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Early Britain--Roman Britain
by Conybeare, Edward

A little book on a great subject, especially when that book is one of a "series," is notoriously an object of literary distrust. For the limitations thus imposed upon the writer are such as few men can satisfactorily cope with, and he must needs ask the indulgence of his readers for his painfully-felt shortcomings in dealing with the mass of material which he has to manipulate. And more especially is this the case when the volume which immediately precedes his in the series is such a mine of erudition as the 'Celtic Britain' of Professor Rhys.

In the present work my object has been to give a readable sketch of the historical growth and decay of Roman influence in Britain, illustrated by the archaeology of the period, rather than a mainly archaeological treatise with a bare outline of the history. The chief authorities of which I have made use are thus those original classical sources for the early history of our island, so carefully and ably collected in the 'Monumenta Historica Britannica';1 which, along with Huebner's 'Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum2,' must always be the foundation of every work on Roman Britain. Amongst the many other authorities consulted I must acknowledge my special debt to Mr. Elton's 'Origins of English History'; and yet more to Mr. Haverfield's invaluable publications in the 'Antiquary' and elsewhere, without which to keep abreast of the incessant development of my subject by the antiquarian spade-work now going on all over the land would be an almost hopeless task.

[1] Published by the Record Office, 1848.

[2] Published by the Royal Academy of Berlin. Vol. VII. contains the Romano-British Inscriptions.


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