Ancient History & Civilisation

A Historical Guide to Roman York

A Historical Guide to Roman York

Considering that York was always an important Roman city there are few books available that are devoted specifically to the Roman occupation, even though it lasted for over 300 years and played a significant role in the politics and military activity of Roman Britain and the Roman Empire throughout that period. The few books that there are tend to describe the Roman era and its events in date by date order with little attention paid either to why things happened as they did or to the consequences of these actions and developments. This book is different in that it gives context to what happened here in the light of developments in Roman Britain generally and in the wider Roman Empire; the author digs below the surface and gets behind the scenes to shed light on the political, social, and military history of Roman York (Eboracum), explaining, for example, why Julius Caesar invaded, what indeed was really behind the Claudian invasion, why was York developed as a military fortress, why as one of Roman Britain’s capitals? Why did the emperors Hadrian and Severus visit the fortress? You will also discover how and why Constantine accepted and projected Christianity from here, York’s role in the endless coups and revolts besetting the province, the headless gladiators and wonderful mosaics discovered here and why the Romans finally left York and Roman Britain to its own defense. These intriguing historical events are brought to life by reference to the latest local archaeological and epigraphical evidence, to current research and to evolving theories relating to the city’s Roman treasures, of which can be seen in the Yorkshire Museum in York, or in situ.


Part One: Eboracum and Empire

Chapter 1. Britain Before the Romans

Chapter 2. Julius Caesar and His ‘Invasions’

Chapter 3. Britain in the Early Empire

Chapter 4. Romanisation, ‘Romanitas’ and Civilisation

Chapter 5. Claudius the Invader

Chapter 6. The Boudican Revolt, AD 60–61

Chapter 7. The Road to York: Why York?

Chapter 8. Fortress York

Chapter 9. Frontier Walls, Frontier Wars and the Legions

Chapter 10. See York... and Die

Chapter 11. Goodbye to All That

Part Two: Roman York – What Remains?

Chapter 12. The Archaeological Investigation of Eboracum 1587–1970

Chapter 13. Religion in Roman York

Chapter 14. Funerary Inscriptions, Burial and Cemeteries

Chapter 15. The Women and Children of Roman York

Chapter 16. Roman York in the Yorkshire Museum

Chapter 17. Roman York and its Connectivity

Chapter 18. Roman Life and Culture in Roman York

Chapter 19. In Search of a Palace and an Amphitheatre

Chapter 20. Timeline: Rome – Britannia – York


Appendix 1. Select List of Roman Emperors

Appendix 2. Governors of Britannia: AD 43–97

Appendix 3. Roman Units Serving in Britannia

Appendix 4. The Roman Britain Sat Navs

Appendix 5. Ermine Street and York

Appendix 6. York’s Medieval Churches Built Using Roman Masonry

Appendix 7. The York Historic Pageant – the Roman Bits

Appendix 8. References to Ebo(u)racum in RIB

Appendix 9. Typical cursus honorum in the First Century AD

Appendix 10. Roman Assemblies

Appendix 11. The Etymology of Eburacum

Appendix 12. The Antonine Plague, AD 165–AD 180

Appendix 13. The Plague of Cyprian: AD 250–AD 271

Appendix 14. Roman York – More Interesting Facts

Further Reading

Picture Section

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