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1. Life at the Edge

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 19 January 2003

Life at the edge. For the Britons living in the area known today as Northumberland, the city of Rome was unimaginably distant. Our knowledge of the minutiae of everyday lives in the region has increased enormously in the past 30 years.

The Roman Way looks at archaeological discoveries at Vindolanda, near Hadrian's Wall. By chance, preservation conditions on-site are extremely good and a wealth of material has come to light which provides archaeologists and historians with unparalleled information on troop-movements and activities, requisition of building materials, arrival of food supplies, dealings with the indigenous people, the families of the military personnel, parties and social gatherings, even the soldiers' love of Celtic beer.

  • Hadrian's Wall

    Hadrian's Wall

  • Roman coins

    Roman coins

    Gold solidus, late 4th century AD, minted in London.

  • Further reading

    Peter Jones
    An Intelligent Person's Guide to Classics

    P Jones & K Sidwell
    The World of Rome
    Cambridge 1997

    Jerome Carcopino
    Daily Life in Ancient Rome

    Fergus Millar
    The Roman Empire and Its Neighbours

    Anthony Birley
    Garrison Life at Vindolanda - A Band of Brothers

    Pliny (tr) Betty Radice
    The Letters of the Younger Pliny
    Penguin Classics

    Marcus Aurelius (tr) Maxwell Staniforth
    Penguin Classics

    Seneca (tr) Robin Campbell
    Letters from a Stoic
    Penguin Classics

    Tim Cornell & John Matthews
    Atlas of the Roman World
    New York: Facts on File c1982


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