OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Roman Britain: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198712169

Price(incl.tax): 
¥1,628
Author: 
Peter Salway
Pages
144 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
108 x 171 mm
Pub date
May 2015
Series
Very Short Introductions

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  • Offers an up-to-date and comprehensive account of Roman Britain, including both archaeological and textual evidence
  • Looks at the impact of Roman rule on Britain and its aftermath
  • Traces the development of coinage during this time period and contrasts between the Early/High Empire and Late Roman Empire

New to this Edition:

  • Updates the previous edition with nearly 30 years of archaeological discovery and acknowledges several shifts in the theoretical approach of the field
  • Includes an updated further reading list
  • Contains key discussions about issues of identity, 'Britishness', ethnicity, and post colonialism
  • Compares the experience of the Roman Empire with a wide range of other periods, themes, and territories
  • Explores the issues of religion, communities, material culture, and economy in more detail

 
For four centuries Britain was an integral part of the Roman Empire, a political system stretching from Turkey to Portugal and from the Red Sea to the Tyne and beyond. Its involvement with Rome started long before the Conquest launched by the Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, and it continued to be a part of the Roman world for some time after the final break with Roman rule. Bringing together archaeological investigation and historical scholarship, Peter Salway explores some of the key issues arising from this period in Britain's history, discussing the question of identity at this time and analysing the importance of widespread literacy in Roman Britain. Covering the period from Julius Caesar's first forays into Britain and Claudius' subsequent conquest, as well as Britain under the later Roman Empire, Salway outlines the key events of this time period, providing a focus on society in Roman Britain, and offering a thoughtful consideration of the aftermath of Roman rule.

In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Peter Salway makes a number of essential updates in light of recent research in the area. He looks at issues of ethnicity, 'Britishness', and post-colonialism, provides alternative theories to the end of the Roman period in Britain, and draws parallels between the history of Roman Britain and a wide range of other periods, territories, and themes, including the modern experience of empires and national stereotypes. 
 
 

Reviews: 

"You can't beat this fact-packed guide." - Kate Whiting, Northern Echo

"This book is a concise, clear and readable history of Roman Britain across four centuries ... it has much to offer both the general reader and the expert." - Rupert Jackson, Classics for All

Index: 

List of illustrations
List of maps

1: The beginnings of British history
2: The Roman conquest
3: Britain under the late empire
4: The end of Roman rule
Further Reading
Chronology
Index

About the author: 

Peter Salway, Former Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Professor of the Open University
 
Peter Salway has been a Special Adviser on Roman Britain to the National Trust Chedworth Roman Villa Development Project since the early 1990s to the present. He has written a 5-year excavation plan and a 15-year research agenda for the next stage of the project. He is the author of The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain (OUP, 1993) and The Frontier People of Roman Britain (CUP, 2009).

Questions for Thought and Discussion

  • Was Rome a colonial power?
  • What are the defining differences between early and late Roman Britain?
  • Would individual Britons have identified themselves as British or something else?
  • How important was the army in shaping Roman Britain?
  • How would you define a ‘Roman villa’?
  • Was Roman rule just a passing phase in the history of Britain?
  • From the viewpoint of the average Briton what are likely to have been the principal characteristics of Roman rule?
  • What recent technological advances are most likely to benefit the study of Roman Britain?
  • How different were the Roman and Norman Conquests and their aftermaths?
  • How different was life in town from the country?
  • What impact did the import of new cults in the Roman period have on religion in Britain?
  • What is the evidence for diversity in the population of Roman Britain?
  • What was Hadrian’s Wall for?
  • How important are the written sources compared with archaeology?
  • How useful are the terms ‘Celt’ and ‘Celtic’ in an ancient context?
  • How important was Britain to the emperor?
  • What cultural attributes would have marked you out as ‘Roman’ rather than ‘barbarian’?
  • How important is the growing interest in the study of regional differences?
  • Did the Roman period have any significant impacts on the landscape and environment of Britain?
  • Does the phrase ‘the Romans left Britain at the beginning of the fifth century’ adequately describe the end of Roman Britain?

Further reading

  • L. Allason-Jones, Women in Roman Britain (York 2005)
  • C.Higgins, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain ( Jonathan Cape, 2013)
  • M. Henig, Religion in Roman Britain (Batsford, 1984)
  • M.Henig, The Art of Roman Britain (Batsford, 1995)
  • S.James, The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or Modern Invention? (British Museum, 1999)
  • B. Jones & D.Mattingly, An Atlas of Roman Britain (Blackwell, 1990)

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