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The Romans Who Shaped Britain

Sam Moorhead, David Stuttard

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A fast-moving account of the rise and fall of Roman Britain, told through the lives of governors and generals, emperors and rebels


Roman Britain was created not by impersonal historical forces, but by men and women, each driven by ambition, aspiration and passion. Vivid and compelling, The Romans Who Shaped Britain sets out the story as a single narrative, and reminds us of the truly epic nature of the history of Britannia. It explores the story of this Roman province through the lives of its emperors, commanders, governors, officials and rebels. This rich cast of characters includes some, such as Caesar, Agricola and Boudica, who may be familiar; and others, such as Carausius, Magnentius or Valentinus, who deserve to be more so. Their lives and actions are set against the backdrop of an evolving landscape, in which Iron Age shrines were being replaced by marble temples, industrial-scale factories and granaries were springing up across the countryside and a triumphal arch towered into the Kent sky to mark Rome’s domination.


'A lively story … offers a wonderful gallery of later characters'
Mary Beard, Sunday Times

'An engaging, thought-provoking and often entertaining read … very compelling … a must for those who are bored by (or feel they know everything about our Roman heritage'
BBC History Magazine

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 13.0 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Illustrations: 73

Publication date: 28 July 2016

ISBN: 9780500292600

Contents List

Introduction: Re-imagining Roman Britain • 1. To Boldly Go • 2. Elephants and Castles • 3. Revolt • 4. Shock and Awe v. Hearts and Minds • 5. The Limits of the World • 6. Band of Brothers • 7. The Scourge of Scotland • 8. The Britannic Empire • 9. Blessed Isle • 10. Turmoil • 11. Meltdown • 12. Praying for the Coming of the Once and Future King

About the Author

Sam Moorhead, voted ‘Archaeologist of the Year 2011’ by readers of Current Archaeology, is the National Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman Coins in the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum.

David Stuttard taught Classics for eleven years in Edinburgh, St Andrews and York, and has written numerous books on the Classical world including Greek Mythology: A Traveller’s Guide from Mount Olympus to Troy, A History of Ancient Greece in Fifty Lives and The Romans Who Shaped Britain (with Sam Moorhead), all published by Thames & Hudson. He is the founder of the theatre company Actors of Dionysus and a Fellow of Goodenough College, London.