There are a number of sources which provide evidence to the view that the Roman army’s sole function in Britain was fighting and conquest. One example of this is the first Roman invasion under Caesar. One reason Caesar wanted to invade Britain was because he knew the Gaul’s were receiving reinforcements from Britain during his Gallic campaigns, and he hoped to bring the island under Roman control. His first invasion was small scale and unsuccessful, and was therefore much more aggressive in his second attempt
‘The men had worked with such enthusiasm that they had
built and equipped six hundred vessels of the type described
and twenty-eight warships…Caesar took with him five legions
and the two thousand cavalry.’
Caesar went back to Britain with a much more powerful army with the view to take control of the island, although both attempts were unsuccessful, they are both examples of the Roman army being prepared to fight and conquer the island.
Another example of Rome wanting to conquer Britain, are the sources offering evidence that Romans were interested in the resources of the island, and what they could get out of conquering it. For example one of these sources is Strabo’s description of Britain:
‘It produces corn, cattle, gold, silver and iron, along with
hides, slaves and dogs suitable for hunting’
For each roman invasion on Britain, the army’s would often loot the land and collect a ‘booty’ to bring home, often taking back seashells and over exaggerating their ‘victories’ on the island. This could be another example of wanting to conquer.
One other example of fighting on the island was the ruthlessness in which the Romans dealt with any rebellions. Boudica led a revolt against the Roman rule of Britain in AD 60-61. She was Queen of the Iceni people, a British tribe who lived in what is today Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Seventeen years after the Romans conquered southern England (AD...