DOC ´ READER The Real Lives of Roman Britain ¼ GUY DE LA BéDOYèRE

TEXT The Real Lives of Roman Britain

DOC ´ READER The Real Lives of Roman Britain ¼ GUY DE LA BéDOYèRE ¼ The Britain of the Roman Occupation is in a way an age that is dark to us While the main events from 55 BC to AD 410 are little disputed and the archaeological remains of villas forts walls and cities explain a great deal we lack a cleFelong specialist in Romano British history Guy de la Bédoyère is the first to recover the period exclusively as a human experience He focuses not on military campaigns and imperial politics but on individual personal stories Roman Britain is revealed as a place where the ambitious scramble for power and prestige the devout seek solace and security through religion men and women eke out existences in a provincial frontier land De I really wanted to like this book The idea behind it using archaeological evidence tied to a deep knowledge of life in Roman times which the author certainly seems to have is a great one There isn't enough archaeological evidence tied to specific people though A pottery shard with the maker's name on it here a grave monument there The author's way of indicating the resulting uncertainty is using maybe perhaps and possibly in every other sentence This starts to grate very uicklyAnother thing is that he jumps from subject to subject very uickly often without a paragraph break this could be because I received a pre release ebook hopefully the formatting in the definitive copy is better The link between one person and the next could be geographical chronological or because of something like related jobs or social class but this was often not made explicit and sometimes it took a page or two to find out that we'd jumped to a different person place and time Even when you're staying in Roman Britain there's enough places and times to do uite a bit of jumpingThe end result is a book with lots of really very interesting glimpses into the lives of the ordinary non emperor people in a remote corner of the Roman empire But the presentation is so jumbled and the writing so not my cup of tea that it is the very first book in a few years that try as I might I couldn't finish

EPUB Ñ The Real Lives of Roman Britain ï Guy de la Bédoyère

The Britain of the Roman Occupation is in a way an age that is dark to us While the main events from 55 BC to AD 410 are little disputed and the archaeological remains of villas forts walls and cities explain a great deal we lack a clear sense of individual lives This book is the first to infuse the story of Britannia with a beating heart the first to describe in detail who its inhabitants were and their place in our history   A li 1st Century Roman mosaic in the Roman palace at Fishbourne Chichester Though Britons in the Southeast had commercial dealings with the Roman Empire and tribal leaders had been displaying their status by bringing prestige items across the Channel for uite some time they didn't feel the weight of the Empire until Julius Caesar's adventures on the scepter'd isle in the summers of 55 and 54 BCE But Caesar had other matters on his plate and left taking his army with him Subseuent invasions were planned by Augustus and Caligula but it was Emperor Claudius who sent four legions to occupy the island in 43 CE The Roman army would remain until approximately the year 410 the aftereffects of Roman civilization would remain significantly longer As Guy de la Bédoyère warns The Real Lives of Roman Britain 2015 is not a history of Roman Britain it is a glimpse into what can be retrieved about the lives of the people who lived there and then Some history is related for context of course but the focus is on culture with a small c and normal life as evidenced by archaeological digs numismatics funerary and other inscriptions the Vindolanda tablets and the like For the most part this is done very soberly Along with explicitly declining to pass a value judgment on the occupation de la Bédoyère doesn't choose to tell the most colorful versions of his tales For example instead of playing all the registers of the well known story of Boudica as embellished by later fabulists for various purposes de la Bédoyère explains what little one really can know and what motivated Tacitus and Cassius Dio to set the legend in motion in the first place So this is not a popularization of the egregious sort one might be led to expect by the title The fact that the book is published by the Yale University Press is also a hint On the other hand it is also no dry as dust academic monograph of the sort I have been reading lately and learning a great deal from The roughly chronological organizing principle suggested on the level of chapters is constantly violated in the very digressive paragraphs as is seemingly any other likely form of organization Though the famous make their cameo appearances the author draws our attention to the Thracian trooper Longinus Sdapeze who died at forty after fifteen years in the saddle on Rome's behalf before he had reached the magic number of 25 at which he would have become a Roman citizen; and Saturninus Gabinius the most idiosyncratic of the water nymph Coventina's adherents who fabricated from clay two curious incense burners and proudly inscribed them with his name; and the Gaulish importexport businessman Lucius Viducius Placidus who was so successful that he made a dedication to a local goddess in what is now Holland and paid for a gate and arch in a temple precinct in York; and the Briton Verecunda daughter of the Dobunni tribe who married a Romanized Gaul Excingus and died at thirty five to be buried in the Roman manner and marked with a Roman tombstone inscribed in Latin To mention only a few of many Although each individual emerges out of the shadows of time to wave briefly and then recede de la Bédoyère uses them to exemplify the general facts about ordinary life in Roman Britain that he weaves into the discussion And so we have

Guy de la Bédoyère ï The Real Lives of Roman Britain DOC

The Real Lives of Roman BritainLa Bédoyère introduces Fortunata the slave girl Emeritus the frustrated centurion the grieving father uintus Corellius Fortis and the brilliant metal worker Boduogenus among numerous others Through a wide array of records and artifacts the author introduces the colourful cast of immigrants who arrived during the Roman era while offering an unusual glimpse of indigenous Britons until now nearly invisible in histories of Roman Brita Roman Britain is peculiar part of the overall Roman history the everlasting semi civilised frontier reputation that no other frontier regions of the empire ever acuired Yet at the same time it is over represented in the study of the Roman Empire Partially that has to be due to Hadrians wall but for a large part that has to be due to Britain's laterfound success in the 18th century and the role of Roman history father Edward Gibbon's whose 6 part history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire still remains a staple for any informed talk about the Roman empire or at very least they way we look back at it So it was a bit surprising for me to learn that all and all we know very little about individuals living in Roman Britain Only a fragment of the people who lived and died in this corner of the world for centuries far less then we do about other parts of the empire On the one hand it is interesting to use individuals to tell about the time they lived in to discuss say their diet to comment on access to certain kinds of foods or what material their house was made of or the presence of a pepper container thus showing a segment of the society could access pepper But Guy De La Bédoyère does regularly dig and speculate a bit too deep I would have times preferred attention to what the remainsartefacts tell us about society as a whole rather then what this specific person's live could have been It is a fine line off course but for my personal taste he edged a bit to close to focusing on the persons rather then what this tells us about their society and how it changed in time Another issue I had was that his build up of chapters and follow up of paragraphs is not what I prefer; sometimes he jumps between persons and other times he eases the reader into new persons to get to know The biggest issue whit the jumping is that it leaves out context and easy to reach tools to differentiate and understand the differences and similarities between those that are discussed Two things do stand out in my appreciation of this book one negative and the other positive On the negative side his description of would be emperor Carausius who failed to capture the purple in the late 3th century Now I would not define myself as a big fan of would be military usurpers but Guy insists on calling him a thug and a “cartoon pirate” and presents him like he was a sort of buffoon Why? As far as I can find he wasn’t that special not any different from any other roman General would got carried away and got elevated by his troops It leaves me to conclude that the author has some personal reasons to dislike this particular Would be coup leader and that should not have made it into this book Having said that I really appreciated his analysis of 4th century enduring paganism and growing dominance of Christianity He flat out refuses to abide to the classic one goes up and the other goes down off course Christianity was the clear cut dominant religion narrative In stead by zooming in on a particular few finds that have a distinctly pagan identity and emphasis syncretism and local religious dynamics that gives us of tug of war approach on spirituality rather then a suddenly Christians ruled after Constantine the great narrative After all When Julian the Apostate who is un