Episode 19: The Romanization of Britain

The Roman Empire emerges following the death of Julius Caesar.  Emperor Claudius sets his sights on Britain, and the native Celtic culture becomes Romanized.  We look at the evolution of Latin words related to law, money and social classes.


6 thoughts on “Episode 19: The Romanization of Britain

  1. Loving your podcast so far. I’ve always had an interest in etymology, so I’m just eating it up!
    Just one correction for you. Your mention of the French phrase, “bon marché”, is spelled with the “accent aigu” or acute accent, making the word pronounced, mar-SHAY.

  2. In the UK, I don’t know about the US, the word ‘pleb’ is used pejoratively to refer to someone who is seen as vulgar or common. The user of such a word would usually be considered to be snooty.

  3. love the podcast.. but I don’t think the ‘Scots’ were in ” Scotland’ when the Romans. turned up.. this Scoti coming to Scotland happened much later.. also we well as the Scots and irish hanging to their Celtic culture. I think the welsh also have a strong argument for that. although as lousy they were romanised to a lesser extend than SE England. indeed 20% of Wales still speak the ancient Celtic language of Britain.. apart from that Love it!

    • Believe it or not, the word “justice” and Justinian are not directly related to each other. The Latin root of “justice’ pre-dated Justinian, and I think Justinian adopted his well-known name at some point during his life. It appears to have been derived from the name of a relative.

  4. Enjoying the podcast, thanks for all the work!

    Minor correction: the Joachimsthaler was not minted in ‘the area we know today as Germany’. As you correctly noted, the mine (and mint) was in Bohemia, specifically in Jachýmov (which is just a Slavicisation of the old German name). Since Hitler lost the war, we know this area today as Czech Republic, not Germany.

    Since I’m here, I’ll leave you with some etymology. The Czech word for ‘coin’ is ‘mince’, which also stems ultimately from Latin ‘moneta’ (via German). The word for currency, ‘měna’, is superficially similar, but in fact is unrelated and comes from the verb ‘to change’, as in ‘unit of exchange’. The word for ‘money’ is ‘peníze’ which, despite stemming from a proto-Slavic word, is believed to have probably been originally borrowed from an early Germanic language, and to be cognate with English ‘penny’.

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