London has recently witnessed one of the most intense programmes of archaeological excavation ever to have been mounted; few ancient cities have received such detailed attention. This book draws extensively on the results of the latest work to present a challenging new account of the rise and fall of one of the principal towns of the Roman empire.An economic and social history of the city, its suburbs and surrounding territories is reconstructed from the archaeological evidence. London is traced from its origins as a mercantile settlement, established to service and supply the victorious Roman legions, through the years of prosperity at the heart of the growing new province and into a period of recession as imperial growth ceased. The story concludes in the fifth century with the disappearance of the Roman city beneath fields and gardens.This book uses the results of the very latest archaeological research in its presentation of a series of new speculations. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the ancient city.