Jump to navigation Jump to search For the province of the Roman Empire, see Roman Britain. In the 2nd century, Roman Britannia came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet. A British cultural icon, she was featured on all modern British coinage series until the redesign in 2008, romans de l’émigration (1797-1803) PDF still appears annually on the gold and silver « Britannia » bullion coin series.
2 coin was issued, with a new image of Britannia. The first writer to use a form of the name was the Greek explorer and geographer Pytheas in the 4th century BC. Pytheas referred to Prettanike or Brettaniai, a group of islands off the coast of North-Western Europe. Although emperor Claudius is commonly attributed with the creation and unification of the province of Britannia in 43 AD, Julius Caesar had already established Roman authority over the Southern and Eastern Britain dynasties during his two expeditions to the island in 55 and 54 BC. The Roman conquest of the island began in AD 43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province known in Latin as Britannia. After the Roman withdrawal, the term « Britannia » remained in use in Britain and abroad.
Latin was ubiquitous amongst native Brythonic writers and the term continued in the Welsh tradition that developed from it. The modern English, French, Breton and Gallo names for the area, all derive from a literal use of Britannia meaning « land of the Britons ». It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that « Britannia » came to be viewed as a personification of Britain. With the death of Elizabeth in 1603 came the succession of her Scottish cousin, James VI, King of Scots, to the English throne. Britain’s first road atlas was updated in a series of editions titled from the early 18th into the early 19th century using the title Britannia Depicta. British power, which depended on a liberal political system and the supremacy of the navy, lent these attributes to the image of Britannia. By the time of Queen Victoria, Britannia had been renewed.
Neptune is shown symbolically passing his trident to Britannia in the 1847 fresco « Neptune Resigning to Britannia the Empire of the Sea » by William Dyce, a painting Victoria commissioned for her Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. New Zealanders adopted a similar personification of their country in Zealandia, Britannia’s daughter, who appeared on postage stamps at the turn of the 20th century and still features in the New Zealand Coat of Arms. In this depiction, Britannia’s association with the sea is provided by her holding an anchor, an attribute usually represented by Poseidon’s Trident. Perhaps the best analogy is that Britannia is to the United Kingdom and the British Empire what Marianne is to France or perhaps what Columbia is to the United States.
Britannia became a very potent and more common figure in times of war, and represented British liberties and democracy. In the spring of 2008, the Royal Mint unveiled new coin designs « reflecting a more modern twenty-first century Britain » which do not feature the image of Britannia. 2 coin was issued in 2015, with a new image of Britannia. 50 coin was produced, bearing the image of Britannia on one side and Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. A 1952 Bank of England five pound note or « white fiver » showing Britannia in the top left corner.
1855 for more than a century, until 1957. From 1928 « Britannia Series A » ten shilling and one pound notes were printed with a seated Britannia bearing both a spear and an olive branch. A 1922 King George V Seahorses postage stamp, featuring Britannia with an Irish Free State overprint. 10 stamp first issued in 1993. The Britannia watermark has been widely used in papermaking, usually showing her seated. An example can be found at papermoulds. Britannia is depicted in the Brit Award statuette, the British Phonographic Industry’s annual music awards.
Britannia silver, a high-grade alloy of silver introduced in Britain in 1697. Britannia coins, a series of British gold bullion coins issued since 1987, which have nominal values of 100, 50, 25, and 10 pounds. HMS Britannia, any of eight vessels of the Royal Navy. HMY Britannia, King George V’s famed racing yacht, scuttled in 1936. Britannia Royal Naval College, the Royal Navy’s officer training college. The former Royal Yacht Britannia, the Royal Family’s personal yacht, recently retired in Leith, Edinburgh Scotland.