Wanderings in Roman Britain

Wanderings in Roman Britain

Wanderings in Roman Britain

Wanderings in Roman Britain

Excerpt

An archaeologist is one who deduces a knowledge of ancient times from the study of their actual remains; he is expert in dating the relics of a past age, and in recognising their significance ; and the results of his researches are the basis of the work of the historian. The historian, on the other hand, is not necessarily expert in the classification of antiquities. It is his business to grasp the story of an epoch, and to use the material supplied by the archæologist in building up the details of the tale he would tell.

The archæologist, dealing with a highly technical subject, has no particular wish to convey his information to a wide circle ; he prefers to get on with his job, and to talk about it only to his colleagues. The historian, on the contrary, having a story to tell, requires an audience to tell it to ; and the more deeply he feels the significance of the events he is able to narrate, the better he is pleased to arouse that public inquisitiveness which the archæologist regards as something of an interruption.

My own interests are divided, I think, almost equally between archaeology and history : that is to say an actual object made or used at a certain past age by a certain group of people in a certain place for a certain purpose arouses my interest just as much as does a definite piece of historical information recording a definite event. Both sources supply the details of the story, and that story is so . . .

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