The Info List - Britannia Superior

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Britannia Superior ( Latin
for "Upper Britain") was one of the provinces of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
created around AD 197 by Emperor Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
immediately after winning a civil war against Clodius Albinus, a war fought to determine who would be the next emperor. Albinus was the governor of Britannia during that civil war. Severus divided the pre-existing province of Britannia into two parts, the other being Britannia Inferior to the north with its capital at Eboracum, or modern York. Britannia Superior was the southern province of the two, with its capital at Londinium, or what is today London. Epigraphic evidence has shed some light on the extent of Upper Britain and it encompassed all of what is now Southern England
Southern England
as well as Wales
and East Anglia. However, the official boundary between Britannia Superior and Inferior is still unclear. Most information that is gathered for this region during this time period from about the 2nd to the 3rd century is from inscriptions left upon pots, walls, and letters written by the citizens and soldiers. Approximately a century later, around the year 293, the province was divided into Britannia Prima
Britannia Prima
(with a capital at Cirencester) in the west and Maxima Caesariensis
Maxima Caesariensis
(with a capital at Londinium) in the east. This was done by Emperor Diocletian
to make administrative responsibilities over the region more efficient. Londinium[edit] During the civil war between Severus and Albinus, Albinus ordered the construction of a defending wall around Londinium. These walls were approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) high. Though the whole of the time that Britannia Superior existed Londinium
was its centre for commerce and government, with the governor residing within the city. The Governors[edit] The Governors of Upper Britain were generally of consular rank, including the following:

Tiberius Julius Pollienus Auspex, 223-226 Caius Junius Faustinus Postumianus, sometime between 227-235 Rufinus (not his complete name), ?. Could have been one of a few men. Marcus Martiannius Pulcher, ?. He is believed to have undertaken restoration projects around the city in peacetimes. Titus Desticius Juba, 250s

However, not a lot is known about each governor as individuals, or if even this is the entire list of governors for the province from the time of its creation to its dissolution. See also[edit]

Britannia Inferior ("Lower Britain")


Southern, Pat (2001). Roman Empire From Severus to Constantine. Routledge Watson, George (1969). The Roman Soldier. Ithaca: Cornell University Press The Cambridge Ancient History Volume XII (2005). Second Edition, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

External links[edit]


Map of both Britannia Superior and Inferior compared to what they became as the Four Provinces of Britannia

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Provinces of Roman Britain

AD 43 – c. 197


(Colchester) Londinium

c. 197 – c. 296

Britannia Superior


Britannia Inferior


c. 296 – c. 410

Britannia I

Corinium Dobunnorum? (Cirencester)

Britannia II

Eboracum? (York)

Flavia Caesariensis

Lindum Colonia? (Lincoln)

Maxima Caesariensis

Londinium? (London)

c. 369 – c. 410


Luguvalium? (Carlisle) Deva Victrix? (Chester) Habitancum? (Risingham)

Apocryphal provinces

Vespasiana Orcades

Placenames in brackets are present-day names Question marks denote uncertain associations

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Late Roman provinces (4th–7th centuries AD)


As found in the Notitia Dignitatum. Provincial administration reformed and dioceses established by Diocletian, c. 293. Permanent praetorian prefectures established after the death of Constantine I. Empire permanently partitioned after 395. Exarchates of Ravenna and Africa established after 584. After massive territorial losses in the 7th century, the remaining provinces were superseded by the theme system in c. 640–660, although in Asia Minor and parts of Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.

Western Empire (395–476)

Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul

Diocese of Gaul

Alpes Poeninae et Graiae Belgica I Belgica II Germania I Germania II Lugdunensis I Lugdunensis II Lugdunensis III Lugdunensis IV Maxima Sequanorum

Diocese of Vienne1

Alpes Maritimae Aquitanica I Aquitanica II Narbonensis I Narbonensis II Novempopulania Viennensis

Diocese of Spain

Baetica Balearica Carthaginensis Gallaecia Lusitania Mauretania Tingitana Tarraconensis

Diocese of the Britains

Britannia I Britannia II Flavia Caesariensis Maxima Caesariensis Valentia (?)

Praetorian Prefecture of Italy

Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy

Apulia et Calabria Campania Corsica Lucania et Bruttii Picenum
Suburbicarium Samnium Sardinia Sicilia Tuscia et Umbria Valeria

Diocese of Annonarian Italy

Alpes Cottiae Flaminia et Picenum
Annonarium Liguria et Aemilia Raetia I Raetia II Venetia et Istria

Diocese of Africa2

Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana) Byzacena Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Sitifensis Numidia Cirtensis Numidia Militiana Tripolitania

Diocese of Pannonia3

Dalmatia Noricum mediterraneum Noricum ripense Pannonia I Pannonia II Savia Valeria ripensis

Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)

Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum

Diocese of Dacia

Dacia Mediterranea Dacia Ripensis Dardania Moesia I Praevalitana

Diocese of Macedonia

Achaea Creta Epirus Nova Epirus Vetus Macedonia Prima Macedonia II Salutaris Thessalia

Praetorian Prefecture of the East

Diocese of Thrace5

Europa Haemimontus Moesia II4 Rhodope Scythia4 Thracia

Diocese of Asia5

Asia Caria4 Hellespontus Insulae4 Lycaonia
(370) Lycia Lydia Pamphylia Pisidia Phrygia Pacatiana Phrygia Salutaris

Diocese of Pontus5

Armenia I5 Armenia II5 Armenia Maior5 Armenian Satrapies5 Armenia III
Armenia III
(536) Armenia IV
Armenia IV
(536) Bithynia Cappadocia I5 Cappadocia II5 Galatia I5 Galatia II Salutaris5 Helenopontus5 Honorias5 Paphlagonia5 Pontus Polemoniacus5

Diocese of the East5

Arabia Cilicia I Cilicia II Cyprus4 Euphratensis Isauria Mesopotamia Osroene Palaestina I Palaestina II Palaestina III Salutaris Phoenice I Phoenice II Libanensis Syria I Syria II Salutaris Theodorias (528)

Diocese of Egypt5

Aegyptus I Aegyptus II Arcadia Augustamnica I Augustamnica II Libya Superior Libya Inferior Thebais Superior Thebais Inferior

Other territories

Taurica Quaestura exercitus (536) Spania

1 Later the Septem Provinciae 2 Re-established after reconquest by the Eastern Empire in 534 as the separate Prefecture of Africa 3 Later the Diocese of Illyricum 4 Placed under the Quaestura exercitus in 536 5 Affected (i.e. boundaries modified, abolished or renamed) by Justinian I's administrative reorganization in 534–536

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