A.D. History Podcast
Brexit 1.0: Rome Abandons Britain | 401AD-410AD
Rome abandons Britain in c. 410AD, initiating history’s FIRST Brexit; and Rome’s scourge the Visigoth King Alaric I comes onto the scene.
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After nearly four centuries of Roman rule, the Roman Empire decides to abandon Britain in circa 410AD, initiating the near century long chaos of “Sub-Roman Britain.” Sub-Roman Britain is known best for the vacuum of power it created, as well as the rise of the Anglo-Saxsons in Britain. We also meet a most singular figure, the notoriously charismatic Alaric I: The Scourge of Rome, that would go on to sacking the city of Rome itself!
Rome Abandons Britain
In this first episode of the fifth century, Patrick takes us to his native patch of Great Britain. It is in this decade that Rome abandons Britain, thus ending a near four centuries long rule over most of what we know today as England and Wales.
Within the scope of A.D. History, we have covered the Roman story in Britannia from its fateful invasion of southern England in 43 AD, to formally withdrawing the army and governmental officials in circa 409/410 AD. Rome’s departure initiates the period of Sub-Roman Britain, an era that kicks off a clear vacuum of power in the Roman’s absence.
The universe, human nature, the nature of power itself abhors a vacuum – and a massive such vacuum was materializing on the ground. Patrick explores the roots of this immensely turbulent episode, what it meant for the proverbial Briton on the street, and what power has clear designs for taking advantage of this chaos. As Rome abandons Britain, Pandora’s Box awaits.
Alaric I: The Scourge Rome Created For Itself
For the latter segment of this episode, we make our formal introduction to the figure known to history as Alaric I: the first king of the Visigoths. Though perhaps more salaciously, Alaric I has also become known as “The Scourge of Rome.”
Alaric I is no run-of-the-mill scourge, but one the Romans created for themselves. His story is incredible not only because he would successfully lead a Gothic army to sack the Eternal City itself, but the Roman decision making process that even led to this most avoidable outcome.
Alaric I is a somewhat enigmatic individual for students of history, as there is a clear lack of contemporaneous accounts of Alaric I from those living and documenting events of the time. Yet there is enough credible evidence that has been unearthed to shed meaningful light on Alaric himself, the life he led, and the tremendous impact he would have in the annals of world history.
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