Britannia, the Roman Conquest and Occupation of Britain

Britannia, the Roman Conquest and Occupation of Britain

Britannia, the Roman Conquest and Occupation of Britain

Britannia, the Roman Conquest and Occupation of Britain

Excerpt

The story of the Roman province of Britain is a sparsely trod bypath of history. A frontier province throughout its existence as part of the Roman Empire, it remained remote both in distance and in interests from the teeming center of the Mediterranean world.

Ancient authors, generally centripetal in their points of view, mention it but in passing, or when the island province's problems and dangers brought emperors to its rescue. An exception is Tacitus' Agricola.

So there are sizable gaps in our knowledge of the nearly half-millennium during which Britain, or at least its southern part, was included in the ecumene of Rome. Some of these gaps have been filled by modern archeology. Through the devoted work of British scholars over the last fifty years, much that was lost has been found, much that was vague made clear. One result has been to render obsolete the mixture of fact, fancy, and cavalier disinterest with which the period was treated by earlier historians of Britain. But there is much to be learned, and the work goes on. One justification for this book, intended for the general reader, is that much of our newly acquired archeological knowledge remains relatively inaccessible to the public in technical and academic journals.

The story of the Province is derived more from archeology than from contemporary authors. However, a further limitation on this study lies in the fact that many of the remains of Roman Britain still . . .

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