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This article reviews the emergence and development of Romano-British glass bangles in southern Britain by providing a fresh analysis of finds that also considers recent theoretical and historical advances in interpreting the transition from the late Iron Age to the Roman period. By analysing the emergence of bangles in terms of technological and stylistic transfer, it suggests that the technology used in their production and their visual elements have continental lineage. It also situates bangles amid indigenous developments in bodily adornments in southern Britain before a.d. 43. By reconnecting British bangles with their continental European counterparts and contextualising them within political, social and cultural processes in south-western England during the late pre-Roman Iron Age, the article argues that the emergence of bangles in Britain did not occur in a vacuum after the Claudian invasion in a.d. 43 but formed an integral part of globalising networks of cross-Channel trade and connections with the European mainland in the early first century a.d.
After the Italian declaration of war came the period of their short-lived ‘parallel war’, where they attempted to fight independently of Germany in the theatre. Chapter 2 highlights the great numerical disparity between the scarce British and Commonwealth forces spread from the Middle East to Gibraltar versus those of Italy. Despite this lack of resources, British theatre commanders recognised the need to make inroads into Italian sea communications, and they also received clear direction from Whitehall to pursue this objective. Consequently, the failure to do so was not for lack of will at any level of command, but a question of means. The scattered, incoherent efforts that were made are shown to have been completely ineffectual, with British success against the Italians in North Africa during 1940 instead being the product of a series of other factors. Nevertheless, this period set important foundations for an anti-shipping campaign in terms of the recognition of the vulnerability of Italian sea routes and the need for greater resources to prosecute it.
This book opens with a discussion of the importance of the Mediterranean to the British Empire, highlighting its role as a ‘vital artery’ of communication between the eastern and western worlds. By examining the changing position of the Mediterranean in British strategic policy from the construction of the Suez Canal through to the Italian declaration of war in 1940, it shows how important the Mediterranean would be in the event of another global war. However, British foreign policy in the late interwar period included numerous efforts to keep Italy neutral, allowing the Mediterranean to be denude of military assets in favour of their deployment against threats elsewhere. Consequently, these decisions led to a difficult context in which to plan realistically for war in the Mediterranean, and the subsequent paucity of British forces stationed there at the start of hostilities. It was this situation which set the foundation for early failures in the anti-shipping campaign. The pre-war planning debates did, however, see the British develop an appreciation of the importance of cutting Axis sea communications, even if they initially lacked the military power to do so and were initially restricted by legal criteria prohibiting attacks on merchant shipping in most cases.
From 1900 the potato began to regain its lustre as a political instrument. Developments within nutritional science led dieticians to reverse their earlier condemnations. This reversal coincided with an increase in the capacity of modern states to influence everyday eating habits. The First and Second World Wars were particularly important in developing the technologies and institutions that made this possible. Concerned to provide for the wartime needs of their populations, European governments actively encouraged potato consumption. Nonetheless, the economic development models that emerged in the post-war years paid little attention to potatoes. Only recently has smallholder agriculture been incorporated into international models of food security. Just as the peasant know-how that spread potato cultivation across early modern Europe remained largely invisible, so the smallholder expertise that allowed the potato to preserve its genetic diversity has only begun to be appreciated by international development organisations. Potatoes have also become a source of gastronomic pride; many countries have registered specific varieties as part of their national patrimony. The contemporary history of the potato recapitulates both the eighteenth-century conviction that potatoes could play a role in national security, and also the reality that small farmers, as well as agronomists, possess expertise relevant to building a viable food system.
The failure of Italy’s ‘parallel war’ was followed by turmoil caused by a combination of German intervention in the theatre and the British decision to send aid to Greece. The shift in focus towards what would be a disastrous Greek expedition resulted in neglect of the Axis sea lanes with North Africa, and abortive efforts at interdiction were made in the Adriatic instead. Yet, as this chapter shows, there were also positive developments in the campaign. New types of more suitable equipment and weaponry were employed, accompanied by the beginnings of a learning process to develop new tactics and procedures and to incorporate new technologies. This offered the potential for greater efficiency in anti-shipping operations, but it was only from April onwards that significant attention was again paid to them. Sinking rates promptly increased and, although the overall required Axis supply quotas were generally met, the losses did cause logistical pressure in certain key areas. While anti-shipping operations had been relatively limited in terms of quantity and effect over the first year of the war in the Mediterranean, an important foundation was laid in terms of recognition of their importance, increasing priority and operational learning. This provided the platform for what would be become a decisive campaign within the Mediterranean war.
Human emotion is of interest across a wide range of disciplines, but in the field of archaeology it has received attention only very recently. This article contributes to the archaeology of emotion through a focus on later medieval objects in Britain. It identifies ‘emotants’ within the archaeological record, defined as evidence that can communicate, create or intensify emotion(s). By exploring emotants in the form of inscribed later medieval finger rings and brooches, and an iron plough coulter, the author aims to introduce a neologism that can be employed to advance this challenging yet untapped field of study.
Isotope ratios of tooth enamel from ten Early Neolithic individuals buried in a long cairn at Whitwell in central England were measured to determine where they sourced their childhood diet. Five individuals have low Sr concentrations (11–66 ppm) and high 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7164–0.7212). Three individuals have relatively low 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.712–0.711) and Sr concentrations ranging between 54 and 109 ppm. Two individuals have strontium isotope values that bridge the gap between the isotope compositions of these two groups. The high 87Sr/86Sr values are rare in human enamel and exclude sources within the biosphere of central England. Oxygen isotope values are comparable to those found within human archaeological populations buried in temperate regions of Europe. The strontium isotope results should be interpreted in the context of other evidence for migration from northern France to Britain during the Early Neolithic.
The publication of the RurLand (Rural Landscape in North-East Gaul) project has provided an opportunity to compare methodologies and results with those of The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain project. Two themes, which draw out the asymmetrical development of settlement in the two regions, are examined: the very different impacts of the Roman conquests of Gaul and of Britain on settlement numbers and settlement continuity, and the development of the agricultural economy and its relationship with the frontiers of Britain and Germany, as reflected in the growth and decline of villa estates in Britain and Gaul.
This chapter deals with the early stages of World War II in Europe, which was to some extent a repetition of World War I, but with a German victory in May-June 1940. Allied and German grand strategy. The Soviet-Finnish war. Russian annexation of the three Baltic states. The German invasion of neutral Norway, with naval and ground battles against the Allied forces. Churchill replaces Chamberlain as Prime Minister. Planning on both sides for the main Western Front in 1940. The German Blitzkrieg invasion of France and the Low Countries. The Allied evacuation of Dunkirk, the second phase of the invasion, and the French surrender. Air battle over Britain. Inability of the German Army to invade Britain, and Hitler’s decision to invade Russia.
It has been asserted that the usurper Magnus Maximus can be identified with the commander Maximus who served during the Gothic uprising of 376–77. This assertion is tempting because it connects imperial events in Africa, the Balkans and Britain during a pivotal period. However, this note aims to dispel this identification. It does so by both examining the socio-institutional ramifications of promotion in the imperial chain of command and cross-examining literary traditions previously overlooked in this identification.
This chapter assesses the linguistic evidence of politeness in medieval Britain. The written sources are scarce, especially for the Anglo-Saxon period. An analysis of relevant lexical items suggests that in Old English, politeness in the modern sense did not play a significant role. Discernment politeness (i.e. the appropriateness of behaviour in given situations) was more important in a strictly hierarchical society, and in religious contexts there is evidence of a politeness of humility and gentleness. The influence of French on Middle English brought new concepts, in particular the concept of courtesy. Detailed case studies of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and of the anonymous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight show how this concept reflects a new type of courtly politeness.
Although a British mission to the Holy See was established in 1914, the diplomatic relationship was not on a basis of reciprocity. From 1938 the pope was represented in London not by a nuncio (the Vatican equivalent of an ambassador) but by an apostolic delegate whose mission was to the hierarchy alone and not the British government. The evolution of the nuncio question sheds light on the nature of Anglo-Vatican relations, the place of Catholicism in British public life, inter-church rapprochement and British foreign policy considerations. This article assesses the divergent positions of the Foreign and Home Offices. The former was sympathetic to a change of status, whereas the latter was cautious due to the opposition of the archbishop of Canterbury and concerns about anti-Catholicism. The nuncio question was also of great interest to the Irish government. It feared that a nuncio in London would exert jurisdiction over Northern Ireland and undermine the all-island unity of the Irish Catholic Church. The Northern Ireland Troubles and the support displayed by the apostolic delegate for British policy hastened the restoration of full ambassadorial relations between London and the Holy See in 1982, ending a diplomatic breach that had existed for more than four centuries. It paved the way for Pope John Paul II’s historic pastoral visit to Britain which helped to consolidate the position of Roman Catholicism in British national life.
The third chapter explores the ideas of equality, cosmopolitanism and the rule of law as opposites to Nazi policies. Beginning with Fritz Pringsheim’s article on Hadrian as an example, it analyses how historical cases can be used to present the past as a covert argument against totalitarianism in the present. It juxtaposes Pringsheim’s experience with two contemporaries, Franz Neumann and his theory on the rule of law and the totalitarian state, and Salvatore Riccobono on the fascist idealization of Roman law. By exploring the idea of jurisprudence as a culture of shared values, the chapter investigates the roots of the ideas presented later by David Daube in postwar scholarship, and the origins of the concept of a European legal culture.
This chapter starts out with Fritz Schulz’s famous principles of liberty and humanity as the foundation of Western legal tradition, outlining how he presents the Roman legal tradition as a counterargument against Nazi legal theory. From Schulz’ s idealization of Roman law against the Nazi politicization of law, the chapter expands on the central role of legal science in maintaining the autonomy and humanity of law. These themes are then compared with other exiled scholars, such as Hannah Arendt, Franz Neumann and Arnaldo Momigliano, showing how they developed the idea of liberty and what influences they took from the Atlantic discourse.
The (re)occupation of hillforts was a distinctive feature of post-Roman Europe in the fifth to seventh centuries ad. In western and northern Britain, hillforts are interpreted as power centres associated with militarized elites, but research has paid less attention to their landscape context, hence we know little about the factors that influenced their siting and how this facilitated elite power. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide opportunities for landscape research, but are constrained by limitations of source data and the difficulty of defining appropriate parameters for analysis. This article presents a new methodology that combines data processing and analytical functions in GIS with techniques and principles drawn from ‘traditional’ landscape archaeology. A case study, focused on Dinas Powys, suggests that the strategic siting of this hillfort facilitated control over the landscape and has wider implications for our understanding of patterns of power in post-Roman Britain.
High-resolution analysis of the ice core from Colle Gnifetti, Switzerland, allows yearly and sub-annual measurement of pollution for the period of highest lead production in the European Middle Ages, c. AD 1170–1220. Here, the authors use atmospheric circulation analysis and other geoarchaeological records to establish that Britain was the principal source of that lead pollution. The comparison of annual lead deposition at Colle Gnifetti displays a strong similarity to trends in lead production documented in the English historical accounts. This research provides unique new insight into the yearly political economy and environmental impact of the Angevin Empire of Kings Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and John.
Following the 1940 evacuation of the British Channel Island of Alderney, a network of Nazi labour and concentration camps was built on the island to house foreign labourers. Despite investigations led by the British Government immediately after the conclusion of the Second World War, knowledge of the history and architecture of these camps remained limited. This article reports on archaeological investigations, which, for the first time, have mapped the Sylt labour and concentration camp using non-invasive methods and 3D-reconstruction techniques. The results provide the opportunity, alongside historical research, to examine the relationships between architecture, the landscape setting and the experiences of those housed at Sylt camp.
Accurately dating the creation and development of earthwork features is a long-standing problem for archaeologists. This article presents results from Bosigran (Cornwall, UK), where boundary banks believed to be prehistoric in origin are assessed using optically stimulated luminescence profiling and dating (OSL-PD). The results provide secure construction dates for different boundaries in the Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as chronologies for their early medieval and later development. The research demonstrates not only the prehistoric origins of these distinctive Cornish field systems, but also a practical and cost-effective methodology suitable for dating earthworks around the world.
This chapter employs the ‘mindful body’ and ‘web of violence’ models to survey the range of violence present in Britain during the Iron Age and Roman periods (ninth century BCE – fifth century CE). By recognising that in a community all forms of violence are interrelated and frequently share many causative factors, these models allow for indirect forms to be included (e.g. health inequalities). Iron Age Britain was inhabited by tribal communities, and the results are dominated by young adult males, who have the majority of the evidence for organised conflict, reflecting the presence of a warrior elite. Females and children show evidence for performative violence, with their bodies being broken down and transformed in complex rituals. Bioarchaeological data suggests an absence of evidence for abuse against children, older people and women. After the Roman conquest of 43 CE the evidence for age-, sex- and status-based inequalities substantially increases, and these are much more clearly defined and observable in the primary source and bioarchaeological evidence, particularly enslavement. Overall, health declines, and evidence for the abuse of vulnerable groups increases, principally in females. Ritual violence continues and is attested in deposits of disarticulated body parts associated with sacred spaces, including cemeteries.
Interest in the growth of tradeable securities in early modern Britain, especially its relationship to economic development and the funding of government debt, has centered mainly on the borrower – whether it be trading company, industrial enterprise, or the state. This article directs attention to the investor, using Charity Commission Reports for England and Wales that document a dramatic mid-eighteenth-century shift by donors and trustees from investments in real estate and rent charges to perpetual government annuities, mainly 3 percent Consols. The heavy investment in this public debt product is what ultimately prompted the creation of the London Stock Exchange in 1801.
In analyzing this shift, which occurred among the propertied in all regions of the nation, not just the metropolis or among corporate entities and the mercantile community, I consider both what made the annuities increasingly attractive for charitable trusts and the alternatives – real estate and private loans secured by mortgage or other means – more problematic. Legal changes, I argue, played a role in the transformation, especially the Charitable Uses Act of 1736, which made charitable devises of real estate very difficult and probably resulted in reduced investment in human capital and less wealth redistribution. Regions varied, however, in the degree to which they switched from real estate in the latter part of the eighteenth century; they also differed in the extent to which the switch resulted in more gifts of interest-bearing loans as well.
Admittedly, the changes documented in this article concern only one type of depository for assets, charitable trusts. The appeal of these annuities, however, could extend to investments needed for other purposes such as postmortem payments to dependents. Moreover, the fall-off in demand for real estate in trusts correlates with GDP estimates showing a steady decline in income from real assets after 1755 and what some have noted in this period as a puzzle – the lack of an increased rate of return on rents and private loans at a time of robust investment in government debt. Most importantly, though, the transition demonstrates the ability of the government to induce a broad spectrum of the propertied population to invest in securities, if the vehicle they offered had the right characteristics, which were not necessarily highest yield or liquidity without loss in value.