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Britannia (fl. 1st– cent.21st) by Jan Roettier, 1667 [reverse] © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Britannia (fl. 1st–21st cent.), allegory of a nation, emblem of empire, and patriotic icon, is by origin a child of Rome, representing an outpost of the Roman empire. Her earliest known appearances did not augur well for her future: rock reliefs at Aphrodisias...

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John Bull (supp. fl. 1712–) by Charles Williams, c. 1816 © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Bull, John (supp. fl. 1712–), fictitious epitomist of Englishness and British imperialism, first appeared in print in The History of John Bull, a political allegory—sometimes wrongly attributed to Jonathan Swift, but now accepted as the work of John Arbuthnot, Queen Anne's physician. The ...