UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia

UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia

by Stuart Laycock, Miles Russell


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UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia by Stuart Laycock, Miles Russell

When we think of Roman Britain we tend to think of a land of togas and richly decorated palaces with Britons happily going about their much improved daily business under the benign gaze of Rome. This image is to a great extent a fiction. In fact, Britons were some of the least enthusiastic members of the Roman Empire. A few adopted Roman ways to curry favor with the invaders. A lot never adopted a Roman lifestyle at all and remained unimpressed and riven by deep-seated tribal division. It wasn't until the late third/early fourth century that a small minority of landowners grew fat on the benefits of trade and enjoyed the kind of lifestyle we have been taught to associate with period. Britannia was a far-away province which, while useful for some major economic reserves, fast became a costly and troublesome concern for Rome, much like Iraq for the British government today. Huge efforts by the state to control the hearts and minds of the Britons were met with at worst hostile resistance and rebellion, and at best by steadfast indifference. The end of the Roman Empire largely came as "business as usual" for the vast majority of Britons as they simply hadn’t adopted the Roman way of life in the first place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780752462851
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Miles Russell is an archaeology professor with more than 25 years' experience of archaeological fieldwork and publication. He is the author of Piltdown Man: The Secret Life of Charles Dawson. Stuart Laycock has been researching late Roman belts and buckles for 4 years. He is the author of Britannia: The Failed State and Warlords.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 Powergames 23

2 Making the Choice - Resistance or Alliance? 43

3 A Roman Face for Britain 62

4 The Limits of Empire 98

5 Rejecting Romanitas 111

6 Britannia - Rebel Empire 130

7 Britain Conquering Rome 153

8 Leaving the Empire 174

9 From UnRoman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England 198

10 UnRoman Britain Through History 226

Notes 233

Bibliography 240

Index 252

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