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Battle of Mons Graupius

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  • Gnaeus Julius Agricola (40 - 93)
    Gnaeus Julius Agricola Gnaeus Julius Agricola (June 13, 40 – August 23, 93) was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. His biography, the De vita et moribus Iulii Agri...
  • Tacitus (c.57 - c.117)
    Tacitus Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works — the Annals and the Histories —examine ...

Battle of Mons Graupius

Grampian Mountain

Part of Roman conquest of Britain - the first major battle recorded in Scotland. Information about the Battle comes from the writings of the Roman historian, Tacitus, the son-in-law of Agricola, in his work on Agricola.

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Date: AD 83 (or 84)


North-east Scotland - the exact location of the battle remains a matter of debate. To the north of the Tay as Agricola's army was based at Inchtuthil.


  • Roman Empire
  • Strength; 17,000-30,000+
  • Losses; 360
  • The Britons / Caledonians. The people were split into many lowland tribes and clan-like septs within the highlands and were generalised by the Romans as the “Caledonians”.
  • Strength; 5,000-30,000+
  • Losses; 10,000

Commanders and leaders

The Roman Empire

The Britons

  • Galgacus or Calgacus - "the Swordsman" - leader of the Caledonii and a confederation of northern clans. Sometimes Calgaich. Galgacus was a chief of the northern native tribe named Caledonii by the Roman invaders. Galgacus is the first Scot to be named in written history.

Images from Rampant Scotland


In 82 AD Agricola marched his army north intent on conquest, searching for of glory and seeking assimilation. He undertook a wide ranging burning campaign of “frightfulness”. The tribes of the north neither submitted to Agricola nor embarked on open battle against his army, the size of which was staggering. Instead they undertook guerrilla warfare, targeting dispersed units of the invading force.



Roman Victory


Casualties and losses

Roman Empire'

  • Aulus Atticus

Notable connections


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References, Sources and Further Reading