The Roman attack on Anglesey 60AD
Anglesey’s strategic importance was clearly significant. It was a place of refuge for dissenters, and had considerable agricu...ltural and mineral wealth, but the main incentive for the campaign seems to have been the desire to destroy the druids last major outpost . The Romans legions XIV and XX attacked Mona with a level of brutality and ferocity rarely seen elsewhere in their conquest of Britain, such was their determination to wipe out the druids. It is thought that the Romans crossed the Menai Straits at low tide, when there was only a narrow strip of water between Anglesey and the mainland. Although they were initially cowed by their superstitions, urging from their commanders soon led them to inflict a bloody slaughter on the the defending Deceangli force , making especially sure to kill the druids, destroy their sacred groves, and cover their altars with the blood and entrails of British captives. Before the victory over the Deceangli can be secured, however, Paulinus is forced to abandon the campaign and rush his troops eastwards to deal with the massive rebellion led by queen Boudicca.
The attack is documented by Tacitus.
"Ranks of warriors lined the Anglesey shore, urged on by their women, shrieking like furies, dressed in burial black, while druids, with arms outstretched to heaven, cursed the invaders."
"The legionnaries doffed their clothes and swam naked across the Menai Straights to do battle with the druid-led Celts.