Methuen & Co. Ltd., 36 Essex Street W. C., London, 1911
Several years ago, I was desired by the Editor of this series to write a volume on Roman Britain, but I soon found that the subject was too large and complex to be treated comprehensively, and at the same time to place the reader en rapport with the results of the systematic excavations of the last twenty-five years. These have vastly increased our knowledge of Roman Britain, especially its "major monuments" — the towns, forts, public buildings, and houses — and to these I confined myself in Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks, of this series.
It was felt, however, that the series demanded a general work on the era in Britain. This was now feasible, as the subjects which came within the restricted purview of the above volume could be treated in a more condensed manner than would be otherwise desirable. In spite of this, however, the question of space has been a difficulty. Two chapters which could best be spared — a short history of the era, and practical hints upon archaeological exploration — had to be cut out; and a third upon our public Romano-British collections, which was contemplated at the outset, and for which much material was collected, had to be abandoned. In obtaining this material I am indebted to the hearty co-operation of many museum curators, and although the proposed chapter had to be given up, their labour has by no means been in vain in the production of this volume.
The book does not cover as much ground as I wished, but to have included more would have entailed an undesirable curtailment of several of the chapters. But, with all its deficiencies, I hope it will prove to be of service to those — now a large number — whose interest in Roman Britain has been awakened by the prolific results of the systematic exploration of late years.
I am indebted to many for various services rendered, and especially to Mr. A. G. Wright of Colchester, Mr. T. W. Colyer of Reading, Mr. Oxley Grabham, M.A., of York, Mr. Robert Blair, F.S.A., of South Shields, Mr. J. H. Allchin of Maidstone, and Mr. Frank King, who has superintended the excavations at Caerwent for some years, for photographs and particulars of objects in the museums of those places. Most of the objects illustrated are in public museums, and each group is, as far as possible, drawn to a common scale.