So the Romans came, conquered and left. Along the way they developed some close links with the rulers they found here. These client kings and queens saw benefits to allying themselves and their kingdoms with the new Roman forces. Gradually the Romans took over and blended their gods and goddesses with many of those that had existed in Albion before and the Pre – Roman age was slowly forgotten.
…But what if things had happened differently?
…What if the people of Albion had managed to overthrow their traitorous leaders and drive out the invaders?
The true history of Britain
One such client Queen was Cartimandua of the Brigante tribe. The Brigantes were the biggest tribe in Albion, their territory centred on what is now Yorkshire. A number of key figures rose up against the Romans, one of these was Caratacus of the Catuvellauni tribe. Defeated in Wales he fled to Cartimandua for protection but she put him in chains and handed him straight over to the Roman forces. This displeased the druids and her husband Venutius who turned against her. After their divorce Cartimandua married his charioteer Vellocatus and they ruled the kingdom together. In AD69 Venutius made his second attempt to overthrow his ex wife. The Romans, facing revolts in various parts of their enormous kingdom could only spare minimal forces to send to her aid. They lost the battle but managed to get Cartimandua out of the kingdom, her name then disappears from history. Venutius only held the kingdom briefly before the Romans defeated him and took control of the area.
The alternate history of Albion
Venutius was a successful ruler of the Brigante nation. He not only defeated Cartimandua and her Roman allies he also went on to unite the tribes and drive the whole Roman army off Albion’s shores. Cartimandua was never heard of again but she had in fact made it safely to Rome, where her hatred of the Brigante people grew and festered. Through a network of spies in the Votadini lands to the North East they kept an eye on the throne and waited. Now the royal line is about to die out and Cartimandua’s line has a chance to return.
These ‘what ifs?’
It is one of the great joys of writing that we can get to explore these ‘what ifs’ in as many different ways as we want. There are so many alternatives to choose from after all. In the Albion Chronicles I used as much fact as possible to bring the story forward from that one known battle in AD69. In doing so I aimed to keep the development of the nation in line with how it may have been without such a strong Roman influence. Of course some of these influences would still have entered the country, coming over with the trade that would have continued from the continent. I have also allowed some leeway with certain aspects of life and dress, after all what is the point of an alternative history if everything is exactly the same? To me there is far too much negativity placed on the pre Roman people of our land. We are seen as being much greater people for having had such an advanced nation rule us for a time. I love the idea that in this series I can say – ‘hang on a minute, we were doing just fine on our own and we can prove it.’
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