Bloody Foreigners (2010): S01E04 – The Untold Invasion of Britain


Bloody Foreigners is a four-part series of drama-documentaries highlighting the role played by foreigners at iconic moments and crucial turning points in British history.


In a mountainous land, at the edge of its empire, the world’s only superpower was bogged down in an asymmetric war against a deadly insurgency. Sounds a familiar story, but this is history from almost 2,000 years ago.

Brought to life with animated sequences based on contemporary Roman sources, this is the extraordinary story of a very bloody foreigner – the little known and only black Roman Emperor – Septimius Severus, an African who seized Rome’s Imperial throne in a vicious civil war and then fought a brutal campaign in Britain transforming the country in his wake.

In 207AD, Britain was just a far outpost of the mighty Roman Empire with the north stubbornly holding out. With a vast army, Severus marched over Hadrian’s Wall. Using guerrilla tactics, the Britons attacked the isolated Roman patrols, and then melted into the mountains. Severus wasted four years and thousands of Roman lives in a futile attempt to defeat his invisible enemy. He died in York in 211AD, his campaign only serving to create a new enemy north of The Wall and to help forge the English-Scottish divide familiar to us today.

This programme follows Severus’s trail from the magnificent remains at Lepcis Magna in the Libyan Desert, to the military hardware left by his campaign in Britain.

Bloody Foreigners Series

You can find a full index and overview of Bloody Foreigners here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 01 July 2010.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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