Download A companion to Roman Britain by Malcolm Todd PDF

By Malcolm Todd

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 historical past and tradition of Roman Britain
  • Brings jointly experts to supply an outline of contemporary debates approximately this period
  • Exceptionally vast assurance, embracing political, monetary, cultural and non secular life
  • Focuses on adjustments in Roman Britain from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD
  • Includes pioneering experiences of the human inhabitants and animal assets of the island.

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SOCIETY AND POLITY IN LATE IRON AGE BRITAIN 13 Literary and Numismatic Sources Although late Iron Age Britain was described by a number of contemporary authors, including Caesar (De Bello Gallico, especially V. 12–14), Strabo (IV. 5), and Diodorus Siculus (V, 21–2), only Caesar actually visited the island, and then only the extreme south-east. His commentaries were written mainly for self-promotion, and the accuracy of his account of the Britons will have been of little importance either to the author or his readership.

The Meare lake village in Somerset is thought to have housed one of the principal workshops for Iron Age glass production in north-west Europe, but was probably the site of a seasonal fair and may not have been permanently occupied. At the other extreme, some individuals of higher rank or political authority may have resided at sites which cannot be differentiated archaeologically from those of lower rank; in such contexts, the absence of any overt settlement hierarchy does not imply an egalitarian society.

There were also changes which perhaps point to increased political centralization in the intervening areas of central Britain. These include the laying out of large coaxial field systems in the Trent Valley and the even larger ‘brickwork’ systems of Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, while in north-east England long-established enclosed farms gave way to extended open settlements (Haselgrove 2001). The mid-first 1 In Shetland, this may not be until the second century A D . 2 Standing back from this material, we would have to conclude that some degree of social ranking existed throughout most of central and Atlantic Britain.

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