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Roman Britain: A New History 55 BC-AD 450

Roman Britain: A New History 55 BC-AD 450 [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Southern
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

For nearly four centuries, from AD 43 to 410, Britain was a small province on the north western edge of the vast Roman Empire. Patricia Southern’s masterly new history tells the story from first contact, through invasion and conquest, coexistence to eventual decline incorporating the political, social and cultural history of ‘Britannia’. For the first time the wealth of ‘voices’ from the varied population of Roman Britain are placed centre stage in the narrative. Indirectly via the works of ancient historians, annalists and biographers, and directly from building inscriptions, religious dedications, gravestones, graffiti, leaden curse tablets, artefacts and coins. Writers such as Gaius Julius Caesar, the geographer Strabo, the historian Tacitus, and the annalist Cassius Dio, describe Britain and the main historical events, but perhaps the most vivid source is the corpus of letters from the fort at Vindolanda in Northumberland, where named individuals talk about birthday parties and complain about the terrible state of the roads.

The Kindle Edition of 'Roman Britain: A New History 55 BC-AD 450' contains 100 illustrations (70 colour)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8660 KB
  • Print Length: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082BYT56
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,809 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A detailed but very limited account 3 Oct 2013
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This is the first and (so far) only book I have read on Roman Britain. I wanted a broad, narrative survey history of the period, to give me an introduction into a topic I knew little about. I found this book rather unsatisfying in that respect.

There is no doubt that Southern knows her stuff when it comes to Ancient Rome. She writes very clearly, with authority and often with wit. However, I found this book lacking in three key respects.

The first is that this is a history of Roman Britain written entirely from a Roman perspective. The native Britons (assorted tribes inhabiting the British Isles when the Romans invaded - there was, of course, no 'Britain' in any meaningful sense) are almost entirely absent and almost entirely silent in this book. A tribe might get a passing mention here and there - usually when it was rebelling against the Romans - but there is no insight into what the indigenous population did or thought, how they lived, how their lives were changed by Roman occupation, how much they became Romanised or even why they so frequently rebelled. We are told that native Britons lived in tribes, but there is no explanation of how a tribe, or the tribal system in general, functioned and how it changed over the period. Southern ensures that, if she knows it, she gives you the name of every provincial governor or Roman military commander of sufficient seniority to be worth mentioning, no matter how inconsequential they actually were, but the Britons are - with I think the sole exceptions of Boudicca, Calgacus and Cogidubnus - entirely anonymous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History 10 April 2014
By Ross
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This is a really good descriptive book on the history of Roman Britain covering the period before the conquest, the reasons behind it and why the whole of Britain didn't fall to the conquering legions. How the native population viewed it and how they embraced the Roman way of life. It also covers the main characters who shaped the era and how Rome viewed its far flung province on the extremity of its empire and why at the beginning of the 5th century it abandoned it as the Western Empire slowly dissolved.

It is easy to read and very informative telling the story not just from a military perspective but the social side as well. Thoroughly entertaining and far from a dry read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars long awaited 24 Sep 2013
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this is concise, but draws together much detail into a useful, coherent interpretation. If Roman Britain is of interest to you, this is an important addition to your library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative 22 Sep 2013
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This book provides an excellent study of Roman Britain, putting it in to context of the history of the wider Roman Empire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Accessible - Highly Recommended 4 July 2014
By Peter D. Cornwell - Published on
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First an admission - I knew the author when she was the Librarian at the Archaeology Department of Newcastle University, and studied there as a student. Even then her knowledge of the subject area was encyclopedic, and this book reflects the fact that her knowledge has only grown in the intervening 25(!) years. The author draws upon extensive archaeological and literary resources to paint a vivid picture of the province from the expeditions of Caesar through to the eventual collapse and transition of the 5th century. The prose is often witty and always engaging. The book stands apart from many of the more traditional texts in this field by combining accessibility with academic rigor, a feat that many scholars of this period have failed to achieve. To conclude, a great book and highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn more about such a magnificent period of Roman and British history!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A relatively novel approach for me to combining history and archaeology. 23 Aug 2013
By Michael Parrino - Published on
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This is a well written book by an authoritative writer. I think she did a good job. I enjoyed it. I just wish there was more known about the period of 400 to 600 A.D. both historically and archaeologically.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 9 Oct 2014
By Arrowsmith - Published on
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a very informative and well written book - a mass of Information well presented
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