Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Real Lives of Roman Britains

The Real Lives of Roman Britain

Rating: 4 Stars


I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was hesitant at first to read this one, as the last book I read by this author started out promising, but I did not finish it due to losing interest. This could be because I was primarily reading the previous book for the section on Boudicca (the book was 'Defying Rome'). It was not the writing or any fault of the author that I did not finish that one, I have just found that my reading tastes have changed and I am less interested in Ancient Rome than I used to be. I am still, however, quite interested in Roman Britain and so this one was easier to stick with.

The book goes into as much detail as one can expect, considering Roman Britain gradually ceased to exist 1500 years ago. However, new discoveries are being made all the time - pieces of walls, old forts, shards of pottery. Unfortunately all we have are pieces. While the picture gets clearer with each discovery, I doubt we will ever have enough to make the whole picture, so to speak.

Something I appreciated as much as the actual content was the extensive resources that made up the last 20% or so of the book. There was an extensive notes and bibliography sections. There was also a section on how Roman names were created, and a timeline of events in the history of Roman Britain starting with the first contact on the island. Additionally, there was a plethora of information on museums around the country where one can see artifacts from the centuries of Roman rule. My particular favorite, is, of course Bath. In previous posts about Roman Britain I have always included a few photos from my trip to the UK in 2009 with my mom. Here are a few of my favorites. All photos were taken by and belong to me:

The Great Bath (Bath, 2009)

The Great Bath (Bath, 2009)

Semi-Circular Bath (Bath, 2009)

The hypocaust (Bath, 2009)

Overall, this is a thoroughly researched, highly informative book. There's not necessarily a TON of new information if this is a subject you are already very familiar with, but still a good read nonetheless. There are several photos prior to chapter one depicting some of the many artifacts found over the years. My only real complaint is that these photos would have better served the text by being included within the chapter they were related to. I'd like to take a look at the physical copy of this book to see some of the photos in color, as opposed to the black and white photos of my Kindle.

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