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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Bought this for my father's Christmas and he admitted to it being an enjoyable read. The book is alot larger than I had expected (about the size of an A4 sheet of paper and a few inches thick). Full of pictures, diagrams, and easy to absorb information, this is just a great reference book and is packed with information.

I'd never heard of the author before but have been since told that the author is actually one of the frequent experts who appear on television series 'Time Team'. A great gift for history enthusiasts or a great treat for yourself.
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on 8 August 2008
Guy De La Bedoyere might be familiar to some for his infrequent appearances on Channel 4's Time Team. He is both a historian and an archaeologist, and therefore has some sound grounding in both fields, which is not to mention that he has already published thirteen books on this subject.

This title however is a New History of Roman Britain, making full use of some of the recent archaeological discoveries made in the field, as well as the most relevant discussions amongst historians and scholars.

The book is accessible and readable, and seems to be aimed at the layperson as well as the expert. The book is filled with up to 285 illustrations including photographs, maps and paintings.
It follows the history of Britain, from the Pre-Roman Iron Age tribes, to Caesar and later Claudius's invasions of the country. Along the way we learn about Suetonius Paulinius's conquest of Wales, Julius Agricola's campaigns in Scotland, Boudica's rebellion, Hadrian's Wall, the later campaigns of the Emperor Septimius Severus, the breakaway 'British' Empire of Allectus and Carausius, as well as Roman Britain before its fall.

Yet the book is much more than a chronological tour of the province. Bedoyere also describes life in Britain under the Romans. From the governing of the province, the army and the forts, the towns with their public baths, theatres and forums, industry and commerce, the countryside and the villas, as well as religion and the ordinary lives of the Romano-British citizens.

This book could be seen as the modern heir to the seminal 'A Companion to Roman Britain' by Peter Clayton. The only downside to this book is that, unlike Clayton's book, it does not contain an up-to-date gazetteer of Roman sites. Still, with that minor problem aside, this is probably the most readable and most up-to-date account of Roman Britain published. A good starting point for beginners, and a useful update for experts. Recommended!
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on 24 July 2015
Picked this book up to add to my library on Roman Britain. As somebody who attends digs in the UK but only as an amateur digger, it is the perfect book for me. If it were possible to remember every facet of information presented in the book then the reader would be left with a very comprehensive knowledge of Roman Britain indeed.
Have this gem on your shelf and at a glance one can look up the dates for a governor of Britannia, find the number of men in a typical legion or read the most up to date postulations about key events in the Roman occupation.
I can't recommend this book enough, the only thing I will say is that you may find it spends a lot of time on loan to family and friends, good as it is.
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on 27 July 2010
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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on 5 November 2015
Must-have for anyone interested in the period of Roman occupation of Britain - very readable history for non-academics like myself with an interest in social history
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on 12 January 2013
Has all the reference points and collects together all the relevant accounts for a modern view of the roman involvement in Britain.
My only criticism is that it jumps around a little when describing the references and accounts of legionary activity. If i didnt have a fairly strong knowledge of these bits already, I would have had trouble following the frequent forward and backwards references.

All together a good book to have in my collection, maybe I can add to it at some point with my own discoveries.
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on 1 October 2015
A thorough and detailed account of Britain's Roman history.
He knows his stuff and tells the story well.
Best book on the subject
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on 11 May 2010
This new book is excellent, combining factual information with specifics about how we know. This reference to archaeology and texts is just what my A Level students need, but is also informative for the general interested reader. Chapters are well organised, layout is clear and modern, and there are many colour pictures which bring the text to life.
Cathy
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on 13 February 2017
I was preparing to spend an extended period in England when I ordered this book.......I wanted to have as much information as I could use while exploring what remains of Britain in the Roman era.......this book was what I hoped it would be........in addition to providing more Roman Era information than I could get from normal tour guide books, it was pleasurable reading from cover to cover........thoroughly enjoyed it....
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on 8 January 2016
Really enjoyed the book. As a relative novice to Roman history in Britain, the author managed to write in a way that makes me want to learn more. I particularly enjoyed his at times direct acknowledgement that there is much we don't know and never will. There is a lot of information here though, easy ton understand, and some great illustrations/photos too.
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