The author prepared the bid for World Heritage Site status for the Antonine Wall and is the leading archaeologist in the study of the frontier zones of Imperial Rome. This is a work of scholarship that is very readable and very well illustrated – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Frontiers of Imperial Rome FILE: R2991 AUTHOR: David J Breeze PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Rome, Roman Empire, Imperial Rome, frontiers, boundaries, fixed defences, fortifications, watch towers, forts, legionary forts, temporary defences, UNESCO, World Heritage sites
IMAGE: B2991.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y39eddc5 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author prepared the bid for World Heritage Site status for the Antonine Wall and is the leading archaeologist in the study of the frontier zones of Imperial Rome. This is a work of scholarship that is very readable and very well illustrated – Most Highly Recommended. There has long been an acceptance that written history must be right even when all the evidence points against this assumption. Through history, many of the achievements of leaders have been recorded initially in aural history and then written down at some point in the future. In writing down the events, the authors may have been heavily influenced by religious and secular leaders, on whose patronage they depended. Until modern archaeology became established, written history was taken above aural history, but more recently, archaeologists have become arbiters of history and corrected many of the incorrect accepted versions of history. There is still a capacity to introduce error because an archaeologist is interpreting 'finds' in modern terms. An example was the discovery of a viable electric battery from ancient Syria. It is possible to look at the earthenware container, its stopper, its electrodes, and its electrolyte, but who invented it? Why? and for what application? is conjecture. There is a high probability that it was used to plate base metals with precious metals but there are many other possible uses. It is an example of archaeologists discovering some artefact previously unrecorded in any verbal or written history and raising many questions that, as yet, are unanswered. Perhaps a future archaeologist will uncover other related artefacts that will provide an explanation. In this book, the author has collected together what we currently know about the way in which Imperial Rome marked and protected its boundaries around the known world. Although much information was written down at the time by Romans, and has survived to this day, archaeology is uncovering much new material and fuelling a thirst for further knowledge. In gaining World Heritage Status for the sites, we are going some way to protecting what is still to be uncovered before it is destroyed in ignorance. The author has produced clear and readable text to advance his view and this is very effectively supported through the body of text by many maps, plans and drawings in monochrome. A colour plate section then reinforces the illustrations through the main body of text. The Romans used stone, mortar and concrete in their permanent defensive works. Many of these structures have survived and been adapted further down the centuries because they were so well built. Many more may no longer be visible and await discovery. To these must be added the defensive works that were either temporary, or constructed from wood because it was a readily available material, or because the most rapid construction was required. A legion on the march needed to camp periodically. A wise commander created temporary defences by digging ditches and erecting simple fencing so that an enemy could not make a surprise attack on a sleeping army. Where the legion was halted for a longer period, those simple defences might be strengthened and later developed further as part of the administration and logistics systems. Where the reconstruction was undertaken with more durable materials it may have survived to this day, or lies just under a covering of soil. As ground penetrating radar, 3D laser scanning and other technologies become widely available much more may yet be discovered. This book provides the picture as we currently see it and is a most useful basis for an understanding of what is known and a point from which new discovers may be set out.