The End of Roman Britain

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Among the provinces long occupied by Rome, Britain retained the slightest imprint of the invading civilization. To explain why this was true, Michael E. Jones offers a lucid and thorough analysis of the economic, social, military, and environmental problems that contributed to the failure of the Romans. Drawing on literary sources and on recent archaeological evidence, Jones disputes the theory that the Anglo-Saxon invasions were the determining agent in the failure of Romanitas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jones contends that . . . persistent local rebellions, disease, and climatic deterioration, as well as invasion, led to the end of Roman Britain. Except for a villain named Paul the Chain, whose depiction by Jones is a tiny biographical gem, most civil and military officials were colorless, and no religious leader emerged as a charismatic saint. In essence, the Britons ultimately rejected Roman civilization; they were not deprived of it. Jones's exploration is bound to be controversial, but his work is engaging, enjoyable, perceptive, and persuasive."—Choice

"Jones offers a radical revision to the standard account of the collapse of Roman power in Britain and the coming of the Anglo-Saxons. . . . This book will engage specialists in early medieval history, but Jones's lucid style and ability to demystify highly technical forms of evidence make the book accessible to intelligent general readers. This book is highly recommended for undergraduate, graduate, and major public libraries."—Bridges

"An exciting, imaginative, and original examination of a significant historical problem. Michael Jones's thesis, that Roman Britain fell not because Rome abandoned Britain but because the Britons rejected Rome, is certain to provoke controversy. The book is written in a witty and engaging style."—Richard Abels, United States Naval Academy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801485305
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Introduction 1
1 Population and the Anglo-Saxon Invasions: The Archaeological Evidence 8
2 The Scale of the Adventus: The Literary Evidence 39
3 The Anglo-Saxon Invasions 72
4 Romano-British Attitudes: Romanitas and the Vision of the Roman Past 108
5 The Roman Provinces of Britain 144
6 The Environment and the End of Roman Britain 186
7 Epilogue and Conclusion: The Fall, A.D. 406-410 244
Chronological List of Selected Events 259
Appendix 1: Population of the Roman Empire 261
Appendix 2: Roman Provincial Population in Europe 264
Appendix 3: Barbarian Tribal Population 266
Appendix 4: The Historia Brittonum 269
Bibliography 273
Index 317
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