The Demetae were a small, disorganized British tribe in the most western reaches of Britannia Secunda. They were too opposed to one another to offer any significant resistance to the Romans, but Roman rule didn’t change their lives very much. Petty lords continued to hold power on the local scale, and continued to feud with one another. Rome never controlled their territory well enough to quell their fighting, or turn the local lords into proper Roman magistrates. The gold mine at Luentinum was the only significant Roman industry in the territory. So long as the gold continued to arrive on time, the Romans paid little attention to the squabblings of the Demetian lords.

The Romans established the tribal civitas at Moridunum Demetarum, a fort they established in 75 AD on top of an older Iron Age hillfort. The town had baths, a mansio, and one of only a handful of amphitheaters that the Romans ever built on the island.

In true Roman fashion, Magnus Maximus took advantage of the realities in the territory of the Demetae, using the official sanction of Rome to turn it to his advantage. For years, people from southern Ireland called the Déisi had been moving into Demetae territory, some as settlers, some as merchants, and some as raiders. As with the Romans centuries before, the Demetae remained too fractious to oppose the Irish settlers, and Rome lacked the military power to expel them. Instead, the emperor accepted some of those who had come peacefully as foederati, allied to Rome. The Déisi, expelled from Ireland, were eager to accept the romanitas that the emperor Maximus offered to them. They spoke Irish and Latin, took Latin names, and though they retained the druidic beliefs of their homeland, they considered themselves fellow Britons, and citizens of the Rome.

When the Revolution happened a quarter century later, the leader of the Déisi, Aëtius the Stout, rose to prominence. He never took the title of “king,” though, only the military titles of Protector and Tribune.

Impending Issue: Liberation of the Demetae

While the Demetae had no tribal royal line, Agricola claims descent from an ancient and prestigious noble lineage, and he controls Moridunum. He has raised an insurrection against Valerian mac Aed, the son of Aëtius the Stout and reigning Protector of Dyfed, claiming that Valerian is a foreign tyrant. While Dyfed was never very romanized, those elements most loyal to Rome have rallied behind Agricola. Most of his support, though, comes from local lords who think they could profit from a change in leadership.

Face: Agricola



Restitutor Orbis Jason