The Legacy of Rome: Scotland's Roman Remains

The Legacy of Rome: Scotland's Roman Remains

The Legacy of Rome: Scotland's Roman Remains

The Legacy of Rome: Scotland's Roman Remains

Synopsis

As an outpost of empire, Scotland played a significant, if unusual role in the Roman world. In this revised edition, Lawrence Keppie sets out various stages of Roman occupation in historical context and shows how literary and archaelogical evidence can be used to build up a picture of the Roman period. It incorporates a large amount of new material making it the best guide to Roman Scotland available.

Excerpt

This handbook was initially commisioned as an early member of a projected series of guides to aspects of Scottish Archaeology, under the auspices of CBAScotland, now the Council for Scottish Archaeology (CSA), and I remain grateful to Mrs Edwina Proudfoot, then President of cba Scotland, for inviting me to compile it. a preface by Mrs Proudfoot (1984), augmented by a postscript (1998) by Dr Shannon Fraser, then Director of csa, ornamented earlier editions.

The success of the handbook (published 1984 by John Donald Publishers) led to a corrected reprint in 1990, and a more thoroughly revised second edition in 1998. Continuing demand has prompted this reformatted and enlarged new (third) edition which takes into account developments and discoveries of recent years. in what follows, Part 1 (The Romans in Scotland) has been revised, but remains of similar length; Part 2 (Visiting Scotland’s Roman Remains) has been expanded and a number of fresh illustrations added; more emphasis too is placed on the tribal society into which the Romans intruded in the early centuries ad, though it remains as ever difficult to demonstrate that Iron Age sites were in fact contemporary with the Roman period, or phases of it.

All but a very few sites where something remains visible at ground level were revisited by the author in Spring 2004, or access to them checked. It comes as some relief that many field monuments seem hardly to have deteriorated at all in the last 20 years. Small-scale damage however continues, even at rural sites. Skilful negotiation by Historic Scotland and other bodies can mitigate the impact of development or farming activity. Some recently found sites have been lucky to survive at all to the present day – here I think of the fortlet observed by aerial reconnaissance in 1992 within the new town of Livingston, West Lothian; others must have been lost without record as towns and hamlets have expanded. a cine-film by the late Anne S. Robertson showing the Antonine Wall in 1956–58 has been supplemented by a video record made by the present writer in 2002; similar visual records made at other sites at known dates could be similarly useful.

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