
she was unusually talented, as well as highly cultured, is borne
out by the honour of her Roman-conferred title, 'Graecina'. The
Rev. Dobson writes, "For forty years she was a leader of the best
Roman society." A brilliant woman of wide cultural learning, she
was a past scholar in classical literature and wrote a number of
books of prose and poetry in Greek and Latin as well as in her
native language, Cymric. Their home was a meeting-place for the
talented and they were to be as intimately acquainted with the
Apostles, Peter and Paul, as Gladys had been with Joseph,
Lazarus, Mary Magdalene and the rest of the missionaries at
The Roman records state that when the Roman General Aulus
Plautius was recalled to Rome, A.D.47, "He took his foreign wife
with him." This statement clearly indicates that his wife was not
Roman and, since Plautius was unmarried when he arrived in
Britain and was never absent during the years of his command, his
wife had to be British.
Gladys and Plautius remained in Britain almost eighteen
months after their marriage. The armistice had proved fruitless.
The British leaders considered the peace terms unsatisfactory.
Caractacus and Arviragus did not linger in Rome; but they
returned to Britain and with Arviragus went his Roman wife, Venus
Julia. All were faced with an unpleasant situation: Plautius in
conducting the war against his in-laws, Caractacus against his
sister and brother-in-law, and Arviragus opposing his
father-in-law, the Emperor Claudius.
What Claudius and the Roman Senate had underestimated was
the unbending temper of the Britons. He was quickly to learn that
it was an impossibility for the British to make any compromise
where their religion was concerned. His faith was his most
precious treasure for which, as he has long proved, he would
willingly die but never relinquish. His religion had taught him
that his earthly life was but a stepping-stone to the eventual
goal of immortality. Following the Atonement, in the Ascension of
Christ, he had obtained satisfactory proof of the fulfilment of
the promise that death transcended the grave. It made him both
faithful and fearless. Yet he did not willingly seek death. He
fully understood that his earthly sojourn was a necessary
preparation for the after life. He recognized that Christ had set
him free and was solidly convinced that Christianity could only
be practised in absolute freedom. Interference with this freedom
is what made him the indomitable warrior as the Romans described
him. Normally the Briton was a man of peace and a respecter of
other peoples' rights. History proves that the ancient Britons
were never engaged in territorial conquest or war by invasion
except in their own defence, or for punitive reasons.
Ostorius Scapula had replaced Plautius and the war continued
for another seven years. Finally, after many bloody battles, the
British, under the Pendragon Caractacus, met disaster at Clune,
Shropshire, A.D.52, by a strange trick of circumstance.
Caractacus was not outmanoeuvred in this last battle by the
one General, Scapula. He opposed four of the greatest commanders
in Roman history in this action and more. Up to this point things
had been going badly against the Romans on the field of battle,
as shown by the fact that the Emperor Claudius himself, with
heavy reinforcements, came to Britain to support his generals in
the field which climaxed the action at Clune.
Opposing Caractacus in the Claudian campaign, in allied
command with Aulus Plautius, was the great Vespasian, future
Emperor of Rome, his brother and his son Titus who a few years
later was to put Jerusalem to the torch, destroy its inhabitants
and scatter the survivors of Judah over the face of the earth.
Added to this illustrious military assemblage was Geta, the
conqueror of Mauritania. As matters became desperate, an urgent
appeal for help was sent to the Emperor Claudius. He hastened to
Britain, taking with him the 2nd and 14th Legions, with their
auxiliaries, and a squadron of elephants. He landed at
Richborough, joining his other generals on the eve of the battle
of Clune, personally directing the battle which saved the day for
It took the combined military genius of four great Roman
generals, together with the Emperor and an army that vastly
outnumbered the British, to bring about this victory. This in
itself is the greatest tribute that could be given to the
military excellence of Caractacus, the valorous British warrior.
It was a disastrous defeat.
Not only was Caractacus captured but his entire family was
taken as hostage to Rome. It was the most complete subjection of
any royal house on record by an enemy.
The British Triads commemorate the event as follows:
"There were three royal families that were conducted to prison,
from the great, great grandfather to the great grandchildren
without permitting one to escape. First the family of Llyr
Lllediaith, who was carried to prison at Rome by the Caesaridae.
Not one or another of these escaped. They were the most complete
incarcerations known as to families."
Arviragus and his family were not numbered among the
captives. Evidently he was more successful than his cousin
Caractacus in making his escape at Clune, for we read of him
reorganizing the British army and carrying on the war against
Rome for many more years.
Among the captives was the wife of Caractacus and his
daughter Gladys, as well as his brother who had remained on the
battle scene to receive the terms of the victor. Caractacus had
been urged to flee so that he might later continue the conflict.
However, fate was against him.
Caractacus sought sanctuary from Aricia, the Cartismandua of
Tacitus, queen of the Brigantes and a grand-niece of the
treacherous traitor, Mandubratius, who acquired infamy during the
Julian war. By order of the traitorous queen, Caractacus was
taken prisoner while asleep, loaded with irons and delivered to
Ostorius Scapula, to be numbered with the many other royal
captives and shipped to Rome.
Tacitus, in his Annals (bk. XII, ch.36), writes that the
news of the capture of the famed British warrior sped like
wildfire throughout Rome. The event was received by the people
with greater jubilation than had climaxed any other Roman
conquest, including the victories of Publius Scipio, when he
brought Syphas to Rome in chains and Lucius Paulus, who led the
proud Perses into captivity.
He further states that three million people crowded the,
streets of Rome to view the captive British King and the Senate
convened to celebrate.
Another Roman historian wrote:
"Rome trembled when she saw the Briton, though fast in chains." 1
What had this great 'barbarian' chief achieved to cause such
a sensation among the high and the low of the conquering Empire?
Why was he so feared that the people trembled and shrank from him
as he passed by helpless in irons? Fear and respect must have
been well deserved to make the Romans cringe in their shoes.
Being so dreaded, why did they not dispose of this 'barbarous
Christian leader' according to their usual brutal custom?
One is inclined to ponder on the mysterious workings of
Morgan, St. Paul in Britain, p.99.
dence, as we learn from the contemporary Roman reporters that
Caractacus was the first captive kingly enemy not cast into the
terrible Tarpeian dungeons. Why? The Roman conquerors were never
noted for their clemency. They delighted in humiliating their
adversaries, satiating their bestial nature in the most fiendish
forms of torture. The greater the renown of their unfortunate
victim the less chance he had of escaping the horrors and
incarceration of the Tarpeian. This evil experience was specially
reserved for the captive kings, princes and great war generals,
who were terribly maltreated, starved, and finally strangled to
death. Their dead bodies suffered further indignity. With hooks
pierced through the broken body, it was kicked and spat on as the
mocking soldiery dragged it through the streets of the city,
finally to be cast into the nearby river like offal. Yet here was
a captive king, leader of the hated Christians, who had conducted
a devastating war against Rome over a period of years exceeding
that of any other opponent, during which time he had inflicted
many disastrous defeats upon the mightiest Roman army ever to
march on the field of battle; a warrior who had repeatedly
outmanoeuvred the ablest combination of Roman military strategy
alone, still feared and looked upon with awe mixed with
Neither he, nor any member of the British royal family was
subject in the least to any physical indignities. 1
In those nine years of conflict Eutropius reports in his
Roman Records that thirty-two pitched battles were fought with
victory swaying from one side to the other. The British Annals
report that thirty-nine pitched battles were fought. Is there any
wonder, as Tacitus remarks, that people from all parts of Europe
poured into Rome to gaze upon this valiant warrior who had so
seriously decimated the crack Roman Legions in combat? The record
further states that Caractacus, heavily chained, walked proudly
with his relatives and family behind the chariot of the Emperor,
through the crowded streets of Rome. With this scene before us we
can cease to wonder at the series of startling events that
transpired from the beginning of the famous trial onward. 2
THE TRIAL OF CARACTACUS
On the day of the trial, Tacitus tells us that his daughter
Gladys refused to be separated from her father, though it was
against the Roman law for a woman to enter the Senate.
Voluntarily she walked by the side of Caractacus, up the
marble steps into the Senate, as brave and as composed as her
The report continues, the Pendragon stood before the Emperor
1 Tacitus, Annals, 12:37. 2 Tacitus, Annals, 12:36.
full chest, a noble figure, fearless, calmly defiant, unconquered
in spirit. The Senate was crowded to capacity and here again we
note another breach of Roman law in the presence of another
woman. History tells us that the great Queen Agrippira sat on her
throne, on the far corner of the Dais, a fascinated witness to
the most famous trial in Roman history.
This man who should have been the most hated as the leader
of the Christian army drew admiration from all sides as he stood
poised before his sworn enemy, the Emperor Claudius.
Such was the fame of the gallant Christian Briton -
Caractacus. As the trial proceeded he spoke in a clear voice,
trenchant with the passion of righteous vigour, as he vindicated
the rights of a free man. He replied to his prosecutors with
words that have lived down through the ages. Probably it is the
only episode in this great Christan warrior's life that is
remembered by posterity. Free men the world over may read his
epic address with blood-warming pride as the pen of Tacitus
In the words of Tacitus, Caractacus addressed the Senate:
"Had my government in Britain been directed solely with a view to
the preservation of my hereditary domains, or the aggrandizement
of my own family, I might long since have entered this city an
ally, not a prisoner: nor would you have disdained for a friend a
king descended from illustrious ancestors, and the dictator of
many nations. My present condition, stript of its former majesty,
is as adverse to myself as it is a cause of triumph to you. What
then? I was lord of men, horses, arms, wealth; what wonder if at
your dictation I refused to resign them? Does it follow, that
because the Romans aspire to universal domination, every nation
is to accept the vassalage they would impose? I am now in your
power - betrayed, not conquered. Had I, like others, yielded
without resistance, where would have been the name of Caradoc?
Where your glory? Oblivion would have buried both in the same
tomb. Bid me live. I shall survive for ever in history one
example at least of Roman clemency." 1
Never before or after was such a challenging speech heard by
a Roman Tribunal in the Roman Senate. It is the one solitary case
in history. Spoken by a Briton, vibrant with the courageous
conviction of a free man.
1 Tacitus. Annals, 12:37.
This noble address was once the proud oration of every
British schoolboy; now, like the Songs of Tara, heard no more.
How cheaply today Christians hold this cherished heritage.
For many years students of Roman history puzzled their brains
seeking for a reason or motive that caused the Emperor Claudius
to render his remarkable verdict. Why, they ask, did not Claudius
demand the customary Roman revenge? The pages of history are full
of their brutal 'triumphs': dragging their unfortunate victims
behind chariots; trampling them to death under the feet of
elephants as they were forced to lie prostrate along the avenue
of triumph; thrown to the starving lions in the arena; torn apart
on the wrack, strangled, burnt or confined to the horrible pit of
the Mamertine where they went stark raving mad.
Did the strange intermarriages between princely Britons and
Roman aristocrats, which was also to penetrate into his own
family, induce Claudius to make his extraordinary decision?
Historians definitely declare to the contrary. Emphatically
they affirm that the Roman law was so embedded in the conscience
of the Romans, that they would not think, let alone dare to avert
Nevertheless there and then by order of the Claudian
Tribunal, Caractacus, with all the members of the royal Silurian
family, were immediately set free. As the decision was rendered,
we are told that the whole Senate applauded loudly. And the famed
Queen Agrippira rose from her dais, approaching the Pendragon,
and his daughter Gladys, shaking hands with each according to
British fashion, then embracing them, according to the Roman.
This display of emotion was another strange deviation from
The only restriction imposed in the pardon of Caractacus was
that he must remain at Rome, on parole for seven years, and
neither he, or any member of his family, were ever to bear arms
against Rome. To this Caractacus agreed and never once thereafter
did he break his pledge. When he returned to Britain seven years
later, even though war was then raging between Briton and Roman,
led by the unrelenting Arviragus, Caractacus and his family
remained aloof, honour bound. While he remained in Rome he
enjoyed all the privileges of a freeman. With his family he
resided at the Palatium Britannicum - "the Palace of the British"
- which was soon to become world famous in Christian deeds and
history. A sons 2 had been permitted to return to Britain and
rule over the kingdom of the Welsh Silurians in the stead of his
1 Tacitus, Annals, 12:37. 2 St. Cyllinus, Records of Jestyn
the seven years of parole Caractacus was allowed to receive
regularly the income from his British estates so that he and his
family might continue to live in state, as befitted a royal
WHY CLEMENCY ON CARACTACUS AND FAMILY?
Why Claudius bestowed such generous clemency upon the royal
Britons, knowing full well he could never force them to recant
their faith, is something which cannot be reasoned in material
form. A greater influence was at work in which all these
characters were but pawns on the Divine chessboard, moved in
their actions by the inscrutable will of the Almighty, as the
astounding events that follow prove so clearly, with St. Paul and
this branch of the Silurian royal family holding the spotlight at
In concluding the chapter on the valiant Caractacus, it
should prove of interest to consider the validity of the remark
he made in his address before the Roman Tribune, in which he
states he was "betrayed - not conquered".
Do the facts support his contention? Undoubtedly they do.
It was the unpredictable conditions that brought about the defeat
of the British. Overwhelmed by numbers, as they were, it was
circumstance and not arms that wrought the catastrophe.
As stated before, Claudius had brought over to Britain a
squadron of elephants, with other reinforcements, to bolster the
distressed Legions of Aulus Plautius. This was the first time
these strange creatures had been seen in Britain. They were
introduced into the fight with the hope that their massive
charging weight would offset the havoc wrought upon the Roman
army by the British war chariots, armed with scythes on their
Neither the size nor the charges of these monsters dismayed
the British. It was the offensive odour of the elephants that
distracted and panicked the horses that drove the British
chariots of war. Going completely out of control the horses and
chariots wrought more havoc within the British lines during the
battle than did the arms of the Romans. 1
Added to this dilemma was the treachery of the Coraniaid, a
clan long known for their traitorous dealings. The Romans had
succeeded in buying them over. Unknown to Caractacus this
insurgent army were hidden in his rear. The enemy had shaped up
into the form of a letter L on the field of battle, with the
Roman cavalry attacking the British flank. Striving to
concentrate on this attack while the frenzied horses ran amok in
the centre, the Pendragon was taken by surprise when the hidden
1 Dion Cassius.
attacked into the rear. Defeat was inevitable. Seeing all was
lost, Caractacus was urged by his brother and others to flee the
field before it was too late. He made good his escape but the
betrayal of the Pendragon by his cousin Aricia prevented him from
connecting with Arviragus, to carry on the conflict. Thus, by the
unhappy accident that attend the fortunes of war, Caractacus
stated in truth that he was betrayed and not conquered.
Later Arviragus avenged the treachery of the Coraniaid,
warring through their domain and taking a terrible vengeance.
It is of peculiar interest to note that during the nine-year
Claudian campaign the Silurians did not receive any
reinforcements from the north, nor from Gaul, to whose defence
the British had gone on many occasions over the past years.
Neither did help come from Hibernia (Ireland) or Caledonia
(Scotland). The fact is that help was almost impossible. The
Romans used Gaul as a jumpingoff place to invade Britain, thus
Gaullish aid was prevented. The Roman navy would block the
Hibernians and Caledonia was too sparsely inhabited. At that time
the migration of the Scots from Hibernia into the Caledonian
highlands had not yet taken place. The powerful northern
Brigantes were under the influence of their traitorous Queen who
sold out Caractacus to the Romans. Aricia was later deposed and
the powerful Yorkshire Britons from then on played an important
part in firmly rooting the new Christ faith in Britain. In fact
many years after, when the faith appeared to weaken, it was the
Yorkshire Britons who strengthened the foundation of Christianity
that ensured its enduring perpetuation in Britain.
These can be the only reasonable conclusions for the
Silurians bearing the brunt of the Roman prosecution. If the
whole Celtic nation could have marched as one it is certain that
the Romans would have been quickly and decisively defeated and
expelled from the Island. With an odd exception, which is ever
the rule, there was no unfriendliness among the Celtic peoples.
They were staunchly Druidic to begin with, and all showed their
eagerness to absorb the instruction of the Christ faith.
Throughout the Claudian campaign the Irish and Pictish
records tell of an ever-flowing stream of neophytes and delegates
from the various kingdoms, journeying to Avalon to receive at
first hand instruction from the Arimathean Culdees.
It was a greater authority than that of man which decided
the Claudian issue. If it had been otherwise St. Paul would most
certainly have been seriously handicapped in carrying out the
responsibility placed upon him by our Lord to preach to the
THE USE OF LATIN
The historic tribute to Caractacus is, that WITHOUT the aid
of his Christian allies he had proven his sterling ability
against the Montgomerys and Eisenhowers of his day. By valour of
arms and military strategy he had outmatched them. In the quality
of his address before the Roman Tribune we see a man of high
integrity and intelligence. His oration is worthy of a Winston
Churchill. Yet this is the Briton whom short-sighted historians
refer to as 'barbarian'. It could be of interest to the
despoilers of historic truth to learn that Caractacus addressed
the Roman Tribunal in their own language - Latin. This
vernacular, not being that of the British, had necessarily to be
culturally acquired. We are authoritatively informed that the
Celtic priesthood employed their own common language in compiling
their sacred works, using Greek exclusively for civil
transcriptions. Latin was not adopted in British ecclesiastical
liturgies until centuries later, yet Latin was as familiar to
their tongue as was Greek and Hebrew. The long association
Britain had with Rome in commerce, culture and social affairs had
made each conversant with the other on common grounds.
FOLLOWING THE JULIAN CAMPAIGN OF 55 B.C.
Following the Julian campaign Of 55 B.C., we learn that
British citizens were the only people permitted to walk the
streets of Rome as freemen. Actually this privilege was older
than the Julian report; nevertheless, by this act and statement
it is clearly shown that the only people in the world who were
truly freemen and freewomen were the British. Freedom was an
all-consuming passion with them as Titus, the son of the Emperor
Vespasian, was to learn on other fields of battle than that at
Clune. Titus fought thirty battles to subdue the short coastal
areas of Anglesey and the Isle of Wight without gratifying
No Briton ever entered the Temples of Jupiter but, in the
ensuing years, thousands of Roman soldiery who served in Britain
turned to Jesus, kneeling before the Christian altars with the
The banner of the Cross under which Caractacus led the
British troops for nine years was to be unfurled at Rome and
accepted by the Romans as their national insignia. It was the
family of Caractacus who first unfurled that standard at Rome and
the family of Arviragus who made it steadfast.
In the end the Silureans conquered Rome for Christ.
Well yes some during this period of time did become "Christian" -
and some more deeply Christian than others. Obviously some were
still very much "political" and "military" unfluenced .... so it
would have been in those days, as it was in the days of
Constantine 300 or so years later, coming from Britain to fight
on Europe's soil, and his supposed vision of seeing the "cross"
and being told to fight under it as his standard-bearing emblem -
which he did and won the Roman crown.
But God does work in wonderful and mysterious ways at times, His
work to perform. It was time for Britain to have Christianity,
and it was time for Britain to start on the road to GREATNESS,
that over time would indeed give her the name GREAT Britain, and
an empire that at one time the sun never set on - a world wide
empire, as never seen before in the history of mankind, greater
than ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, China, and any other
empire you care to think of. Truly it was now the beginning of
the time when the promises from God to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and
Joseph, would start to come to pass - a GREAT COMPANY OF NATIONS
FROM EPHRIAM JOSEPH/ISRAEL THAT WOULD SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD.
To be continued with "British Foundations of the Church at Rome"