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The economy of Roman Britain: representation and historiography

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kevin Greene


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I hope to provide evidence for the value of a historiographical approach not just to the writers of the past but to those of the present. Collingwood's Roman Britain was an orderly place containing a hint of Ruskinian idealism; Fulford's is imbued with rather harsh late twentieth-century judgements when its economy fails to operate rationally. It is difficult to avoid seeing reflections of their professional contexts - the detachment permitted by Collingwood's privileged upbringing and Oxford chair, and the Realpolitik essential to Fulford's role in institutional and national academic management. My own Roman Britain is a place of uncertainty, devoid of meaning (in the sense of measuring progress, or learning lessons from the past). However, worries about the impact of global capitalism lead me to be suspicious about explanations of past economic behaviour that appear to reflect or even validate the configuration of the present.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Greene K

Editor(s): Bruhn, J., Croxford, B., Grigoropoulos D.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: TRAC 2004: Proceedings of the 12th Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Durham

Year: 2005

Pages: 1-15

Publisher: Oxbow

Place Published: Oxford, UK

Notes: Scrutiny of approaches to the economy of Roman Britain, and the influence of Ruskin, Collingwood, Fulford and others on the interpretation of pottery.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781842171738