Why did Julius Caesar go to Britain? What was his legacy there?

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erraunt1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People in antiquity had long known of Britain, which was connected to the Mediterranean, principally through the tin trade. This trade was significant to the various Celts in Gaul whom Caesar had been fighting in the Gallic wars and the ongoing conflict had disrupted trade from the island. Caesar wrote that because of the close cultural and economic connection Gallic Celts had to those in Britain they called on them for aid.  This brought the Celtic Britains into Caesar's view and led to his two expeditions to the island. While Caesar won some victories there and affected local politics, siding with Mandubracius and ensuring his succession for instance, this did not leave much of a legacy on the island. His time in Britain was brief and his army never strayed far from the coast.  Perhaps the most important legacy was the information he brought back to Rome from the 'edge of the world' that was 1st century BCE Britain. His geographical, ethnographic and other observations, while based on very limited experience, were interesting to Roman audiences and perhaps planted the seeds for Roman conquest during the following century.

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