February 17, 2013
Julius Caesar: A Man of Kent.
Ex his omnibus longe sunt humanissimi qui Cantium incolunt, quae regio est maritima omnis, neque multum a Gallica differunt consuetudine.
By far the most civilised are they who dwell in Kent, which is entirely a maritime region, and who differ but little from the Gauls in their customs.
Like London, and the County of Suffolk to the north, from where my mother's family came to Massachusetts via Ipswich 376 years ago, I am in love with Kent, mainly the eastern part. The County of Kent is the southeastern doorway to the British Isles--it has even more history, legend and myth than London.
Latecomer Julius Caesar, who first invaded Kent in 55 BC, called it Cantium, home of the Cantiaci. You can read about them here in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Do remember when you read the Commentaries that Caesar--a WAC/WAP favorite who was very good at several careers--was always running for office, or answering his political enemies, and would not come into his full power until 49 BC. Take him seriously but always with silos of salt. A politician-warrior first and writer-historian second.
Augustine founded what became the Anglican Church in Kent in about 600 AD. Thomas Becket, Chaucer's "holy blissful martyr" and, despite all the hype, quite a politician himself, was killed here, at Canterbury, in 1170.
Posted by JD Hull at February 17, 2013 11:59 PM