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Read e-book online A companion to Roman Britain PDF

By Malcolm Todd

ISBN-10: 1405128933

ISBN-13: 9781405128933

This significant survey of the background and tradition of Roman Britain spans the interval from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.

  • Major survey of the background and tradition of Roman Britain
  • Brings jointly experts to supply an outline of modern debates approximately this period
  • Exceptionally vast insurance, embracing political, financial, cultural and spiritual life
  • Focuses on adjustments in Roman Britain from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD
  • Includes pioneering reviews of the human inhabitants and animal assets of the island.

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Example text

In south-west Scotland, on the other hand, Roman imports are distributed across a wider spectrum of society, suggesting control by many lesser leaders rather than fewer, more powerful individuals. In Atlantic Scotland, there is a general dearth of Roman goods, but two areas stand out as having a wider range of finds and marked variation between sites: these are Orkney and Caithness, with their strongly hierarchical broch villages; and Argyll and the inner Hebrides, where differential occurrence of imports at architecturally similar sites could imply that status differences within the leading group were now being expressed through material culture (Hunter 2001).

Although the evidence could all be explained as an accumulation of traded items arriving through a variety of mechanisms, it is simpler to see it in the context of a community of Roman, or Gallo-Roman, traders who had settled among the local community to organize imports and exports. Other likely places for enclaves of traders are the two major tribal oppida of Verulamium and Camulodunum. Verulamium occupies a very similar location to Braughing–Puckeridge, both settlements commanding river valleys on the lower slopes of the Chilterns.

Some such explanation surely lies behind the symbols of ‘kingly’ status found at Folly Lane and Lexden. These considerations, which reflect on the personalities and the power of the British paramounts, are also a reminder of political mobility: kings could be installed and deposed during local factional rivalries and in all this the patronage of Rome was now a significant factor. In one possible scenario, if a paramount maintained his position and power by dispersing elite goods, acquired through the auspices of Rome, to his clients, then it would have been a simple matter for Rome to topple him by bringing the supply to an end or by favouring a rival.

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A companion to Roman Britain by Malcolm Todd

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