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On the Edge of the World: Rome’s Fluid Frontier in Northern Britain

Manuel Fernández-Götz, University of Edinburgh

March 23, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Program in the Ancient World
green hills indicating a roman capm

Britain was the last region in Western Europe conquered by the Roman Empire. However, its occupation was never completed: despite several campaigns by Roman armies, most of the northern territories remained free of direct Roman rule. Over several generations, the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire moved back and forth between modern-day northern England and southern Scotland, creating a fluid borderland of encounters and resistance. This lecture will provide an overview on the interactions between Roman power and indigenous communities, presenting some results from new research projects that are fundamentally transforming our knowledge of the period between c. AD 70-400. Moreover, it will reflect on what the evidence from a rather peripheral region of the ancient world can contribute to wider debates on borderlands and the limits of empires, past and present.

Manuel Fernández-Götz is Abercromby Professor of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are Iron Age and Roman societies in Europe, the archaeology of identities, and conflict archaeology. He has authored over 200 publications and directed fieldwork projects in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Croatia. His research has been recognized with the award of the Philip Leverhulme Prize and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Thomas Reid Medal. He is currently directing the Leverhulme- funded project ‘Beyond Walls: Reassessing Iron Age and Roman Encounters in Northern Britain’.

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