a: Great Britain

b: The personification of Great Britain (looks like Athena) (similar to Uncle Sam in the States)

c: One of the continents of the shattered world of Sosaria in the Ultima CRPGs It is the only world in Ultimas 3-7.1, 9 and Ultima Underworld, It shares 1-2 and Ultima Underworld 2 with other worlds/continents, 7.2 and 8 do not take place in Britannia at all. Britannia is ruled by Lord British who is actualy from Earth.
Britannia has eight major cities: Other towns and landmarks include: Several islands without towns sit off the coast. Eight dungeons hold evil monsters and provide a route to the underworld. All locations are as of Ultima 7, with aditional info from Ultima 9.


"Strive to become King of England in this battle game for control of Britain"

Britannia is a strategy board game published by Avalon Hill. Play starts at the Roman invasion in 45 AD, and continues until the aftemath of Battle of Hastings and Battle of Stamford Bridge (both 1066), ending in 1085 AD. The players take control over various nations, fighting for control over Britain in its historically most turbulent times.

Each nation (Romans, Romano-British, Belgae, Welsh, Brigantes, Picts, Caledonians, Irish, Scots, Norsemen, Dubliners, Danes, Jutes, Norwegians, Saxons, Angles and Normans) has its own agenda, based on its historical extent in time and space. They are divided in a specific way between the four players*, so that each nation is "surrounded" by opposing nations. This way, the nations are forced to think about their own goals, rather than the overall goals of the player (there are execptions to this).

The gameboard is a map over England, Scotland and Wales (with expansions adding Ireland, AFAIK). Each country is divided into areas, which the various peoples get points for holding. You also score points for killing specific enemies, or specific historical persons.

In my opinion, this is one of the best games made by Avalon Hill. It is very well balanced, and allows for many different strategies by each player. And even though the first three turns may seem hopeless to the non-Roman players, they each get other major invasions in turn. Luck enters the picture (as in many games), but it doesn't control the game completely. On the downside, it is all but impossible to decide who is winning before the game ends, making it impractical to stop the game short of its 4-5 hour playing time. All in all, a very recommended game.

*) It is possible to play with three or five players as well. Personally, I haven't tried playing with five, but the three player game is definitely unbalanced. Your nations simply become to close to each other, and can quite easily cooperate. If you are three players, play G.O.O.T.M.U. instead.

What the Romans called Britain, borrowing the name, as with much else, from the Greeks. In the main the Romans wrote it as Britannia following Caesar's example, but subsequent writers sometimes preferred Brittania and the use of the forms Brittannia and Britania is not unknown. (1)

There is no certainty regarding the derivation of the name, whether it was an invention of the Greeks or derived from the name given to the island by the natives.(2)

It was in the first century, under the emperor Claudius that the island of Britain became the Roman province of Britannia, following the successfull invasion of 43 AD. (3) By the end of the second century, the island was divided into two provinces named Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. A century later the Diocletian reforms created four provinces,

  • Britannia Prima,
  • Britannia Secunda,
  • Flavia Caesiensis and
  • Maxima Caesiensis
which combined to form the diocese of the Britains, part of the Gallic prefecture. This political entity of the British diocese was known in its plural form as Britanniae, or "the Britains", referring to the multiplicity of provinces.

Technically speaking therefore, Britannia should refer to the geographical island of Britain, whereas Britanniae should be used to refer to the political entity of Roman Britain. However the Romans were apparently, inconsistent in their usage, and often used Britannia to mean either or both.


(1) Which makes me, at least feel a whole lot better. I've had a devil of a job trying to remember how many 't's and 'n's are in the damn word. It also explains why its De Excidio Britanniae but Historia Brittonum.

(2) Some have argued that the name is a derivation from "pict". (Based on an unsupported idea of the Picts as the "original" inhabitants.) But it takes some leap of the imagination to think that "pict" could ever be converted into "brit" or event "prit"

(3) Although the Caledonian highlands always remained outside the sphere of direct Roman control, and remained under the dominion of the Picts.However precisely where we can place the boundary between Roman and Pictish territory is a matter of debate.

And even a fifth province Valentia, although the only source for this is, I believe the Notitia dignitatum, so no one is quite sure what part of Britain it was.

The Britannia was one of the first flagships of the then newly formed Cunard Company, later to become what is known today as the Cunard Line.

Name - Britannia
Years in Service - 1840 – 1880
Gross Tonnage - 1,135
Dimensions - 63.09 x 10.36m
Number of funnels - 1
Number of masts - 3
Construction – Wood
Propulsion - Paddle
Engines - Side lever, two
Service speed - 9 knots
Builder - Robert Duncan, Greenock ( engines Robert Napier, Glasgow ) Passenger accommodation - 115 1st Class

Upon winning a government contract to carry mail on a bi-weekly basis, the newly formed Cunard Company began construction on a fleet of ships to initiate mail service between Liverpool and Halifax, Boston and Quebec. The ships employed under this contract were also to be built in order to accommodate troops and supplies in the event of war. Three other ships of similar dimensions were also built, the Acadia, Caledonia and Columbia. The Britannia was launched on 5 February 1840 and made its maiden voyage was from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston on July 4th 1840. Coincidentally, this was the birth date of Samuel Cunard – the lines founder. The voyage took a mere 14 days and 8 hours to complete and was considered downright smokin’ for the times.

During a crossing in February 1844 it became trapped in the ice in Boston Harbor but the citizens of Boston rallied and cut an escape channel 7 miles long at their own expense and freed the ship. Later, in September 1847, it was stranded at Cape Race near Newfoundland but was able to be repaired in New York. In November of 1848 the Britannia saw it’s last voyage in this type of service. In March of 1849 it sailed from Liverpool to Bremen and was re-named the Barbarossa, and became part of the then German Confederation Navy. In 1852 it was transferred to the Prussian Navy under the same name. After another 28 years of service, it was sunk in 1880 while being used as a target ship. A rather ignoble end if you ask me.

source www.cunardlines.com

Britannia as the personification of the country of Britain appeared on Roman coins, and essentially the same depiction was used again from the reign of Charles II, and is still in use.

Representations vary in detail, but what is common is a seated female figure, holding something up, and at her side an oval shield. In her modern incarnation on the fifty pence piece, she is holding up a sprig of something, perhaps an olive branch, in her left hand, and with her right hand held down she is steadying a trident, which rises from the ground to high behind her. She is wearing a Roman helmet with plumes. At her feet is a lion. Both Britannia and the lion are facing to the right. This is all emblematic of her command of war and peace, and her defence of the coasts. The device on the shield is, rather strangely to my mind, not a coat of arms, but the Union Jack. (You do not normally put flags on shields.)

She is in loose, long flowing robes, and has bare arms. The original model for this Britannia was Charles II's mistress Mrs Frances Stewart, afterwards Duchess of Richmond. On 25 February 1667 Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary seeing the new Britannia, and thinking it a very good representation of her:

At my goldsmith's did observed the King's new medall, where, in little, there is Mrs. Stewart's face as well done as ever I saw anything in my whole life, I think; and a pretty thing it is, that he should choose her face to represent Britannia by.

The first uses of Britannia on coins were in the reigns of Hadrian (117-138) and Antoninus Pius (138-161), commemorating their building of the great walls in the north of Britain. A sestertius of Antoninus Pius shows her facing to the left, holding some kind of sprig in her right hand. The oval shield is blank, and her head is either uncovered or merely lightly garlanded (I can't tell). Other Roman emperors used her; of course in their day Britannia was submissive. The coins of modern Britain from Charles II show her as defender of the independence of the island.

An 1843 four pence piece1 shows her helmeted, and clasping the trident forward of her, with her other hand resting on the shield. The present design2 is by Christopher Ironside, and in this the trident head has moved behind her and she is holding forth the sprig. The lion is at her feet. Today only the 50p shows Britannia.

I'm not sure when the lion was added, but I think it was from an 1839 issue known as "Una and the Lion". In Spenser's The Faerie Queene Una is a pure maiden who is befriended by a faithful lion. There are modern collector's edition coins3 in gold and silver, never seen by the general public, featuring Una and the Lion, and in the current design of these Una/Britannia is standing and has more of a Greek helmet. She still has her trident and lion, and is holding up a Union Jack shield of a normal shield shape.

Chamberlain, 1960, The Teach Yourself Guide to Numismatics, English Universities Press.

1. www.tclayton.demon.co.uk/pics/qv/4d/4d43r.jpg
2. www.royalmint.com/talk/specifications.asp
3. www.24carat.co.uk/2001silverbritanniasframe.html

The name "Britannia" has of course been used for many many other things in Britain. Although I don't want to list them all, among others not yet mentioned in previous writeups are:

The HMY Britannia, the Royal Yacht, built at John Brown's Shipyard in Clydebank in 1953, and retired in 1997. She is now moored at Edinburgh and owned by a trust. In her lifetime she carried the Queen and Royal Family on 968 official voyages, totalling over a million nautical miles of travel. She was 125 m long; and was the eighty-third (sic) and last royal yacht since Charles II commissioned the Mary in 1660. There will be no replacement.


In 1586 William Camden (1551-1623), later to be headmaster of Westminster School, published in Latin a monumental guidebook called Britannia, an antiquarian survey of the British Isles county by county. A much expanded edition appeared in 1607, and in 1610 an English translation by Philemon Holland (1552-1637) was published, with the subtitle A chorographicall description of the most flourishing Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Ilands adjoyning, out of the depth of Antiquitie.

Bri*tan"ni*a (?), n. [From L. Britannia Great Britain.]

A white-metal alloy of tin, antimony, bismuth, copper, etc. It somewhat resembles silver, and is used for table ware. Called also Britannia metal.


© Webster 1913.

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