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Glimpses of Roman Britain page 2


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It was in the early years of the fifth century that the eastern shores of Britain began to be overrun by Anglo-Saxon bands freshly arrived from the mouths of the German rivers in small flotillas of ships. Their numbers gradually increased and their depredations became more and more serious, until at length the task of defence became almost too much for a country to a great extent stripped of its regular troops for overseas service against other enemies on distant frontiers of the far-reaching empire.

Apart from the civil area of Lower Britain was the military zone, mainly in Upper Britain. In it were the three great legionary bases; those of Isca Silurum, "Caerleon," now becoming better known through the excavations which have revealed more of the stone-built amphitheatre of Legio II "Augusta," of Deva (Chester), where the museum holds much that is of great interest; and of Eboracum, still possessed of a considerable portion of the Roman walls of its great "castra." In the half-civilized areas beyond these strong military bases were many forts, a number of which have now been carefully excavated and the story of their construction, abandonment and reoccupation pieced together with great skill. These far-flung posts extend beyond the wall of Hadrian, whose impressive remains still grip the attention of those who find themselves in bleak Northumberland. Farther north still, beyond the slight remains of the turf wall of Pius between Forth and Clyde, the remains of other Roman forts are to be found, that at Ardoch, north of Stirling, being one of the best preserved. Besides these inland defenses there were those of the Saxon Shore - ten strongly built forts between the Wash and the Isle of Wight which played their parts prominently in the defense of Romanised Britain when the numerous raiders escaped the defending fleets.

At some date in the first half of the fifth century Britain became more or less isolated. Communication with the central government of the Empire was cut off and the Romanised Britons were left to organize their own defences. The struggle was prolonged far into the sixth century, until about 582, in a last great battle, the British flag was overwhelmed.

In the chaos during which Britain became England there is little doubt that the civilization which the Anglo-Saxons found did influence them. That many Romano-British inhabitants survived the period of struggle between 400 and 582 seems undoubted, and thus the work of the great Roman schoolmaster was not lost, but out of its apparent failure there grew up from the wrecked province a well-governed nation which has developed into the Britain of to-day.

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Pictures for Glimpses of Roman Britain page 2

EXCAVATING THE GREAT AMPHITHEATRE OF CAERLEON, WHICH ONCE SAW ROMAN GAMES
EXCAVATING THE GREAT AMPHITHEATRE OF CAERLEON, WHICH ONCE SAW ROMAN GAMES >>>>
WROXETER'S ROMAN FORUM
WROXETER'S ROMAN FORUM >>>>
AUTHENTIC SURVEY OF HIGHWAY AND CITY IN ROMAN BRITAIN
AUTHENTIC SURVEY OF HIGHWAY AND CITY IN ROMAN BRITAIN >>>>
ROMAN VILLAS AT COLCHESTER AND DARENTH AND THE RECULVER PILLARS AT CANTERBURY
ROMAN VILLAS AT COLCHESTER AND DARENTH AND THE RECULVER PILLARS AT CANTERBURY >>>>
REMINISCENCES OF ROMAN DAYS AT LINCOLN, SILCHESTER, DEAL AND RICHBOROUGH CASTLE
REMINISCENCES OF ROMAN DAYS AT LINCOLN, SILCHESTER, DEAL AND RICHBOROUGH CASTLE >>>>
VILLA NEAR CHEDWORTH, THE FINEST IN THE LAND, AND THE ROMAN BATH AT BATH
VILLA NEAR CHEDWORTH, THE FINEST IN THE LAND, AND THE ROMAN BATH AT BATH >>>>
INTIMATE REMNANTS OF ROMAN LIFE TO BE FOUND IN THE MUSEUMS OF BRITAIN
INTIMATE REMNANTS OF ROMAN LIFE TO BE FOUND IN THE MUSEUMS OF BRITAIN >>>>
FOUNDATIONS OF A ROMAN BRIDGE WHICH CROSSED WHAT ONCE WAS THE COURSE OF THE TYNE
FOUNDATIONS OF A ROMAN BRIDGE WHICH CROSSED WHAT ONCE WAS THE COURSE OF THE TYNE >>>>
REMAINS OF BASILICA AND BATHS AT WROXETER
REMAINS OF BASILICA AND BATHS AT WROXETER >>>>

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