For nearly four centuries, from AD 43 to 410, Britain was a small province on the north-western edge of the vast Roman Empire. Though it was small, it was not insignificant. There were more Roman soldiers in Britain than there were in the provinces of North Africa, and the governors who were appointed by the Emperor were among the most prominent men of their day, at the peak of their careers. People from all classes of Roman Britain's multi-cultural and varied society can still speak to us, indirectly via the works of ancient historians, annalists and biographers, and directly from building inscriptions, religious dedications, gravestones, graffiti, leaden curse tablets, artefacts and coins. But perhaps the most vivid source is the corpus of letters from the fort at Vindolanda in Northumberland, where named individuals talk about birthday parties and complain about the terrible state of the roads. This book uses a variety of sources to document the military, political, and social history of Roman Britain, from Julius Caesar's brief invasions in the first century BC to the fifth century AD when Imperial government came to an end.
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