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Ordovices

From Academic Kids

The Ordovices were one of the Celtic tribes living in the British Islands, before the Roman invasion of Britain. Its tribal lands were located in Wales between the Silures to the south and the Deceangli to the north. The Ordovices were conquered by the Roman governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola in the campaign of 77/78 AD.

The Ordovices were farmers and shepherds but had a strong military tradition and lived in fortified strongholds and hillforts. They were among the few British tribes that resisted the Roman invasion. The resistance was mainly organized by the Celtic leader Caratacus, exiled in their lands after the defeat of his tribe in the Battle of Medway. Caratacus became the warlord of the Ordovices and neighbouring Silures, and a Roman public enemy in the decade of 50. Following the Battle of Caer Caradock, where governor Publius Ostorius Scapula defeated Caratacus, the Ordovices stopped being a threat to Rome, probably due to heavy losses.

In the 70s, the Ordovices rebelled against Roman occupation and destroyed a cavalry squadron. This act of war provoked an equally strong response by Agricola, who, according to Tacitus, exterminated the whole tribe. This account is probably correct since no other mention of the tribe appears in the historical records.

The Ordovician geologic period was first described by Charles Lapworth in 1879 based on rocks located in the original lands of the Ordovices and was named after them.

See also: List of Celtic tribes

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