Gods with Thunderbolts: Religion in Roman Britain Paperback – 1 Jun 2007
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One of the Roman Empire's greatest achievements was religious tolerance, at least by modern standards. It was a world in which Fortuna and Fate ruled the minds of men and women. That world left behind a marvellous legacy of literary and archaeological records - temples and shrines, altars and votive gifts, curse tablets and inscriptions. In addition to the Gods of Rome, Roman Britain had native cults like that of Cocidius from the northern frontier and exotic imports from Persia and Egypt such as Mithras and Isis. Finally, there were the tensions created by the legitimisation of Christianity in the fourth century. This is the first book that attempts, systematically, to unravel the wide-ranging evidence that we have for the multifarious beliefs and practices of those living in Roman Britain.
About the Author
Guy de la Bedoyere is the author of numerous books on Roman Britain history, including The Buildings of Roman Britain, Defying Rome, Eagles Over Britannia, and Roman Britain.
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Along with a friend (yes I know it is hard to believe but I do have one or two)I recently had the privilege of attending a presentation about this book by the author himself and found him to be a very approachable and pleasant gent, not to mention knowledgeable. I have to say that this book is very well laid out and challenges some of the long held views of archaeologists about some things such as ritual deposits, whilst some undoubtably were offered to the gods, some deposits were clearly recycling dumps for broken metal etc. This is a view that I myself took before reading this tome and I have to say that it is a refreshing change from the old die-hards. I did not enjoy the book purely because I agreed with what was said, I enjoyed it because it is written in such a manner as to appeal to casual readers and experts alike (I wish I was an expert, but then "ex" means former, and a spurt is a drip under pressure- go figure.)
All in all, an excellent read.
P.S. I must point out that although I have met the author, this was only in passing and was an understandably short conversation and as such I am in no way affiliated with or befriended to him in any way shape or form, for which I would think that Mr De La Bedoyere will be eternally grateful.)