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Customer Review

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A need to speculate?, 27 July 2010
This review is from: Roman Britain: A New History (Paperback)
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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jul 2013 20:50:17 BDT
This is a helpful review - but I just want to mention that this is one of the first times I've seen a book criticized for not being speculative enough!
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Location: London, UK

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