Imagining Roman Britain

Imagining Roman Britain

Victorian Responses to a Roman Past

Virginia Hoselitz

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Royal Historical Society

Overview

Overview

An examination of how the Roman past was perceived, and used, by Victorian Britain.
The authority of classical texts was challenged in the mid-Victorian era through the unearthing of a very different "Rome" in the material remains under British soil. Developments in archaeology created a new picture of Roman Britain as wealthy and civilized - an image which sat more comfortably with the Victorians' own changing view of empire as they themselves became an imperial power. Changing intellectual ideas ensured that the Roman heritage could no longer be seen solely as the preserve of the classically educated upper class: excavating with a spade allowed a larger audience to participate and own the Roman past.
This book explores the whole phenomena, using archaeological activity in four British provincial towns (Caerleon, Cirencester, Colchester and Chester) to offer an explanation of why it happened, and providing a set of authoritative and fresh insights into the way in which Victorian archaeology emerged, developed and altered how the modern world understood the ancient. What it brings to the fore are the frequently contradictory and confused notions about the past, which challenge any simplistic understanding of the place of Roman Britain in the Victorian imagination.

VIRGINIA HOSELITZ gained her PhD at the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Bristol.

Details

6 black and white, 1 line illustrations
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Hardback, 9780861932931, November 2007
Paperback, 9780861933358, June 2015
Royal Historical Society
BIC GM, 1DB, 2AB, 3JH
BISAC SOC003000
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Changing times
A question of identity
Gentlemen and scientists
Isca Silures
Corinium
Camoludonium
Deva
Finding the past in the ground
The picture changes
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

A useful and competent study of archaeological engagement with Roman remains in Victorian Britain. It draws on the personal letters and papers of individual antiquarians, the accessions list, minute-books and correspondence files of local archaeological bodies, and a range of archaeological journals and publications. (...) An interesting study which, like the best archaeology, uncovers new material and helps us to understand better the materials we already have. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

Very well researched. VICTORIAN STUDIES

An interesting study. JOURNAL OF THE GWENT LOCAL HISTORY COUNCIL

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