On Tuesday, Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) questioned the historical accuracy of the BBC’s “Life in Roman Britain” video series, which claimed to provide an “exploration of life in Roman Britain shown through the eyes of a typical family.” The problem is that the “typical family” depicted is a Sub-Saharan African Roman, a seemingly European wife, and mixed-race children. Naturally, Watson questioned whether or not such a depiction was actually representative of a “typical family” in, again, Roman Britain, not Roman Africa. A number of liberals did what they always do, which was to accuse Watson of racism, because even daring to think that a “typical family” in Europe more than 1,500 years ago would have been European is bigoted. Of the liberals, one stood above the crowd—Mike Stuchbery (@MikeStuchbery_), a grade school teacher famously known for leaving his job after causing disruptions at Lynn Grove High School, in Gorleston, Norfolk, because he thinks people have a right to “feel safe” (Source). The reason Mr. Stuchbery stood above the rest is that he engaged in his own little “tweet storm” that began with accusations of head injuries and mouth-breathing, ended with “Get f—ed” and accusations of fascism, and had claims supporting the BBC’s depiction in between. This led to The Telegraph declaring, “Alt-right commentator gets ‘schooled’ by historian” (Source), Teen Vogue claiming that “British historian gives Alt-Right commentator a history lesson” (Source), and Metro regurgitating, “Alt-right commentator gets shut down by historian” (Source).
Based on the reaction, one would have to assume that Mr. Stuchbery is an academically trained historian par excellence and that he pelted Mr. Watson with academic source after academic source, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that a “typical family” in Roman Britain is indeed represented by a Sub-Saharan African, Romano-British wife, and biracial children. Of course, this is the echo chamber of liberal social media and liberal media (a bit redundant these days), so the truth is quite different. For example, per LinkedIn, this premiere British historian only has an undergraduate education with his primary focus being in English, having received a Bachelor of Arts with a dual major in History and English Literature and a Bachelor of Teaching in Secondary Humanities and English, both from the University of Melbourne (Source). To really highlight his actual specialty, over the 14-year period from 2003-2017, Mr. Stuchbery spent 6 years, 8 months, teaching English at the grade school level with an additional 1 year, 7 months, teaching English and geography as a substitute teacher (Ibid.). Missing from his record is any trace of him teaching history at even a middle school level, and his academic qualifications would not even allow him to teach a remedial history class at the university level. That has not stopped him, however, from serving as an “occasional columnist” for a few outlets, writing on both education and history. On Twitter, he also lists himself as “Historian, Educator” without qualification. It seems “historian” is a title easily doled out and accepted amongst leftists.
Now, to the substance of the disagreement, Mr. Stuchbery made a total of six primary claims:
- Roman Britain was ethnically diverse, almost by design.
- There are accounts of North African and Middle Eastern soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall.
- Every major camp in the province would have a ‘vicus’, a settlement where wives, children, slaves, and tradesmen lived, many having traveled with the legion.
- Provincial governors posted to Britannia took slaves with them, and some of those slaves would have been gifted freedom.
- London, as the capital of the province, was especially diverse.
- Archaeological evidence has repeatedly shown that Roman Britain was diverse.
As evidence for his claims, he offered an article about a blue-eyed Mediterranean girl who died in Roman London and whose maternal ancestry pointed to Southeast Europe and the Near East (Source), another on a Roman woman who died in Britannia (Source), another on a woman where the assessment “suggests a mixture of ‘black’ and ‘white’ ancestral traits” and that she “may have migrated to York from somewhere warmer, possibly the Mediterranean” (Source), and a 1984 book by a Marxist with no academic qualifications in the field of history or any other field (Source). It should not need to be said that these sources are beyond lacking, but neither the liberal media nor the liberal masses seem to care. After all, two Roman women from the Mediterranean are hardly examples of “diversity” in the sense that liberals mean, and the third woman might have been biracial, may have migrated from somewhere else, possibly the Mediterranean, and may have been North African. One wonders how many qualifiers can be applied to one subject before any conclusion must be questioned on its face. Firm conclusions such as the article itself, and, subsequently, Mr. Stuchbery, claiming “evidence of ‘upper class’ Africans living in Roman York.” Noticeably absent from the provided sources is clear and decisive evidence that Roman Britain was diverse, by design or otherwise, that every major Roman outpost would have seen “diversity” brought with the legions, that governors of Britannia were importing and releasing Africans, that archaeological evidence has shown diversity, and so on.
First, let us address the issue of “Moors” on Hadrian’s Wall. It is true that an inscription dated to the fourth century AD refers to a “numerus of Aurelian Moors” along Hadrian’s Wall in the far north of England, and it is also true that liberals with an agenda have said that they “[believe] many would have settled [in England] and raised families” and that the Moors “would probably have wanted more permanent relationships [with local women]” in addition to visiting brothels (Source). In other words, we are to believe that the Roman Legions marched into England with Sub-Saharan African soldiers, and those soldiers then took English brides and remained in England. Of course, we must note the use of words such as “believe” and “probably” because they expose that liberals are reading their desires into history. For example, the term “numerus” referred to an irregular unit drawn from foreigners that was used “on the frontiers… to patrol less populated regions and to protect convoys” (Source), and they could include anywhere from 100 to 1,000 men (Source). Additionally, the so-called “Moors” would have been Mauri tribesmen from Roman Mauretania, modern-day Morocco (Source), not Sub-Saharan Africans or the Arabs who would come centuries later with the spread of Islam. It is not known how many Mauri tribesmen were present at Aballava in the far north of England, but the fort could have held no more than 500 men, hardly a grand horde of Africans changing England forever.
Secondly, let’s consider the idea put forth by Mr. Stuchbery that the Roman Legions brought with them not only non-European soldiers but also wives, children, and tradesmen. For example, it is known that Legio II Augusta, Legio IX Hispana, Legio XIV Gemina, and Legio XX Valeria Victrix were used in the initial invasion of Britain in the first century AD. The Second Legion would remain until the third century, having served from Gloucester to Hadrian’s Wall. The Fourteenth Legion would only remain for a relatively short time before returning to the continent. The Twentieth Legion was perhaps still in Britain as late as the early 5th century, albeit not consistently having likely taken part in campaigns on the continent. The Ninth Legion was stationed at York until AD 108 when it was relieved by the additional Legio VI Victrix, which would also serve on Hadrian’s Wall. What stands out about the Second, Sixth, Ninth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth Legions is that they were all formed in Europe, all but the Spanish Ninth being Italian in origin. Additionally, these legions had previously served in Europe, not North Africa or the Near East, which raises an obvious question: namely, Where would Italian and Spanish soldiers who had been serving in Italy, Spain, and Germany have acquired a slew of African or Middle Eastern wives, children, and slaves? Simply asserting that it might have or could have maybe happened possibly is not evidence of anything despite what liberals seem to think.
To further reiterate the point of how trivial the alleged influx of Africans and Asians was, let us look beyond the guesses, estimates, and assumptions of the liberals and instead look to modern genetic evidence. For example, AncestryDNA looked at the genomes of two million people worldwide to see the percentage of their ethnic makeup, and, in the Northeast and Northwest of England (where Hadrian’s Wall was located), the average person today is at least 98% and 97% European [only ethnicities of 1% or more are shown], respectively (Source). We can also see the average person from Yorkshire and Humber—home of Roman York—is at least 96% European. Compare this with the East of England (94%), East Midlands (96%), West Midlands (96%), Southeast (95%), and Southwest (95%), as well as Northern Ireland (95%), Scotland (97%), and Wales (96%). In other words, the parts of England that supposedly were “ethnically diverse” are no more diverse than the rest of the British Isles today. Are we to believe that the entirety of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales was home to Africans and Asians in the past? Indeed, the only non-European result that even warrants mention in the AncestryDNA study is Jewish, and that only rises to 1.51% in England and 1% in Wales. These numbers are despite modern mass immigration that is known to have occurred within the last century or so. Indeed, it is worth noting that not only are the British lacking in non-European DNA but they are also what we’d expect—Celtic and Anglo-Saxon—according to a study that appeared in Nature (Source):
Romans, Vikings and Normans all invaded Britain, but left surprisingly little genetic trace. The influence of the Anglo-Saxons, however, shows up across England… Given the cultural significance of the Roman, Viking and Norman invasions, it’s surprising they didn’t leave greater genetic legacy. For the Romans and Normans, that may be because they were ruling elites who didn’t intermarry with the natives.
Were the Romans themselves somehow less prevalent than whatever supposed Africans and Asians that they maybe possibly could have brought with them? Were Roman soldiers less likely to settle down and marry locally than supposed Africans and Asians that they maybe possibly could have brought with them? If not, then why did the Africans and Asians leave virtually no genetic trace while the Romans left “surprisingly little”? Where is the evidence that even remotely suggests that we should assume that Roman Britain was “diverse” wherein a “typical family” was non-European? The obvious truth—despite what liberals such as Mr. Stuchbery claim—is that Britain was not “diverse” unless one counts Celtic, Germanic, and Italic as “diversity.” The genetic findings regarding Roman Britain fit with the fact that England was only home to 15,000 blacks in 1770 (Source), which represented only 0.21% of the population of England and Wales in 1771 (Source). Another obvious truth is that neither the BBC nor Mr. Stuchbery care about these realities because they are motivated by political ideology, not a search for truth. That is why the BBC can depict Scottish Picts as Sub-Saharan Africans and present the signing of the Magna Carta as a meeting of the United Nations, and that is why Mr. Stuchbery has been attacking people who question it, even if they themselves are not white (Source). History is only important insofar as it can be used to further their agenda including immigration.
|Scottish Picts according to the BBC|
|King John of England meets with his English, Asian, and African nobles to sign the Magna Carta|