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Protecting the Roman Empire
Fortlets, Frontiers, and the Quest for Post-Conquest Security


  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108421553

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About the Authors
  • The Roman army enjoys an enviable reputation as an instrument of waging war, but as the modern world reminds us, an enduring victory requires far more than simply winning battles. When it came to suppressing counterinsurgencies, or deterring the depredations of bandits, the army frequently deployed small groups of infantry and cavalry based in fortlets. This remarkable installation type has never previously been studied in detail, and shows a new side to the Roman army. Rather than displaying the aggressive uniformity for which the Roman military is famous, individual fortlets were usually bespoke installations tailored to local needs. Examining fortlet use in north-west Europe helps explain the differing designs of the Empire's most famous artificial frontier systems: Hadrian's Wall, the Antonine Wall, and the Upper German and Raetian limites. The archaeological evidence is fully integrated with documentary sources, which disclose the gritty reality of life in a Roman fortlet.

    • Provides the first book-length analysis of Roman fortlets ever published
    • Provides full coverage of the period from the 1st-4th century AD, exploring changes made to the roman military in both the early and late period
    • This book includes information originally published in German, Dutch, and French, making it available in English for the first time
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Archaeologists have yet to come across the inscription MAX. FAC at Housesteads or any other of the fortlets along Hadrian's Wall but we now know much more about how the Romans protected and controlled their frontiers. Brexiteers, Remoaners, and modern military strategists too, have much to learn from Matthew Symonds' comprehensive but very readable study of the Hadrianic and Antonine Walls, and the German and Raetian frontiers.' Classics For All

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108421553
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 164 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • contains: 49 b/w illus. 13 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Consolidating Conquest:
    2. Waterways
    3. Highways
    Part II. Border Control:
    4. Hadrian's Wall
    5. The Antonine Wall
    6. The Upper German and Raetian limites
    Part III. Provincial Collapse:
    7. Late highways
    8. Late waterways
    9. Imperium by Outpost

  • Author

    Matthew Symonds, Current Archaeology
    Matthew Symonds is the editor of Current Archaeology magazine and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has published widely on Roman frontiers.

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