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Romans in Britain
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Romans in Britain [Audio Download]

by Guy de la Bédoyère (Author)
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 2 hours and 55 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: AudioGO Ltd
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 1 Oct 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009TA0138
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Product Description

A guided tour of Roman Britain with historian Guy de la Bédoyère, as heard on BBC Radio 4. In 55 BC, Julius Caesar invaded Britain, which was then on the edge of the known world. But he was unable to conquer it. Where Caesar failed the Emperor Claudius, in AD 43, succeeded and the mighty Roman Empire came to stretch from Cairo to Carlisle. The Romans in Britain tells the story of 400 tumultuous years under Roman rule.

A colourful and cosmopolitan people, the Romano-British created a unique corner of the ancient world by merging their own Celtic traditions with the sophistication of Roman civilization.

Presented with warmth and wit, historian and archaeologist Guy de la Bédoyère takes us on a fascinating tour through Britain which is as much an adventure in social geography as it is a lively and surprising history.

©2012 Guy de la Bédoyère; (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rule Britannia 14 Nov 2007
By Hobo
A well written and detailed account of Britain from the Iron Age,immediatly before the Roman Conquest to the end of Roman Britain, when it was a case of "Everyone to themselves".The book has many photographs both colour and black and white together with re-constructions of how it may have looked. The book covers a wide range of topics, Slavery, tombstones, coins, the army etc.The Boudiccan revolt even suggests that it is possible that Boudica was only a "bit player", more of a figurehead for the revolt. The book is a useful addition for student and armchair historian alike in this most interesting period of our nations history.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Look at the Province of Britannia 8 Aug 2008
Guy De La Bedoyere might be familiar to some for his infrequent appearances on Channel 4's Time Team. He is both a historian and an archaeologist, and therefore has some sound grounding in both fields, which is not to mention that he has already published thirteen books on this subject.

This title however is a New History of Roman Britain, making full use of some of the recent archaeological discoveries made in the field, as well as the most relevant discussions amongst historians and scholars.

The book is accessible and readable, and seems to be aimed at the layperson as well as the expert. The book is filled with up to 285 illustrations including photographs, maps and paintings.
It follows the history of Britain, from the Pre-Roman Iron Age tribes, to Caesar and later Claudius's invasions of the country. Along the way we learn about Suetonius Paulinius's conquest of Wales, Julius Agricola's campaigns in Scotland, Boudica's rebellion, Hadrian's Wall, the later campaigns of the Emperor Septimius Severus, the breakaway 'British' Empire of Allectus and Carausius, as well as Roman Britain before its fall.

Yet the book is much more than a chronological tour of the province. Bedoyere also describes life in Britain under the Romans. From the governing of the province, the army and the forts, the towns with their public baths, theatres and forums, industry and commerce, the countryside and the villas, as well as religion and the ordinary lives of the Romano-British citizens.

This book could be seen as the modern heir to the seminal 'A Companion to Roman Britain' by Peter Clayton. The only downside to this book is that, unlike Clayton's book, it does not contain an up-to-date gazetteer of Roman sites. Still, with that minor problem aside, this is probably the most readable and most up-to-date account of Roman Britain published. A good starting point for beginners, and a useful update for experts. Recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and engaging 9 Sep 2011
By Ros
Well written, nicely illustrated and I liked the thematic organisation of material into chapters. I think one of the things I especially liked (and this may say more about my prior knowledge of the Romans in Britain) is that it gave a real sense of how LONG the Roman occupation lasted and that things changed quite a lot over time.
As a non-specialist I'm unable to comment on how accurate and authoritative the text is, but I liked the way it acknowledged that there are differences of opinion and that our understanding of the history of Roman Britain and interpretation of artefacts has changed over time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable 11 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very readable, a modern interpretation of Roman Britain.
For a reader that might be begining to dabble in this period of history it is ideal, neither too academic or too simplistic.

The reproduction of some of the illustrations could be better and I am not entirely convinced that the maps are as good as they could be.

400 years of Roman occupation, it is a good book and worth a read.

Credit to the author in making it so readable.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good overall 25 Mar 2008
This is a good synopsis of the current (i must say one of many) view of the romans in britain, and unlike some of the others its well written and readable (despite what the increasingly right wing current archaeology says about it). He may be a bit annoying on the TV but Guy de la Bedoyere knows his onions. Im glad to see hes also taking more notice of the smaller less spectacular sites that made up most of the roman provinces rather than giving us a 300 page lecture on legionary bases or villas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book 26 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my father's Christmas and he admitted to it being an enjoyable read. The book is alot larger than I had expected (about the size of an A4 sheet of paper and a few inches thick). Full of pictures, diagrams, and easy to absorb information, this is just a great reference book and is packed with information.

I'd never heard of the author before but have been since told that the author is actually one of the frequent experts who appear on television series 'Time Team'. A great gift for history enthusiasts or a great treat for yourself.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A need to speculate? 27 July 2010
This has merits as general picture of Roman Britain. It avoids the pitfall often seen in modern books and television of judging the Romans by modern standards of human rights, rather than by the standards of neighbouring peoples in either time or space. There is a feeling of appreciation for the positive sides of Roman civilisation, and the best parts of the book tend to relate to the everyday and economic life of the country.

The less satisfactory aspect of the book is an unwillingness to come to terms with the fragmentary nature of both written and archaeological evidence, which does seem to require a degree of reasoned speculation as to what might have been happening. No reasons are suggested for the switch of focus from towns to villas in the 3rd and 4th century. The possibility of Gnosticism in Britain is raised but not pursued. While there has been an accumulation of evidence for a greater degree of continuity into the post-Roman period, instances of this are dismissed as exceptions rather than being properly discussed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern book on the years the Romans ruled Britain
This is a great modern book on Roman Britain. There is bags of up to date detail, and Guy doesn't shirk the areas where there is little or no info.
Published 7 months ago by RayJ
4.0 out of 5 stars life in roman britain.
Guy has written a very informative and well illustrated book about life in Roman Britain.
The book covers a variety of themes which have been covered by other reviewers. Read more
Published 9 months ago by road nomad
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information
Contains lots of detailed information but it's contents are probably of more interest to an historian rather than the casual reader. Goos quality book with quality pictures.
Published 15 months ago by Ian Viner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for reference and updating current knowledge
Has all the reference points and collects together all the relevant accounts for a modern view of the roman involvement in Britain. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Meatslicer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy
Bought this for my hubby as part of Christmas. Would thoroughly recommend it! Well laid out and plenty of detail to keep him occupied.
Published 16 months ago by r kirkwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern review of Roman Britain
Accessible with lots of illustrations but lacking the in depth discussions of the more academic works (such as "Britannia")

The authors biases are also easier to... Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2011 by Robert Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative
If you are interested in Roman Britain this is for you. It covers the whole of the roman time in Britain from start to finish. Easy reading.
Published on 1 Jan 2011 by lindyloup
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman Britain: Guy de la Bedoyere
This new book is excellent, combining factual information with specifics about how we know. This reference to archaeology and texts is just what my A Level students need, but is... Read more
Published on 11 May 2010 by C. Whiteway
3.0 out of 5 stars An alternative response
The author, who is a devotee of all things Roman, frequently quotes Tacitus and there is nothing wrong with that. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by Tim Metcalfe
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