Item description for Hadrian's Wall and Its People (Bristol Phoenix Press - Greece and Rome Live) by Geraint Osborn...
Hadrian's Wall -- one of the most prominent monuments of the Roman period in Britain -- has a special place in the public imagination. It offers a tangible reminder of our ancient past and a concrete link with the Roman occupation. Visitors can stand amid the remains, knowing that they tread in the footsteps of the soldiers who garrisoned the province.
Guides to the Wall have tended to concentrate on the archaeological record, on the Wall's construction and on military organisation. This book folds these aspects into a wider historical, social and economic perspective, providing the general reader with an analysis of how Hadrian's Wall functioned. It describes the impact it had on the lives of both Rome's soldiers and the native population, dealing with the contentious issue of 'Romanisation'. It looks, too, at what happened in Christian communities of the Wall area after the Roman army's departure.
Geraint Osborn utilises archaeological evidence, including the content of the remarkable Vindolanda tablets, to give a rounded picture of military life on the Wall. He also considers the role of the monument in the context of Victorian England, a time when parallels were frequently drawn between the Roman and British empires, and how this in turn affected the excavation, preservation and modern presentation of Hadrian's Wall.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2006
Publisher Bristol Phoenix Press, Univ of Exeter
ISBN 1904675441 ISBN13 9781904675440
Reviews - What do customers think about Hadrian's Wall and Its People (Bristol Phoenix Press - Greece and Rome Live)?
Interesting but ultimately disappointing Dec 29, 2007
Small, specialized, philosophical, uneasily poised between history and archeology, this book was an interesting read but ultimately disappointing. Considering its relatively modest size, too much space is spent on the archaeological history of Hadrian's wall and its defects, and on the effect of the idea of Roman Britain in 19th and 20th century British history.
The chapter headings -- Introduction, Why Build a Wall?, Military Life, Civilian Life, Hadrian's Wall and the End of Roman Britain, Conclusion: Hadrian's Wall and the English Sense of History -- show the extent of the coverage, rather too wide for 132 pages. The maps provided are sketchy and look as if the author ran them up himself over a weekend. The author's practice of referring to most of the Wall forts only by their modern British names is unhelpful to a non-British audience (a problem which could have been easily corrected by including the Roman names in parentheses, or at least putting them on a map key!).
There is some good detail about staffing and conditions on the Wall, and about its relation to the rest of Roman Britain, and also lists of sites to visit and suggested further reading. The one thing that would have improved this book the most for me would have been better maps, in particular site maps. In addition, more detailed information on museums and interpretive sites on the Wall (including opening hours and location maps, or at least National Grid references) could have made this book a good companion to a tour of the Wall.
(note to the proofreader: the author referenced several times in the text is Rosemary Sutcliff, not Sutcliffe.)