Roman province from 43-ca. 410, when Honorios (q.v.) informed Britain that it must see to its own defense against the Saxons, who had menaced the province's southern shore since the third century. Constantius Chlorus, father of Constantine I the Great (qq.v.), ruled Britain after defeating the usurper Allectus in 296. The decline began in 367-368 with what Ammianus Marcellinus (q.v.) calls the "barbarian conspiracy," simultaneous attacks by Picts, Scots, Attacotti, and Saxons. A Roman army from abroad was transported to Britain to restore order. In the last decade of the fourth century the raids of Picts and Scots were so sustained that Stilicho (q.v.) was forced to mount an expedition to Britain. Despite this, Honorios withdrew military forces from the island. Nevertheless, trade continued throughout the Early Middle Ages, as demonstrated by the Sutton Hoo Treasure (sixth or seventh century in date) from the ship-tomb of a king of East Anglia, consisting of exquisite silver objects of Byzantine manufacture. Byzantine cultural and religious influence persisted as well. Examples of this include Theodore of Tarsos (q.v.), archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), also Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), which mentions events in faraway Constantinople (q.v.). Following the Norman conquest in 1066, Anglo-Saxon soldiers filled the ranks of the Varangian Guard (q.v.) and diplomatic activity increased. In 1400 Manuel II Palaiologos (q.v.) visited England in an attempt to secure aid against the advancing Ottomans (q.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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