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A History of Roman Britain Paperback – 31 May 2001
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There will be new discoveries; but this is a book that will surely stand the test of time. (TLS)
About the Author
Peter Salway, formerly a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and subsequently of All Souls College, Oxford, is an Emeritus Professor of the Open University and Chairman of the Oxford Archaeological Unit. Roman Britain (Vol. I of the Oxford History of England, hbk 1981, pbk 1984). He was a contributor to K.O. Morgan (ed.): The Oxford Illustrated History of Great Britain (hbk 1984, pbk 1986), C. Haigh (ed.): The Cambridge Historical Encyclopaedia of Great Britain and Ireland (CUP, 1985), and B. Ford (ed.): The Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain (CUP, 1988). He has also written reviews for the TLS and the THES, and has appeared in television and radio broadcasts.
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Top Customer Reviews
I heartilly recommend this book to anyone who hads an extensive interest in Rome & it's people & empire.
However if the reader has only a passive interest in Roman History this may be heavy reading (and not entirely suitable for schoolchildren to use as a study aid) as Salway does tend to veer away from the point sometimes albeit for a short while it can be distracting and there are sometimes Omissions such as years (I know we cannot date archaeological evidence exactly but a 'ballpark' estimate would be nice) Salway also uses the writing of Tacitus a roman historian - sometimes so much so that I feel I no Longer need to read the writings of Tacitus as they all are here.
all in all an excellent aid for the older student.
Yet--and I do say this on the basis of loving the subject of Roman Britain, not disliking it--it is rather dull. (Worthy and dull?)
How could he have got round this? Some suggestions from a non-specialist:
--hanging explanations and issues round colourful but also crucial historical events and events
--starting chapters with stimulating and evocative "mysteries": just how did that archaeological find cause us to rethink? just what did that remark of Tacitus mean? just when and why did the Romans leave?
--shorter, punchier sentences. It is quite a good idea not to have an overall assertion and supporting eviednce in the same long sentence, and then further evidence in the next sentence: but it often happens here.
--putting key maps or tables at helpful places in the text instead of in a clump at the front.
One is reminded of that old adage: "Writing history is still writing". In places the style is not only flat but convoluted.Read more ›
I have yet to encounter a comparable book that delves down into this level of detail.
And of Britain itself? Famously, the Romans believed that this cold, wet island in the middle of the North Atlantic wouldn't amount to much...
It has all kinds of fascinating details from what life was like in the country, religion, Britain before the Romans came and how it was after they left. It gives you so much more than just dates as someone suggested. Very good.