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The Ruin of Roman Britain: An Archaeological Perspective [Hardcover]

James Gerrard
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Oct 2013
How did Roman Britain end? This new study draws on fresh archaeological discoveries to argue that the end of Roman Britain was not the product of either a violent cataclysm or an economic collapse. Instead, the structure of late antique society, based on the civilian ideology of paideia, was forced to change by the disappearance of the Roman state. By the fifth century elite power had shifted to the warband and the edges of their swords. In this book Dr Gerrard describes and explains that process of transformation and explores the role of the 'Anglo-Saxons' in this time of change. This profound ideological shift returned Britain to a series of 'small worlds', the existence of which had been hidden by the globalizing structures of Roman imperialism. Highly illustrated, the book includes two appendices, which detail Roman cemetery sites and weapon trauma, and pottery assemblages from the period.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (10 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107038634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107038639
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 17.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Book Description

Examines the process of change that transformed Roman Britain into a patchwork of early medieval kingdoms. Discusses new archaeological and historical evidence to argue against warfare and economic collapse as explanations. Instead, emphasis is placed on how elites attempted to maintain their control and power in a time of change.

About the Author

James Gerrard is a Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at Newcastle University. He previously held a position at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge and worked extensively in commercial archaeology. His research focuses on the end of Roman Britain and particularly the impact of the fall of the Western Roman Empire on the use and production of material culture, and he has published widely on late Roman pottery, coins and hoarding, including the internationally significant hoard of metal vessels discovered at Drapers' Gardens in the City of London in 2007. His publications include Debating Late Antiquity in Britain AD 300–700 (with Rob Collins, 2004) and a major excavation monograph A Roman Settlement and Bathhouse at Shadwell (with A. Douglas and B. Sudds, 2011). He is a member of the Institute for Archaeologists and the Study Group for Roman Pottery, and is a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great overview 4 not 5 because of the price 28 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very detailed review of current knowledge and leads to a very plausible model of how late roman britain may have evolved into small polities which eventually lead to the heptarchy. One caveat [and if the author or publisher had provided a contact I would not have to criticise in public). Is that the references to Bede V9 on p261 and IV 19 on p271 don't really support the points made but then I am using an oup translation!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
book arrived on time and excellent reading.
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