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The Roman Channel Crossing of A.D. 43

The constraints on Claudius’s naval strategy

Gerald Grainge


The academic consensus that the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 landed at Richborough, Kent, has been challenged in recent years. Proponents of the alternative hypothesis that it took place at or near Fishbourne, West Sussex, have claimed that this makes better sense of the account in the ancient sources. This volume asks what sense the Fishbourne hypothesis makes in terms of the options for the naval strategy of the crossing. After considering the respective archaeological and topographical contexts of the sites, the work discusses general logistical issues as well as the type of shAs available to the invading forces and assesses the evidence for their performance. The study concludes by looking at the choices facing the Roman naval planners of AD 43.