HOME
The Info List - Britannia



--- Advertisement ---


(i)

_BRITANNIA_ was a Roman-Britain province inhabited by the Britons
Britons
, Belgae
Belgae
and Picts
Picts
, encompassing parts of the island south of Caledonia (roughly Scotland
Scotland
) of the geographical region of Great Britain
Great Britain
and is the name given to the female personification of the island. It is a term still used to refer to the island. The name is Latin
Latin
, and derives from the Greek form _Prettanike_ or _Brettaniai_, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including _ Albion
Albion
_ or Great Britain. By the 1st century BC , _Britannia_ came to be used for Great Britain
Great Britain
specifically. The Romans had initially called the entire provincial island "Britain" and it was only when the island was split into four provinces that two were given the name "Britannia". Although Britain had been designated part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 43 AD during the conquest of emperor Claudius
Claudius
it wasn't until the end of the 2nd century
2nd century
that Britannia
Britannia
had been pacified and fully adopted Roman practices.

In the 2nd century, Roman Britannia
Britannia
came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet .

The name _Britannia_ long survived the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century
5th century
and yielded the name for the island in most European and various other languages, including the English Britain and the modern Welsh _ Prydain _. After centuries of declining use, the Latin
Latin
form was revived during the English Renaissance as a rhetorical evocation of a British national identity. Especially following the Acts of Union in 1707, which joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland
Scotland
, the personification of the martial Britannia
Britannia
was used as an emblem of British imperial power and unity. A British cultural icon , she was featured on all modern British coinage series until the redesign in 2008, and still appears annually on the gold and silver " Britannia
Britannia
" bullion coin series. In 2015 a new definitive £2 coin was issued, with a new image of Britannia. She is also depicted in the Brit Awards statuette, the British Phonographic Industry
British Phonographic Industry
's annual music awards.

CONTENTS

* 1 Greek and Roman periods

* 2 British revival

* 2.1 Medieval use * 2.2 Renaissance and British Empire
British Empire
* 2.3 Modern associations

* 2.4 Depiction on British currency and postage stamps

* 2.4.1 Coinage * 2.4.2 Banknotes * 2.4.3 Postage stamps

* 2.5 Britannia
Britannia
watermark in paper * 2.6 Brit Awards

* 3 Namesakes * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Notes * 7 External links

GREEK AND ROMAN PERIODS

Main articles: Roman Britain
Roman Britain
and Britain (name)

The first writer to use a form of the name was the Greek explorer and geographer Pytheas in the 4th century BC. Pytheas referred to _Prettanike_ or _Brettaniai_, a group of islands off the coast of North-Western Europe. In the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus referred to _Pretannia_, a rendering of the indigenous name for the _ Pretani _ people whom the Greeks believed to inhabit the British Isles
British Isles
. Following the Greek usage, the Romans referred to the _Insulae Britannicae_ in the plural, consisting of _ Albion
Albion
_ (Great Britain), _ Hibernia
Hibernia
_ (Ireland), _ Thule
Thule
_ (possibly Iceland
Iceland
or Orkney
Orkney
) and many smaller islands. Over time, Albion
Albion
specifically came to be known as _Britannia_, and the name for the group was subsequently dropped.

Although emperor Claudius
Claudius
is commonly attributed with the creation and unification of the province of Britannia
Britannia
in 43 AD, Julius Caesar had already established Roman authority over the Southern and Eastern Britain dynasties during his two expeditions to the island in 55 and 54 BC. Just as Caeser himself had been an obside in Bithynia as a youth, he also had taken thr King's sons as _obsides_ or hostages, back to Rome, partially to be educated.

The Roman conquest of the island began in AD 43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province
Roman province
known in Latin
Latin
as _ Britannia
Britannia
_. The Romans never successfully conquered the whole island, building Hadrian\'s Wall as a boundary with _ Caledonia
Caledonia
_, which covered roughly the territory of modern Scotland
Scotland
, although the whole of the boundary marked by Hadrian's Wall lies within modern-day Northern England . A southern part of what is now Scotland
Scotland
was occupied by the Romans for about 20 years in the mid- 2nd century
2nd century
AD, keeping in place the Picts to the north of the Antonine Wall
Antonine Wall
. People living in the Roman province of Britannia
Britannia
were called _Britanni_, or Britons
Britons
. Ireland, inhabited by the Scoti
Scoti
, was never invaded and was called Hibernia
Hibernia
. Thule
Thule
, an island "six days' sail north of Britain, and near the frozen sea", possibly Iceland
Iceland
, was also never invaded by the Romans. An As coin from the reign of Antoninus Pius struck in 154 AD showing Britannia
Britannia
on the reverse

The Emperor Claudius
Claudius
paid a visit while Britain was being conquered and was honoured with the agnomen _Britannicus_ as if he were the conqueror; a frieze discovered at Aphrodisias
Aphrodisias
in 1980 shows a bare breasted and helmeted female warrior labelled BRITANNIA, writhing in agony under the heel of the emperor. She appeared on coins issued under Hadrian
Hadrian
, as a more regal-looking female figure. Britannia
Britannia
was soon personified as a goddess, looking fairly similar to the goddess Minerva
Minerva
. Early portraits of the goddess depict Britannia
Britannia
as a beautiful young woman, wearing the helmet of a centurion , and wrapped in a white garment with her right breast exposed. She is usually shown seated on a rock, holding a spear, and with a spiked shield propped beside her. Sometimes she holds a standard and leans on the shield. On another range of coinage, she is seated on a globe above waves: Britain at the edge of the (known) world. Similar coin types were also issued under Antoninus Pius .

BRITISH REVIVAL

_ In James Gillray 's Britannia
Britannia
between Scylla and Charybdis _ (1793), Britannia
Britannia
is shown without the weapons which would invariably characterise her in the 19th century

MEDIEVAL USE

After the Roman withdrawal , the term "Britannia" remained in use in Britain and abroad. Latin
Latin
was ubiquitous amongst native Brythonic writers and the term continued in the Welsh tradition that developed from it. Writing with variations on the term _Britannia_ (or _Prydein _ in the native language) appeared in many Welsh works such as the _ Historia Britonum _, _Armes Prydein _ and the 12th-century _Historia Regum Britanniae _, which gained unprecedented popularity throughout western Europe during the High Middle Ages .

Following the migration of Brythonic Celts, The term _Britannia_ also came to refer to the Armorican peninsula (at least from the 6th century). ) The modern English, French, Breton and Gallo names for the area, all derive from a literal use of _Britannia_ meaning "land of the Britons". The two "Britannias" gave rise to the term _Grande Bretagne_ (Great Britain) to distinguish the island of Britain from the continental peninsula.

Following the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
, the term '"Briton" only referred to the native British , Celtic-speaking inhabitants of the province; this remained the case until the modern era. The use of the term as an inhabitant of the island of Great Britain
Great Britain
or the UK is relatively recent.

RENAISSANCE AND BRITISH EMPIRE

It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that "Britannia" came to be viewed as a personification of Britain. In his 1576 _General and rare memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation_, John Dee
John Dee
used a frontispiece figure of Britannia
Britannia
kneeling by the shore beseeching Elizabeth I, to protect her empire by strengthening her navy.

With the death of Elizabeth in 1603 came the succession of her Scottish cousin, James VI, King of Scots, to the English throne. He became James I of England, and so brought under his personal rule the Kingdoms of England (and the dominion of Wales), Ireland and Scotland . On 20 October 1604, James VI and I
James VI and I
proclaimed himself as "King of Great Brittaine, France and Ireland", a title that continued to be used by many of his successors. When James came to the English throne, some elaborate pageants were staged. One pageant performed on the streets of London in 1605 was described in Anthony Munday 's _Triumphs of Reunited Britannia_:

On a mount triangular, as the island of Britain itself is described to be, we seat in the supreme place, under the shape of a fair and beautiful nymph, Britannia
Britannia
herself...

During the reign of Charles II , Britannia
Britannia
made her first appearance on English coins on a farthing of 1672 (see _Depiction on British coinage and postage stamps_ below). With the constitutional unification of England with Scotland
Scotland
in 1707 and then with Ireland in 1800, Britannia
Britannia
became an increasingly important symbol and a strong rallying point among Britons. _ A later Gillray cartoon, on the 1803 Peace of Amiens , features a fat and non-martial Britannia kissing "Citizen François" Britannia
Britannia
Triumphant_, poster celebrating the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
.

British power, which depended on a liberal political system and the supremacy of the navy , lent these attributes to the image of Britannia. By the time of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
, Britannia
Britannia
had been renewed. Still depicted as a young woman with brown or golden hair, she kept her Corinthian helmet and her white robes, but now she held Poseidon\'s trident and often sat or stood before the ocean and tall-masted ships representing British naval power. She also usually held or stood beside a Greek hoplite shield, which sported the British Union Flag
Union Flag
: also at her feet was often the British Lion, an animal found on the arms of England, Scotland
Scotland
and the Prince of Wales.

Neptune is shown symbolically passing his trident to Britannia
Britannia
in the 1847 fresco "Neptune Resigning to Britannia
Britannia
the Empire of the Sea" by William Dyce
William Dyce
, a painting Victoria commissioned for her Osborne House on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
.

New Zealanders adopted a similar personification of their country in Zealandia , Britannia's daughter, who appeared on postage stamps at the turn of the 20th century and still features in the New Zealand Coat of Arms . 1914 Russian poster depicting the Triple Entente – Britannia
Britannia
(right) and Marianne
Marianne
(left) in the company of Mother Russia . In this depiction, Britannia's association with the sea is provided by her holding an anchor , an attribute usually represented by Poseidon's Trident.

Perhaps the best analogy is that Britannia
Britannia
is to the United Kingdom and the British Empire
British Empire
what Marianne
Marianne
is to France or perhaps what Columbia is to the United States. Britannia
Britannia
became a very potent and more common figure in times of war, and represented British liberties and democracy.

MODERN ASSOCIATIONS

During the 1990s the term _ Cool Britannia _ (drawn from a humorous version by the Bonzo Dog Band of the song "Rule Britannia
Britannia
", with words by James Thomson , which is often used as an unofficial national anthem ), was used to describe the contemporary United Kingdom. The phrase referred to the fashionable scenes of the era, with a new generation of pop groups and style magazines, successful young fashion designers, and a surge of new restaurants and hotels. Cool Britannia represented late-1990s Britain as a fashionable place to be.

DEPICTION ON BRITISH CURRENCY AND POSTAGE STAMPS

Coinage

Britannia
Britannia
depicted on a halfpenny of 1936

Although the archetypical image of Britannia
Britannia
seated with a shield first appeared on Roman bronze coins of the 1st century AD struck under Hadrian
Hadrian
, Britannia's first appearance on British coinage was on the farthing in 1672, though earlier pattern versions had appeared in 1665, followed by the halfpenny later the same year. The figure of Britannia
Britannia
was said by Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
to have been modelled on Frances Teresa Stuart, the future Duchess of Richmond , who was famous at the time for refusing to become the mistress of Charles II, despite the King's strong infatuation with her. Britannia
Britannia
then appeared on the British halfpenny coin throughout the rest of the 17th century and thereafter until 1936. The halfpennies issued during the reign of Queen Anne have Britannia
Britannia
closely resembling the queen herself. When the Bank of England
Bank of England
was granted a charter in 1694, the directors decided within days that the device for their official seal should represent 'Brittannia sitting on looking on a Bank of Mony' (sic). Britannia
Britannia
also appeared on the penny coin between 1797 and 1970 , occasional issues such as the fourpence under William IV between 1836 and 1837, and on the 50 pence coin between 1969 and 2008. See "External Links" below for examples of all these coins and others.

In the spring of 2008, the Royal Mint unveiled new coin designs "reflecting a more modern twenty-first century Britain" which do not feature the image of Britannia. This decision courted some controversy, with tabloid press campaigns, in particular that of the _Daily Mail_, launched to "save Britannia". The government has pointed out, however, that earlier-design 50p coins will remain in circulation for the foreseeable future. Also Britannia
Britannia
still appeared on the gold and silver " Britannia
Britannia
" bullion coins issued annually by the Royal Mint.

A new definitive £2 coin was issued in 2015, with a new image of Britannia. In late 2015, a limited edition (100000 run) £50 coin was produced, bearing the image of Britannia
Britannia
on one side and Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
on the obverse.

Banknotes

A 1952 Bank of England
Bank of England
five pound note or "white fiver" showing Britannia
Britannia
in the top left corner. Main article: Bank of England
Bank of England
note issues

A figure of Britannia
Britannia
appeared on the "white fiver" (a five pound note printed in black and white) from 1855 for more than a century, until 1957.

From 1928 " Britannia
Britannia
Series A" ten shilling and one pound notes were printed with a seated Britannia
Britannia
bearing both a spear and an olive branch.

The 25 cents fractional paper currency of the Dominion of Canada (1870, 1900 and 1923 respectively) all depict Britannia. The notes are no longer produced and usually not used as currency anymore, although they are still legal tender.

Postage Stamps

A 1922 King George V Seahorses postage stamp, featuring Britannia
Britannia
with an Irish Free State
Irish Free State
overprint.

Britannia
Britannia
also featured on the high value Great Britain
Great Britain
definitive postage stamps issued during the reign of George V
George V
(known as 'seahorses ') and is depicted on the £10 stamp first issued in 1993.

BRITANNIA WATERMARK IN PAPER

The Britannia
Britannia
watermark has been widely used in papermaking, usually showing her seated. An example can be found at papermoulds.typepad.com

BRIT AWARDS

Britannia
Britannia
is depicted in the Brit Award statuette, the British Phonographic Industry 's annual music awards. The statuette of Britannia
Britannia
is regularly redesigned by some of the best known British designers, stylists and artists, including Vivienne Westwood , Damien Hirst , Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin
, Sir Peter Blake and the late Zaha Hadid .

NAMESAKES

Britannia Airways featured the name and image of Britannia. See also: Britannia (other)

The name "Britannia", symbolising Britain and British patriotism, has been adopted for various purposes such as:

* K1 _Britannia_ , a 1994 replica (refit in 2012) of King George V's famed racing yacht Britannia
Britannia
which was scuttled in 1936. * Britannia silver , a high-grade alloy of silver introduced in Britain in 1697. * Britannia
Britannia
coins , a series of British gold bullion coins issued since 1987, which have nominal values of 100, 50, 25, and 10 pounds . * HMS _Britannia_ , any of eight vessels of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
. * Britannia Royal Naval College , the Royal Navy's officer training college. * The former Royal Yacht _Britannia_ , the Royal Family's personal yacht, recently retired in Leith
Leith
, Edinburgh Scotland. * RMS _Britannia_ , the first steam ocean liner owned by Samuel Cunard in 1840. * SS _Britannia_ , a 1925 British liner, sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser _Thor_ in 1941 with the loss of 122 crew and 127 passengers. * MV _Britannia_ , the flagship of the P there were 82 English public houses with this name in 2011. * The Britannia Building Society traded for over a century before deciding to merge with The Co-operative Bank and now trades as _Britannia_. They are the official sponsors of Stoke City F.C. and so their logo appears on the team's shirts and the Britannia Stadium is named after the company. * Britannia
Britannia
is a community South of the town of Bacup, in Lancashire, UK. The "home" of the Britannia Coco-nut Dancers .

SEE ALSO

* Hibernia
Hibernia
(personification) , a personification of Ireland * Kathleen Ni Houlihan , a personification of Ireland * Prydain , Welsh name for Great Britain
Great Britain
in both ancient and modern times. * William Camden , author of _Britannia_, author of topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland, first published in 1586. * Britannia Superior * Britannia Inferior

REFERENCES

* ^ John, Creighton (2006). _Britannia: The Creation of a Roman Province_. New York: Routledge. p. 2. ISBN 9781134318407 . * ^ Watts, Dorothy (2005). _Boudicca\'s Heirs: Women in Early Britain_. New York: Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 0415280680 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Snyder , p. 12. * ^ Allen , p. 174. * ^ Davies , p. 47. * ^ Creighton, John (2006-01-31). _Britannia: The Creation of a Roman Province_. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 9781134318407 . CS1 maint: Date and year (link ) * ^ obsides is Latin, meaning hostage * ^ _Roman Britain_ By Timothy W. Potter and Catherine Johns, University of California Press, 1992 p.40 * ^ _A_ _B_ " Britannia
Britannia
on British Coins". Chard. Retrieved 25 June 2006. * ^ Fleuriot, Léon (1980). _Les Origines de la Bretagne: l'émigration_ (in French). Paris: Payot. pp. 52–53. ISBN 2228127108 . * ^ "Britishness". _Oxford English Dictionary Online_. September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2010. * ^ Virginia Hewitt, ' Britannia
Britannia
(fl. 1st–21st cent.)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004 * ^ Proclamation styling James I King of Great Britain
Great Britain
on 20 October 1604 * ^ 1901 Penny Universal, Stamps NZ. Retrieved 25 January 2010. * ^ National Coat of Arms of New Zealand, Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 25 January 2010. * ^ J. Ayto, _Movers and Shakers: a Chronology of Words that Shaped our Age_ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN 0-19-861452-7 , p. 233. * ^ "Cool Britannia". BBC News. Retrieved 9 November 2016 * ^ "3 – The Halfpenny". _Coins of the UK_. Tony Clayton. * ^ Morris, Steven (28 January 2008). "Brown blamed as Britannia gets the boot". _The Guardian_. London. Retrieved 28 January 2008. * ^ "2008 Emblems of Britain Silver Proof Collection". The Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. * ^ " Royal Mint unveils coin designs". BBC News. 2 April 2008. * ^ " Britannia
Britannia
2015 UK £50 Fine Silver Coin". Royal Mint. * ^ "£5 note, Bank of England". British Museum. Retrieved 24 January 2013. * ^ Sharples, BS (17 June 2009). "A Short History of English Banknotes". Retrieved 24 January 2013. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Dame Zaha Hadid\'s Brit Awards statuette design unveiled". BBC. 1 December 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Damien Hirst\'s 2013 Brit Award statue unveiled". BBC. 1 December 2016. * ^ Wrecksite: SS Britannia
Britannia
(+1941) * ^ Daily Mail 14 April 2011: "A thousand rather popular pubs..."

NOTES

* Allen, Stephen (2007). _Lords of Battle: The World of the Celtic Warrior_. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-948-7 . * Collingwood, Robin George (1998). _ Roman Britain
Roman Britain
and the English Settlements_. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. ISBN 0-8196-1160-3 . * Davies, Norman (2000). _The Isles a History_. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69283-7 . * Hewitt, Virginia. " Britannia
Britannia
(fl. 1st–21st cent.)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,_ online edition 2007, accessed 28 Aug 2011 * Snyder, Christopher (2003). _The Britons_. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22260-X . * M. Dresser (ed.), 'Britannia', Patriotism: the making and unmaking of British national identity, vol. 3 * R. Samuel, National fictions (1989), pp. 26–49 * Britannia
Britannia
depicta: quality, value and security, National Postal Museum (1993) * H. Mattingly, Nerva to Hadrian, reprint (1976), vol. 3 of Coins of the Roman empire in the British Museum * J. M. C. Toynbee, The Hadrianic school: a chapter in the history of Greek art (1974) * M. Henig, 'Britannia', _Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae _, 3/1 (1983), pp. 167–69 * K. T. Erim, 'A new relief showing Claudius
Claudius
and Britannia
Britannia
from Aphrodisias', Britannia, 13 (1982), pp. 277–81 * H. Peacham, Minerva
Minerva
Britannia, or, A garden of heroical devises (1612) * J. Thomson, Britannia: a poem (1729) * R. Strong, Gloriana, the portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (1987) * H. A. Atherton, Political prints in the age of Hogarth. A study of the ideographic representation of politics (1974)

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Media