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The End of Roman Britain

Britain was never as thoroughly conquered as traditional historians would have us believe, according to Michael E. Jones. Among the provinces long occupied by Rome, Britain retained the slightest imprint of the invading civilization. To explain why this was true, Jones offers a lucid and thorough analysis of the economic, social, military, and environmental problems that contributed to the failure of the Romans. Drawing on literary sources and on recent archaeological evidence, Jones disputes the theory that the Anglo-Saxon invasions were the determining agent in the failure of Romanitas. He argues instead that the success of the new warriors was a symptom of the inherent weakness of Romano-British society. Problems late in the era may have been worsened significantly by changes in the natural environment, such as climatic deterioration associated with harvest failure, famine, and changes in migration patterns.
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"Jones contends that ... persistent local rebellions, disease, and climatic deterioration, as well as invasion, led to the end of Roman Britain. Except for a villain named Paul the Chain, whose depiction by Jones is a tiny biographical gem, most civil and military officials were colorless, and no religious leader emerged as a charismatic saint. In essence, the Britons ultimately rejected Roman civilization; they were not deprived of it. Jones's exploration is bound to be controversial, but his work is engaging, enjoyable, perceptive, and persuasive."-Choice "Jones offers a radical revision to the standard account of the collapse of Roman power in Britain and the coming of the Anglo-Saxons... This book will engage specialists in early medieval history, but Jones's lucid style and ability to demystify highly technical forms of evidence make the book accessible to intelligent general readers. This book is highly recommended for undergraduate, graduate, and major public libraries."-Bridges "An exciting, imaginative, and original examination of a significant historical problem. Michael Jones's thesis, that Roman Britain fell not because Rome abandoned Britain but because the Britons rejected Rome, is certain to provoke controversy. The book is written in a witty and engaging style."-Richard Abels, United States Naval Academy

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