(c. 39-93AD)


Cnaeus Julius Agricola was a Roman general and governor of the province of Britannia from 78-84AD. He is credited with overseeing the final conquest of Britain.

In a series of annual military campaigns Agricola put down revolts in north Wales, subdued the Brigantes tribe in the north, extended Roman control over the Scottish lowlands, where he established a string of forts between the Forth and the Clyde, sent troops into Galloway, and made inroads into the eastern Highlands. During the latter campaign his vessels were the first to circumnavigate the islands.

In 83 or 84AD Agricola met the Caledonian war leader Calgacus in a major battle at Mons Graupius. The Caledonians attempted to attack the Roman line from the rear but were routed by Agricola's reserve cavalry. According to Roman reports Calgacus' men suffered 10,000 dead compared to but 360 Romans casualties. The actual site of Mons Graupius is not known.

Shortly after this last triumph, Agricola was recalled to Rome by Domitian, perhaps because of jealousy over Agricola's successes and his growing reputation. He never returned to Britain, but was sent to quell disturbances on the Danube frontier.

Agricola's life and exploits were later made famous in the biography written by his son-in-law Tacitus.

[NOTE: Agricola's name is sometimes spelled "Gnaeus" rather than "Cnaeus"]