Roman Frontier Systems in Britain
We have seen that there was no overall defensive strategy applied to the Roman frontiers, which were either beefed-up or neglected as the political situation dictated. Gaps in the system were “plugged”, often after the event, the Roman administration being reactive rather than pro-active in this regard. Derek Williams says of the situation: “frontiers had been quietly forming for years … though prompted by a nod from the Palatine, the frontiers were moving toward permanence of their own accord” (Williams, pp.54/5).
The fact that the borders of the empire had been allowed to form almost by default shows that the Romans did not plan to adopt the less-effective ‘oyster’ system of defence along a perimeter over the cost effective and more flexible ‘peach’ system. This haphazard defensive system was to prove very expensive in August 410, when the Roman ‘oyster’ was cracked open by the Visigoths who poured into Italy and captured Rome, the ‘pearl of the empire’.
- Anthony Birley (trans.), Lives of the Later Caesars – The first part of the Augustan History with newly compiled Lives of Nerva and Trajan (Penguin, London, 1976).
- Alan K. Bowman, Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier – Vindolanda and its People (BMP, London, 1998).
- David J. Breeze, The Northern Frontiers of Roman Britain (Batsford, London, 1993).
- David J. Breeze & Brian Dobson, Roman Military Deployment in North England in Britannia xvi (1985) pp.1-19.
- R.G. Collingwood, The Archaeology of Roman Britain (Methuen, London, 1930).
- Cassius Dio (trans. Earnest Cary), ??????? ??????? (Loeb, Harvard, 1924).
- Ronald Embleton and Frank Graham, Hadrian’s Wall in the Days of the Romans (Newcastle, 1984).
- Sheppard Frere, Britannia – A History of Roman Britain (Routlege & Kegan Paul, London, 1967).
- Nicholas G.L. Hammond, Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity (Bristol Classical Press).
- Andrew S. Hobley, The Numismatic Evidence for the Post-Agricolan Abandonment of the Roman Frontier in Northern Scotland in Britannia xx (1989) pp.69-74.
- N. Hodgson, The Stanegate: a Frontier Rehabilitated in Britannia xxxi (2000) pp.11-22.
- G.D.B. Jones and D.J. Woolliscroft, Hadrian’s Wall from the Air (Tempus, Stroud, 2001).
- Lawrence Keppie, The Antonine Wall 1960-1980 in Britannia xiii (1982) pp.91-111.
- Barbara Levick, Claudius (Batsford, London, 1990).
- Ivan D. Margary, Roman Roads in Britain (London, 1957).
- Paul Petit (trans. James Willis), Pax Romana (Batsford, London, 1976).
- Cornelius Tacitus (trans. J. Jackson), Annales (Loeb, Harvard, 1937).
- Cornelius Tacitus (trans. M. Hutton), De Origine et Situ Germanorum (Loeb, Harvard, 1914, revised 1970).
- Cornelius Tacitus (trans. M. Hutton), De Vita Iulii Agricolae (Loeb, Harvard, 1914, revised 1970).
- George MacDonald, The Roman Wall in Scotland (Clarendon, Oxford, 1934, 2nd. ed.).
- G.S. Maxwell & D.R. Wilson, Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-1984 in Britannia xviii (1987) pp.1-48.
- J.K. St. Joseph, Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1969-72 in J.R.S. lxiii (1973) pp.214-246.
- Peter Salway, Roman Britain (Oxford 1981).
- Raymond Selkirk, On the Trail of the Legions (Anglia, Ipswich, 1995).
- M.P. Speidel, The Chattan War, the Brigantian Revolt and the Loss of the Antonine Wall in Britannia xviii (1987) pp.233-7.
- Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom (Spink, London, 2002, 37th ed.).
- Graham Webster, The Roman Invasion of Britain (Batsford, London, 1993).
- Derek Williams, The Reach of Rome – A History of the Roman Imperial Frontier 1st-5th Centuries AD (Constable, London, 1996).