This book provides an introduction to one of the formative periods of Scottish history. The opening chapter offers a perspective of the Roman achievement, as viewed by Magnus Maximus, usurper and claimant to the imperial throne, while the final chapter offers another imagined personal commentary on the transition from the Roman period. In between is an account of the monuments which remain today as memorials to imperial rule. From the great marching camps, to roads, from siegeworks to signal stations, from altars to bathhouses and of course along the great fixed fortification of the Antonine Wall, the Roman presence remains a real and palpable one. This, after all, was the northern frontier. Again and again massive imperial armies struck north - under Agricola and under Septimius Severus to name but the most famous - and again and again the tribesmen of the north struck back, most notably in the great Barbarian conspiracy of the late fourth century. Here, almost more than on any other frontier, we see the Empire wrestling with the problem of controlling and containing a restless population, and even as the Empire collapsed it may have left one last legacy which shaped the future of Scotland - the memory and tradition of Empire...
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