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Our Debt to Rome?

  • O. G. S. Crawford
Extract

That do we inherit from our Roman conquerors ? To this question some reply, ‘Little or nothing’, and some, ‘The seeds of culture and religion’. The point has been debated endlessly, because it is an important one, with Apractical bearings. It is difficult to reach a decision because the decisive period, between 400 and 600 A.D., is one of the darkest in our history. Was there a ‘break with Rome’ more or less abrupt and complete, or did the traditions of Roman culture survive? By a strange irony, the protagonist of the complete hiatus was the late Professor Haverfield, whose life's work—Roman Britain—still lives in our midst; whereas the writer of today who is most vociferous in support of continuity is Mr Hilaire Belloc; and Mr Belloc is associated in the minds of us a11 rather with the Dark Ages and their tumultuous wars than with the Pax Romana.

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Antiquity
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