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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the migration patterns of those who were born in the Roman province of Britain and moved to the continental Europe in the late first–third centuries AD using epigraphic and archaeological evidence. Attention is given to the ways ethnic identity might have been projected by the mobile Britons, and the chapter shows how their identities were re-created and reused within the host societies. It shows that the epigraphic evidence consists of a considerable degree of variation in naming origin and that various choices were being made to express descent, although, in general, mobile British individuals still felt themselves to be connected with the province of their birth. Furthermore, the chapter deals with the occurrence of British-made brooches on the Continent and analyses how the contexts in which British brooches appeared reflect the diversity of their meanings and associations which emanated through their usage, considering that brooches are not evidence of the ethnicity of their users and wearers. It argues that the past was an important matter when brooches were put in specific contexts abroad. The desire to forget, reinvent, evoke, or project the past attests to the importance and value of memory in communities who travelled from Roman Britain to the Continent.

Keywords: Ethnicity, mobility, identity, migration, emigration, military, brooches, Britons

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