No. 143 – Rule Britannia

Britannia image (right) courtesy Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

Prog 1213’s Nikolai Dante cover by Frazer Irving and Chris Blythe v Britannia [not necessarily this particular image], here realised by Reginald Norman “Rex” Woods (1903–1987)

2015 – Royal Mint strikes a new, definitive £2 coin

National icon Britannia, armed with a trident, shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet, came to be personified as a goddess under Roman rule of the province of Britannia in the 2nd century, although the British Isles were also known as early as the 4th century BC by the Attic Greek names of Prettanike or Brettaniai, from which Britannia derives.

After centuries of declining use, the Latin form was revived during the English Renaissance (late 15th–early 17th centuries) to evoke British national identity, although since then 2000 AD is far from the only publication where Britannia’s personification – or “comic” treatment, for that matter – has not always been treated with the conventional veneration [click on thumbnail for larger image]: