The Black Romans — Articles on Black History

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septimus-ssWas Septimius Severus the 1st Black man to rule England?

Did you know that Black and Asian people first came to the North East in Roman times? Or that England was once ruled by a Libyan? These and many more historical facts were revealed as part of BBC Black History Month.

Early Black History

Emperor Septimius Severus wasn’t the only Black Roman in Britain. There were other African officers, soldiers … stationed on and around Hadrian’s Wall in the 3rd century.

Black Romans
Black Romans

From the 9th century onwards, there are records of Vikings bringing Moroccans to the region.

There’s a gap in the recording of black presence in the North East of England for nearly 400 years until the start of the 16th century.

Black and Asian presence in the North East of England can be traced back to Septimius Severus, a North African Libyan, who ruled England as Roman Emperor between 193-211 AD.

Severus was unique amongst the Roman emperors as being the first Black citizen to hold the highest office in the empire.

Lucius Septimus
Son of Septimus

The most celebrated example of an early Black presence in Britain is the case of the Roman military garrison on Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria.

A 4th century inscription tells us that the Roman auxiliary unit, Numerus Maurorum Aurelianorum, was stationed at Aballava, modern day Burgh-by-Sands.

This unit had been mustered in the Roman province of Mauretania in North Africa, modern Morocco.

septimus-severus click on image
septimus-severus
The Black Romans

Genetic evidence

It was recently suggested that African DNA might be found to be present in the local populations near to Hadrian’s Wall.

However, this would not conclusively show that the Black Roman soldiers on the wall intermarried with the local population because of the problem of ‘admixture’.

Admixture is a process whereby the DNA of a population becomes diluted over time and it cannot be shown at what period in time that dilution took place.

African Legacy

During his time in office, Septimius Severus legalised marriage during military service.

There is also evidence that that some Black Romans married, had children, and remained in Britain after their tour of duty.

Skeletons unearthed in a Romano British Cemetery outside York revealed the limb proportions of some of the men suggested that they were Black Africans.

Perhaps they might be considered to be Britain’s first Diaspora people, making Cumbria the birthplace of Black British history?

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136 thoughts on “The Black Romans — Articles on Black History”

  1. I hate fake post like this where black and whites pretend they dont know history; while they both lay claim to a history that is not theirs. Being black does not give you the right to claim a history. Royality was not defined by their color, but by their tribe and spiecies. This black and white is garbage. Yes all royality were pigminted people with melonan and were not white, but it does not mean that any African American, or African can lay claim to the history; just because their blacks. Their were black slaves and black kings. Please find your true history and claim what you are; You are not intitltled to others history based on your color.

  2. Blah Blah to most of these post but Kim I think you are really misunderstanding what this whole conversation is about. It’s not about peasants or nobility. It’s about flat out lies and deception in history ultimately leading to self-inflicted destruction amongst mankind. By any group taking away from another’s origin and ultimately effecting the closet real history of Mankind as we know it.
    Man knows little about the planet he inhabits let alone trying live in harmony with nature and the many people that live and die here.
    The one thing we fail to realize is that the most significant reality we know is that we have each other and the many amenities of Mother Earth “that we take poor advantage of” Once we die, we have no real clue what the hell happens after, only philosophical and theoretical crap “thus far” one thing for sure….your a** isn’t coming back at all or definitely not as you were ….Italian or African you once was so defy odds and make a difference by being different
    and it’s nothing wrong with us intermixing what is already intermixed from the beginning of time. If it wasn’t meant to be then it would like not be possible to procreate together so stop letting other zygote minded humans of the world tell you how to live unless it’s that of pure harmony and trueness
    Even with all being said, we must unite as people and be aware that we are all as one
    …..because when the sun begins to be no more fun…complete darkness will come ..so F**ck this conundrum ….we all are done son! Lol #TRUTH

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