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Roman Britain: A New History von Guy de la…
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Roman Britain: A New History (Original 2006; 2006. Auflage)

von Guy de la Bedoyere (Autor)

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1733125,073 (3.72)2
Placing the Roman conquest and occupation within the context of Romano-British society, this book incorporates the latest discoveries in order to reveal how Roman society in Britain functioned.
Mitglied:GlacioD
Titel:Roman Britain: A New History
Autoren:Guy de la Bedoyere (Autor)
Info:Thames & Hudson (2006), Edition: 1, 288 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Tags:to-read

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Roman Britain: A New History von Guy de la Bedoyere (2006)

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There are numerous books on the subject of Roman Britain, but this one wins out by taking into account the latest archaeological evidence and presenting it as even handedly as possible. De la Bedoyere comes at the subject with no spurious theories to peddle and so the book is refreshingly honest in its approach. He deals with the basic history of the province in the first three chapters, the conquest, the consolidation and the decline. What comes across is the author's evident love of the subject and his wish to engage the reader without dumbing the subject down.

The remaining chapters deal with different aspects of the Roman occupation - the military, the economy, the effect on the indiginous population etc etc. The book is full of great photographs, artist's impressions and diagrams that bring the world of Roman Britain to life. What he repeats is how little we really know and how much of what is accepted as fact is merely conjecture. For instance, we don't know the name of one single owner of a Roman Villa in Britain. We're not even sure some sites called 'villas' were actually villas. The whole history of the province has to be pieced together from coinage, inscriptions, the invaluable resource of the Vindolanda letters and mentions in other sources found in other parts of the Empire.

What is striking is the decline after the departure of the last Roman Legions. Within a couple of generations the whole infrastructure had fallen apart, major towns were in ruins and villas demolished and abandoned. There is no clear evidence as to why this happened so quickly. Safe to say that theses Islands would not be affected so fundamentally on every level of society until the Industrial Revolution. The Roman occupation was that radical.

Thoroughly readable, this book is recommended to anyone interested in the history of these Isles. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
This book turned out to be an excellent read. I was very excited when I first got the book, and dove straight in, putting my other "currently readings" on hold. At first, I was very disappointed. The book started off very slowly, and the author only seemed interested in the evidence of old Roman coins scattered around Britain. As a fan of Roman History, I was already sure that there was relatively little surviving physical evidence of the Romans having been in Britain, but what exists is certainly richer evidence than a few old coins. The Romans were great historians--people that wrote stuff down! Where was all of this evidence?

I forced myself to continue with the book, that by the first (approx) 50-75 pages was really bogging me down as I still seemed mostly to be reading about coins. Well, I am happy to say that I was rewarded for sticking to it! The author finally got to the real RICH evidence of Romans in Britain. Finally, I got to read about the Vindolanda tablets that were found not all that long ago...letters written by Romans living in the area of Hadrians Wall. These tablets which are basically personal letters from Romans to other Romans, show that these people were quite like us in many ways...a birthday party invitation from one lady to another! A letter from a man to his neighbor, asking to borrow an axe! How wonderful! The evidence also began to touch on grave goods, pottery, statues, carvings, armor, the list goes on and on. Evidence also includes mosaics that have only been uncovered in the last few years of archaeological digging, and the only Roman stadium found in Britain.

Maps were excellent and very detailed. Conceptual drawings were very good, and plentiful. There were photos and illustrations (many in color) that actually related to something on the page being read, rather than in a collection of plates in the middle of the book!

Though it seems that the author needed a few pages to warm up with, to gather his courage or something, he finally did. And the result (for the last two-thirds of the book, anyway) is worth waiting for. I would recomend this to any fan of British history, Roman history, or history in general. In fact, I must admit that I posted to a thread about "Which book are you struggling to get through?" and I used this book in my post. I'm seriously considering going back to re-post in that thread, as an apology to the author for judging his book when I had yet to finish it. ( )
  DanoWins | Jun 13, 2008 |
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Placing the Roman conquest and occupation within the context of Romano-British society, this book incorporates the latest discoveries in order to reveal how Roman society in Britain functioned.

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