Roman Britain

Roman-Briton villa
420 Jan 1


Britain, United Kingdom

During their occupation of Britain the Romans built an extensive network of roads which continued to be used in later centuries and many are still followed today. The Romans also built water supply, sanitation and wastewater systems. Many of Britain's major cities, such as London (Londinium), Manchester (Mamucium) and York (Eboracum), were founded by the Romans, but the original Roman settlements were abandoned not long after the Romans left.

Unlike many other areas of the Western Roman Empire, the current majority language is not a Romance language, or a language descended from the pre-Roman inhabitants. The British language at the time of the invasion was Common Brittonic, and remained so after the Romans withdrew. It later split into regional languages, notably Cumbric, Cornish, Breton and Welsh. Examination of these languages suggests some 800 Latin words were incorporated into Common Brittonic (see Brittonic languages). The current majority language, English, is based on the languages of the Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe from the 5th century onwards.