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Roman Chester: Fortress at the Edge of the World Paperback – 1 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Revised ed. edition (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752468766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752468761
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Mason has been involved in the investigation and research of Chester's archaeology and history for more than 30 years. He directed excavations in the 1970s that discovered the first Anglo-Saxon buildings to be found in Chester. He is the author of the widely acclaimed "Roman Chester: AD400-1066." He lives in Caergwrle, Flintshire, just outside Chester.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This volume in Tempus' range of titles dealing with the archaeology of Britain is commendable. The author strikes a good balance between fact and discussion; the narrative is coherent and logical. The chapters, arranged chronologically, trace Chester's history from early fort through Legionary fortress to late Roman settlement. An "interlude" on the organisation of the Roman army (Ch.3) is a considerate inclusion, and a good piece of reference in its own right. Mason tackles Chester's items of "special" interest - the Elliptical Building and the harbour works for example - maturely; other authors may have devoted too much time to these to the detriment of good discussion on other remains. My only grumble is that the convention for dimensions was inconsistent. Sometimes the measurements are in feet with metric equivalents, sometimes in pM (pes Monetalis - the standard Roman foot) with metric equivalents, and then sometimes only in pM - in this regard the editing could have been tighter. It is a minor quibble however, and doesn't detract from a robust narrative of Roman Chester's archaeology.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book a year or so ago and still dip into it once in a while. It is an excellent academic study of the prehistory of what is now Chester and the surrounding area up to around the date of Romes withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century. There is a later book by the same author covering the period of 400-1066. Roman Chester AD400-1066 Hopefully Mr Mason would consider writing a third book covering 1066 to about 1500?

Like the author, I grew up in Chester and remember modern day Chester in its prime. I remember the days when Chester cared about itself and the mini museums in King Charles Tower and the Water Tower were open. Sadly, Chester is just another clone town but many independant retailers still exist such as the excellent toyshop on Watergate Street (reason enought to visit Chester...) You will be hard pressed to find any roman remains in situ, apart from about a 1/3rd of an amphitheatre and naturally parts of the wall. Oh to go back to the early 1960's and change certain planning decisions that cut the heart out of the town. Maybe Chester would have become like York.

There are a number of books around that cover this time period but non really cover the subject in depth, only covering Roman Chester as one moment in time rather that the 400 years or so that the fort developed into a Roman town and borough. It may appear obvious, but I had only just realised why the Cross, where the four cardinal streets meet, is a staggered junction and not a +! This excellent book gives an insight into what once lay under your feet and comes highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Mason's book is not for the uninitiated - you have to have some knowledge of Rome and how she was governed and defended before approaching this book but, once you have that knowledge, you will find reading this book a very rewarding experience, as Mason comprehensively details the life and times of the Roman garrison and later town at Deva. A very important addition to understanding the Roman Empire and especially Roman Britain.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was keen to learn more about the history of life in Roman Chester and the development of Chester through this period so that I could make more of my visits to Chester. Whilst I imagine this book may appeal to students/academics, for me the vast amounts of facts, figures, measurements, etc, etc, meant that I was skim-reading large tranches of text. As I said in my heading - not what I expected, so a disappointment to me.
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