The stories illustrated in the mosaic pavements that have survived from Roman Britain graphically link us to the world of the Romans in a way that literature, with its nuances of interpretation, cannot. After explaining how and why mosaic pavements were made, Dr. Patricia Witts looks at many of the 200 figured Roman mosaics that can be enjoyed in museums and sites throughout the country. Most portray mythological characters, and the author explains the underlying myths; others are taken from daily life or depict animals, birds, and marine creatures. This lavishly illustrated study is accompanied by a full glossary of technical terms and a gazetteer of relevant sites and museums.
Antiquarian interest in the Roman period mosaics of Britain began in the 16th century. This book is the first to explore responses and attitudes to mosaics, not just at the point of discovery but during their subsequent history. It is a field which has received scant attention and provides a compelling insight into the agency of these remains.
This book is a concise introduction to the floor mosaics of Roman Britain. It first chronicles the history of mosaic discovery in Britain and discusses the changing attitudes towards mosaics, no longer considered merely art objects but social documents. It deals with the different periods of mosaic laying from the first-century pavements at Fishbourne, of Italian craftsmanship, to the Hadrianic and Antonine periods, when mosaic was first established in the towns. It traces the apparent collapse of the craft in the third century and the remarkable fourth-century revival, when many villas were decorated with sophisticated mosaics, and it examines the probable techniques of the Roman mosaicist by reference to both literary and archaeological evidence. A chapter deals with the recording, conservation and research of mosaics, and a list of sites where mosaics can be seen includes comments on items of outstanding interest. Mosaics are illustrated by photographs and distribution maps show the fourth-century schools of mosaic. There is a glossary of technical terms. About the author Peter Johnson has written and presented numerous papers on Roman mosaics, notably at successive International Colloquia on Ancient Mosaics at Ravenna and Trier. He organised the fifth International Colloquium on Ancient Mosaics held at Bath in 1987 and co-edited the papers published in 1994. In 1978 he co-founded ASPROM, the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics, of which he is Vice-Chairman
Why did Roman Britain collapse? What sort of society succeeded it? How did the Anglo-Saxons take over? And how far is the traditional view of a massacre of the native population a product of biased historical sources? This text explores what Britain was like in the 4th-century AD and looks at how this can be understood when placed in the wider context of the western Roman Empire. Information won from archaeology rather than history is emphasized and leads to an explanation of the fall of Roman Britain. The author also offers some suggestions about the place of the post-Roman population in the formation of England.
With the help of over 100 illustrations, many of them little known, Martin Henig shows that the art produced in Britannia rivals that of other provinces and deserves comparison with the art of metropolitan Rome.
This book aims to examine and define the functions of towns in Roman Britain and to apply the definition so formed to Romano-British sites; to consider the towns' foundation, political status, development and decline; and to illustrate the town's individual characters and their surroundings.
This edition of the text has been rewritten and re-illustrated to take account of the extensive new excavations and interpretations that have taken place since the book was first published twenty years ago. The central section of the text covers the origin, development, public and private buildings, fortifications, character and demise of each of the twenty-one major towns of the province: the provincial capital of London; the coloniae - Colchester, Lincoln, Gloucester and York; the first civitas capitals - Canterbury, Verulamium and Chelmsford; from client kingdoms to civitas - Caister-by-Norwich, Chichester, Silchester and Winchester; Flavian expansion - Cirencester, Dorchester, Exeter, Leicester and Wroxeter; and Hadrianic stimulation - Caerwent, Carmarthen, Brough-on-Humber and Aldborough. The introductory chapters address the general questions of definition and urbanization, while the concluding chapter examines the reasons for the decay and final demise.
This is the first book to analyse art from the northern frontier zones of Roman Britain and to interpret the meaning and significance of this art in terms of the formation of a regional identity. It argues that a distinct and vibrant visual culture flourished in the north, primarily due to its status as a heavily militarized frontier zone.