This is a fascinating book because it actually admits to, and uses albeit in a limited way, the existence and pedigree of ancient Welsh manuscripts that are largely ignored, derided or glossed over by too many academics in Britain.
The book is very well-written, well-presented and gives fascinating detail about the development of the more advanced Iron Age society we know from the Welsh records existed after 500BC and the arrival of a large number of incomers from mainland Europe. Of course it's a shame that we're still hearing about supposed Celts in Britain after Collis, Simon James et al but Ray Howell's book appears to be moving in the direction of admitting that:
1 - The Silures were an independent and relatively advanced grouping within the brotherhood of Cymric/Kymric kingdoms
2 - The Romans had to come to terms with them after prolonged resistance
3 - That the Silures (remember it's a Roman designation) engaged with Rome in terms of trade and technology
4 - That an "early form" of what Howell calls "Romano-Celtic" Christianity flourished upon a time making for new cultural associations
5 - Further archaeological work still needs to be done, thereby admitting that academic's conclusions have, in the past, overly concentrated on Roman prejudiced and propangadized sources instead of the much better and more detailed ancient Welsh MSS.
Archaeology, such as it is, does indicate the use of coins by the Silures and to develop trade links within Britain and beyond. Howell points to some fascinating finds and describes these very well.
There is also a hint at what was once heresy within academic circles; that there was much intermarriage between Roman and native rulers thus suggesting in the strongest possible terms that the Silures and their cousins were hardly just 'hill-dwelling savages'. Furthermore, if we go in this direction we can see that the 120AD agreement between Britons and Romans at CaerDydd (Cardiff - castle or 'fort of the agreement') was an indication that the Romans had to do business with the Britons/Silures and that Welsh sources are correct in noting the intermarriage of British and Roman houses:
King Alan Alerw - "Antonius Pius" (138 AD - 161 AD)
King Meirchion - Marcus Aurelius (c. 161 AD)
King Lleirwg - Lucius Aurelius Verus (or Luke founder of Christianity according to several sources, 161-169 AD)
King Crallo ap Lleirwg - Commodus Britannicus (179-192)
Welsh-British King - Roman Emperor? Fascinating idea but it's nice to know that academics are starting, slowly, to see what many of us have deduced through detailed, independent study over the years. More please Ray Howell! All Howell now needs to do is to stop quoting Wendy Davies and we'll all be happy!