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The Roman Evacuation of Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2012

Extract

Professor Bury has recently put forward a new theory as to the date at which the Roman occupation of Britain came to an end. Hitherto this event has commonly been assigned to the years 407-410. When in 407 Constantine III took a great part of the British army to Gaul, he left behind ‘a civil administration and a garrison, which subsisted till 410, when the indignation of the provincials that their nominee’ (Constantine) ‘had failed both to conquer the whole West and to bring better times to Britain caused them to abandon his cause and establish a provisional government of their own.’ This government was nominally loyal to Honorius, who had authorised the Britons to rebel against Constantine's representatives; but neither Honorius nor any later emperor actually re-established his control over the British provinces.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © G.Collingwood F.S.A.1922. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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References

page 74 note 1 Oman, , England before the Norman Conquest, 175.Google Scholar

page 74 note 2 Zosimus, vi, 10.

page 74 note 3 The Notitia Dignitatum, in J.R.S. x; herein-after referred to as N.D.

page 77 note 1 C. & W. Trans. N.S. xi, 437-8Google Scholar. The view there propounded has never, I think, been controverted, though Haverfield (Roman Britain in 1914, 39) suggested a slightly later date. For details and references concerning coins in this paragraph see Appendix iii, under Cumberland, Durham, and Northumberland.

page 77 note 2 The argument is borrowed from Haverfield, Roman Britain in 1914, pp. 39-40. But the language of Haverfield ad loc. seems to show that he had not yet weighed the evidence of the coins in detail, and, with his habitual caution, hesitated to accept a new view till he had scrutinised it under every possible aspect.

page 78 note 1 Praefectus numeri Exploratorum, Veteris. Praefectus numeri Defensorum, Braboniaco. Notitia Occ. xl.

page 79 note 1 For vicani, cf. the Vindolanda altar, Rom. Brit. in 1914, p. 31Google Scholar; also C.I.L. vii, 346.

page 79 note 2 I have dealt with the subject-matter of this paragraph in a paper entitled The Last Years of Roman Cumberland, to be published in C.& W. Trans. N.S. xxiv.

page 81 note 1 Litterarum formae ad saeculum quintum sextumve ducunt (Inscr. Brit. Christ. p. 68).

page 82 note 1 Appendix iii makes some attempt to illustrate this evidence. How overwhelming it is can only be appreciated by one who goes over it in detail for himself.

page 83 note 1 See Appendix iv.

page 88 note 1 There were, as is well known, in the Scottish Lowlands: e.g. Eildon Hills, Traprain Law, etc.

page 89 note 1 For South Shields as a port, cf. a forthcoming article by the present writer in Arch. Aeliana, ser. iii, vol. xx; for Carlisle, one by R. C. Shaw in C. & W. Trans. N.S. xxiii.

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