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A History of Roman Britain Paperback – 31 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed edition (31 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192801384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192801388
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

There will be new discoveries; but this is a book that will surely stand the test of time. (TLS)

About the Author

Peter Salway, formerly a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and subsequently of All Souls College, Oxford, is an Emeritus Professor of the Open University and Chairman of the Oxford Archaeological Unit. Roman Britain (Vol. I of the Oxford History of England, hbk 1981, pbk 1984). He was a contributor to K.O. Morgan (ed.): The Oxford Illustrated History of Great Britain (hbk 1984, pbk 1986), C. Haigh (ed.): The Cambridge Historical Encyclopaedia of Great Britain and Ireland (CUP, 1985), and B. Ford (ed.): The Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain (CUP, 1988). He has also written reviews for the TLS and the THES, and has appeared in television and radio broadcasts.

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In this book we shall be looking at as long a stretch of time as from the Wars of the Roses to the present day. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By a Flynn on 12 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
It always seems a bit impertinent to criticise a serious and scholarly book by an expert in a field in which one is not very knowledgeable oneself. Salway's book is balanced, full, well-sourced and ranges across the full history and geography of Britain 55 BC -circa 400. It combines narrative with analysis, mentions the problems scholars and archaeologists have debated, and is well sourced without being a cluttered mass of footnotes and bibliography. No dount its standards of research and accuracy are high.

Yet--and I do say this on the basis of loving the subject of Roman Britain, not disliking it--it is rather dull. (Worthy and dull?)
How could he have got round this? Some suggestions from a non-specialist:
--hanging explanations and issues round colourful but also crucial historical events and events
--starting chapters with stimulating and evocative "mysteries": just how did that archaeological find cause us to rethink? just what did that remark of Tacitus mean? just when and why did the Romans leave?
--shorter, punchier sentences. It is quite a good idea not to have an overall assertion and supporting eviednce in the same long sentence, and then further evidence in the next sentence: but it often happens here.
--putting key maps or tables at helpful places in the text instead of in a clump at the front.
One is reminded of that old adage: "Writing history is still writing". In places the style is not only flat but convoluted.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By MR E P GRIST on 4 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
I have bought this book to help with my studies in field archaeology as I need to know an extensive amount about the Roman Period and his book has everything relevant, Salway writes in such a way that the average leyman can understand this simplistic but fascinating style of writing along with the footnotes have helped me write several essays this book is a goldmine of source material - the inclusion of several maps of Roman Britain is a stroke of pure genius.
I heartilly recommend this book to anyone who hads an extensive interest in Rome & it's people & empire.
However if the reader has only a passive interest in Roman History this may be heavy reading (and not entirely suitable for schoolchildren to use as a study aid) as Salway does tend to veer away from the point sometimes albeit for a short while it can be distracting and there are sometimes Omissions such as years (I know we cannot date archaeological evidence exactly but a 'ballpark' estimate would be nice) Salway also uses the writing of Tacitus a roman historian - sometimes so much so that I feel I no Longer need to read the writings of Tacitus as they all are here.
all in all an excellent aid for the older student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zob on 10 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback
Peter Salway's book may be a sine qua non of Romano-British history it is now however the place to start reading on the subject. It is thorough in application however. It is very good if you desire an in-depth description of tribal relations with the Romans' or wish to know of the machinations of the Roman successions, or detailed information on the construction of, for example Hadrian's wall, and alter additions and subtractions to it. It is almost utterly bereft of anecdotes and fails to inspire or entertain in any sense. This where I began my Romano-British reading and halfway through I gave up which is very rare for me. I actually didn't get as far as the later sections which dealt with 'Britain under Roman rule' - assimilation, town and country, economy and religion and society, as I felt I could find livelier writing elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the books recommended by the tutor of an on-line course run by Exeter University. The book has proved an invaluable source of information for the work needed. I would recommend it , and the course, to anyone interested in the Roman period.
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