Nothing new under the sun

2014-09-13 14.50.51

In the UK we are about to vote on retaining, or abandoning, EU membership. Personally I’m happy to be a European but, there being nothing new under the sun, this has all happened before.

In the summer of AD 410 Britons were polled by emperor Constantine III on whether they wished to remain in the Roman Empire or not. Those wanting to leave, the ‘I’m British and proud of it’ campaign, believed they would be far better off without the need to pay imperial taxes, and were very disturbed by the emperor’s Saxon immigration policy. They claimed that 27 languages were already spoken in Londinium and they saw no reason to add English to the mix.

On the other hand the ‘Richer with Rome’ group believed the empire had maintained peace since Boudicca and had brought the populus baths, roads, Livy reading parties, and second declension nouns like populus. Industries were divided: potters voted to stay and wine makers (anticipating the medieval warm period) to leave.

In the event there was a narrow majority to stay, but unfortunately nobody had told the Saxons.


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