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MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL Editor Rob Attar robertattar@historyextra.com Production editor Spencer Mizen Sub-editor Paul Bloomfield Picture editor Samantha Nott samnott@historyextra.com Art editor Sarah Lambert Additional work by Katherine Hallett, Matt Elton, Susanne Frank, Charlotte Hodgman, Rachel Dickens, Rosemary Smith, Sue Wingrove, Dean Purnell, Paul Jarrold

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BBC History Magazine is published by Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited under licence from BBC Worldwide who help fund new BBC programmes. BBC History Magazine was established to publish authoritative history, written by leading experts, in an accessible and attractive format. We seek to maintain the high journalistic standards traditionally associated with the BBC.

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WELCOME

What have the Romans ever done for us? We all know, of course, the Monty Python sketch and the catalogue of bene ts supposedly endowed by Roman conquerors. Yet the story of four and a half centuries of invasion, occupation and, nally, desertion of Britain by the Romans is a complex and o en nebulous one.

This special edition explores the subject in depth. Wemeet the hardy peoples who inhabited this island at the time of Julius Caesar’s rst foray in 55 BC, and ask whether they really were the proud, noble rebels portrayed by Roman writers such as Tacitus. We run our eye over the imperial forces in Britain, including the rst British navy and the ill-fated Ninth Legion, lost in history. And we follow the campaigns waged across the island, notably the bloody and disastrous expeditions in Scotland.

Not all was con ict and chaos, of course. We take a guided tour of Britannia to experience daily life once the Roman province was well established, and visit the luxurious villas of the elite. Finally, we examine how imperial instability forced Rome to turn its back on the province and the impact of that departure, as well as the long-term legacy of the Roman occupation on Britain’s psyche and culture. We also explore Britain’s rich surviving Roman heritage, from the walls of Wroxeter to the sea-fort of Portchester and glorious villa mosaics – not to mention, of course, Hadrian’s monumental wall.

The Story of Roman Britain compiles and updates articles that have appeared previously in BBC History Magazine, along with new content written specially for this edition. I hope you enjoy it.

Rob Attar Editor BSME Editor of the Year 2015, Special Interest Brand

“Britain’s Roman past is intriguingly mercurial, slippery and hard to grasp. It is fascinatingly alive”

Writer CHARLOTTEHIGGINS looks at the pitfalls and insights encountered by historians exploring Roman Britain on page 114

The Story of Roman Britain

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