Croeso! My name is Brân. Come with me to find out more about how the Silures live.
I live with my tribe in the Hillfort at Llanmelin. Our village is protected by ditches and ramparts. We need to be safe from our enemies. We Britons are used to fighting. We fight other tribes for cattle, for iron and for slaves.
Our chieftain leads our warriors in battle. We are very brave. Before the battle we paint ourselves with blue dye so that our enemies will be afraid. We make the dye from a plant called woad. Warriors smear lime through their hair to make it spiky. Some wear decorated bronze helmets. They carry shields for protection and fight with swords and spears. In battle, we try to prove who is the bravest. We stand proud, daring the enemy to fight.
After the battle, the warriors bring everything they have captured back to the fort. If any enemies are caught, they are fastened in chains. They will work for us, or we might trade them for more iron.
The Druid is the wise person of the tribe. This can be a man or a woman. They tell us how to give thanks to the gods at our sacred lake. We gather together the weapons of our enemies. We bend the swords and break the spears, so that they can never be used again. Then we throw them into the water. We then have a feast and animals are sacrificed. We do all this to please our gods.
A new enemy called the Romans have come to fight us. These people have crossed the sea. Their armies are bigger than those we have fought before. So far they’ve conquered every | tribe they’ve met. The Roman Empire is huge. Each of theirlegions is made up of 6,000 soldiers, called . The soldiers wearhelmets and armour protects their bodies.
The soldiers always obey the orders of their centurion. They fight together as a team. The shield is very important. It is big enough to protect the soldier’s body. Shields are used in different ways. Sometimes, the soldiers march forward together in lines, using their shields like a wall. They push their enemies out of the way by stabbing with their short swords. This is called a wedge formation. When they are attacking hillforts, they use a tortoise formation, so that stones and spears thrown from above cannot hurt them. Different formations are used for different kinds of fighting.
Now the Romans have reached the land of the Silures. Let’s find out more about when the Romans came to Wales.