Roman Britain by Gillian Hovell
Roman Britain provides a nicely compact overview of Ancient Rome's impact on England. It covers the history from the initial Roman invasions by Julius Caesar (54 BC) and Emperor Claudius (43 AD) to the final release of Britain as a Roman province in 410 AD. Pre-Roman England was an illiterate land. The population was spread out into tribal farm communities. The empire provided towns, education, culture, and security to the conquered Britons. Also, roads and commerce provided vast improvements for the lives of the locals as well as wealth for the conquerors. This all lasted until the barbarian problems in Europe required the removal of the troops from England, leaving it to the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings who soon moved in.
The book also reviews the various towns, forts, villas, and other sites that can be visited today. The condition of the sites and the important things to see are described succinctly. It's nice for us to read about sites we've already been to, like Hadrian's Wall and the Chester ampitheatre, and is an inspiration to visit new places, like the Fishbourne Palace and Bath. It even provides a top ten list of Roman finds, most of which can be seen at the British Museum.
This book is a handy guide to Rome's impact on Britain and for places to go and see the classical history of Britain.
As an interesting side note, when I posted my review on goodreads.com, I discovered the book wasn't listed yet! I was able to enter the book since I had the ISBN number and also had the front cover as a jpeg image. I didn't know just anyone could enter a book there. How cool is that?
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