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The Romans in Britain: Colonization of an Imperial Frontier

Hingley, Richard



Christine Beaule


This chapter addresses the means through which the southern and eastern parts of the British Isles were incorporated into the Roman Empire during the first century CE. It assesses the significance of the value of the concept of colonialism to address this process of military and cultural annexation. A number of classical authors wrote accounts of Britannia and many of these texts were rediscovered during the Renaissance of the sixteenth century, including the influential accounts of Julius Caesar and Tacitus. From the late sixteenth century, antiquaries also became interested in finding material evidence for Roman society in Britain, locating the ruins and artefacts that had been left behind (Hingley 2008). Several centuries of archaeological research has supplemented these early antiquarian works, providing a detailed understanding of the Roman occupation of Britannia and the impact of imperial rule upon the indigenous people. There are a number of recent summaries of the archaeology and historical evidence for Roman Britain (including Braund 1996; James and Millett [eds]. 2001; Mattingly 2006 and Millett, Moore and Revel [eds.] forthcoming). This paper provides a brief assessment of a number of significant themes that relate to the colonial archaeology of the Roman province of Britannia, including an assessment of the impact, since the mid 1990s, of ‘post-colonial theory’ upon this field of study (cf. Gardner 2013; Hingley 2014a).


Hingley, R. (2017). The Romans in Britain: Colonization of an Imperial Frontier. In C. Beaule (Ed.), Frontiers of colonialism (89-109). University Press of Florida

Acceptance Date Jun 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2017
Publication Date Jul 7, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 12, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 13, 2017
Pages 89-109
Book Title Frontiers of colonialism.
Publisher URL


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