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Its forum and basilica were one of the largest structures north of the Alps, when the Emperor Hadrian visited Londinium in 122.

Excavations have discovered evidence of a major fire that destroyed most of the city shortly thereafter, but the city was again rebuilt.

Archaeologists have uncovered numerous goods imported from across the Roman Empire in this period, suggesting that early Roman London was a highly cosmopolitan community of merchants from across the Empire and that local markets existed for such objects.

The roads are now known by Welsh or Old English names, as their original Roman names have been entirely lost due to the lack of written and inscribed sources.

The city seems to have been the seat of the diocesan vicar and one of the provincial governors following the Diocletian Reforms around the year 300; it had been renamed Augusta—a common epithet of provincial capitals—by 368.

Prior to the arrival of the Roman legions, the area was almost certainly lightly rolling open countryside traversed by numerous streams now underground.

A round temple has been located west of the city, although its dedication remains unclear.

Substantial suburbs existed at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Westminster and around the southern end of the Thames bridge in Southwark, where inscriptions suggest a temple of Isis was located).

Following its foundation in the mid-1st century, early Londinium occupied the relatively small area of 1.4 km (0.5 sq mi), roughly equivalent to the size of present-day Hyde Park, with a fortified garrison on one of its hills.During the later decades of the 1st century, Londinium expanded rapidly, becoming Great Britain's largest city.By the turn of the century, Londinium had grown to about 60,000 people, almost certainly replacing Camulodunum (Colchester) as the provincial capital and by the 2nd century, Londinium was at its was long derived from an eponymous founder named Lud, son of Heli. Instead, the Latin name was probably based on a native Brittonic placename reconstructed as *Londinion.The site guarded the Romans' bridgehead on the north bank of the Thames and a major road nexus.

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