The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain (Oxford Illustrated Histories)

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9780198229841: The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain (Oxford Illustrated Histories)

In The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain, noted classical historian Peter Salway provides a rich account of Britain's centuries under Roman rule. Britain, Salway writes, was a place of fascination for the Romans--a fascination he brings to life with hundreds of beautiful illustrations and a thorough, authoritative narrative.
Before and even after the first contact with the Britons, the author writes, the Romans thought of the British Isles as an exotic place at the edge of the world, across the only ocean they knew. Salway introduces us to what is known of the pre-Roman Britons, and deftly describes Julius Caesar's dramatic expeditions in 55 and 54 B.C; in the years that followed, new contacts grew between the Romans and the inhabitants of this strange island. Salway's comprehensive narrative blends together the changing politics and ways of life of the native Britons, the climactic conquest under Claudius and the subsequent, often violent consolidation, and the place of the new province in Imperial affairs. Time and time again, he notes, this distant part of the Roman Empire demanded the finest military commanders and vast expenditures for fortifications and development. He explores the process of urbanization, as British aristocrats adapted to Roman norms, and such issues as the changing religion (with the spread of first Roman cults and then Christianity). He carefully integrates the story of Roman Britain into the story of the Empire itself, showing the close attention the emperors paid to British affairs, and the interventions in imperial politics by the legions stationed there. Salway draws on the latest archeological finds, thoughtfully assessing the evidence and weaving it into his seamless narrative.
Of course, The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain features hundreds of outstanding photographs and diagrams--all chosen to offer fresh insight into this distant period. Archeological sites, artifacts, coins, reconstructions, present day settings, and much more appear in both black and white and full color photographs, with informative captions by the author. Highly authoritative and highly readable, this volume brings alive the classical past of a familiar part of today's world.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
Peter Salway is a Professor of Ancient History at the Open University in Great Britain, and is the author of the volume on Roman Britain in the Oxford History of Britain.

Review:

'It is not a scrap overpriced by the standards of today, for Professor Peter Salway has brought crisply together the chronological story and given us a state-of-the-art picture of what is known of the economy, lifestyles, buildings and religion in Roman Britain. Generously illustrated and weighing some three and a half pounds.' The Countryman

'Reading this admirable book, with its abundance of arguments this way and that, can be unsettling. It shows how rocky our accepted ideas of history can be. With its wealth of detail, often open to different interpretations, about life in Roman Britain, it almost puts the reader, bemused and fascinated, in the position of actually living that life.' Michael Wharton, London Evening Standard

'the book is of course concerned with all of Roman Britain and it describes it in an easily readable style enlivened with much anecdotal detail and a very general array of illustrations in both colour and black and white ... Anyone interested in this colourful period in British history would find the book absorbing.' Alan Cameron, Lloyds List

'Much is related to Roman remains and archaeological discoveries, making them more meaningful and bringing the occupation, especially in such places as York, more alive. Though written for the general reader, students and scholars will find it interesting and enlightening.' Yorkshire Gazette and Herald

'a complete rewrite of his 1981 edition ... With superb pictures, it is a give-away at L25 ... superbly readable ... splendid witness to the vivacity and accessibility of the latest work on this exciting period.' Peter Jones, Sunday Telegraph

'highly illustrated account of the Roman occupation ... This is not just a book about the conquest and its effects, but also about life under Roman rule.' Bill Spence, Yorkshire Gazette and Herald

'One could not ask for a more meticulous or scholarly assessment of what Britain meant to the Romans, or Rome to Britons, than Peter Salway's monumental study.' Frederic Raphael, The Sunday Times

'This is a lavishly illustrated book including many photographs that have not been published before ... This book is a must for all teachers at Key Stage 3 and at the price it is a real bargain.' Richard Brown, Teaching History, April 1994

'a book that should be of interest to the traveller with an interest in excavation as well as anyone seeking the most comprehensive study of Roman-British life, from before Caesar to the coming of the Saxons' Reg Little, Oxford Times

'beautifully produced ... His perspective is firmly empire-wide, and his emphasis firmly on Britannia's contribution to, and influence on, the Roman world. Peter Salway's book, with its many splendid illustrations and approachable style, likewise captures the feel of life in Roman Britain. There will be new discoveries; but this is a book that will surely stand the test of time.' Times Literary Supplement

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Salway, Peter
Published by Oxford University Press (1993)
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