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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a summary of changing interpretation of Roman Britain between 1586 and 1906. It commences with the interpretation of the history of the Roman province outlined by William Camden in his seminal account Britannia. It provides an exploration of two myths of origin that had a powerful role in England in the centuries following Camden: the idea that civilization in the lowlands commenced with the Roman Conquest and the contrasting idea that the Roman population of Britain were incomers from Italy and the Mediterranean. The chapter provides a summary of the way that the increasing knowledge of pre-Roman and Roman Britain was drawn upon by Francis Haverfield to produce his account of the Romanization of Roman Britain (1906). This influential idea of the civilizing of lowland Britons in Roman times created a tradition of archaeological research that dominated much of the twentieth century.

Keywords: barbarity, chorography, civilization, ethnicity, imperialism, India, mythical history, resistance, Romanization

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