By Nic Fields

Even though the precise dates of building of the so-called Saxon Shore forts are doubtful, the improvement of the frontier method that ran shape the Wash to the Solent at the south-east coast of Roman Britain was once unfold over at the very least a century and a part. a few of the new forts have been outstanding for some of the best energy in their defences, with thicker stone partitions bristling with projecting curved bastions. those and different positive aspects have been truly designed to them more challenging to typhoon than old-style frontier forts with their vintage playing-card form and inner towers. security previous within the Roman period had intended competitive reaction within the open box or maybe offensive pre-emptive moves into enemy territory. the hot pattern used to be to construct superior, the emphasis being on stable, extra static safeguard, waiting for assault and soaking up it instead of going out to satisfy it. many of the significant harbours and estuaries of the east and south-east coasts of england have been fortified during this demeanour. there has been the same sequence of army installations around the Channel in Gaul, extending alongside the northern coast so far as what's now Brittany.

Whatever their certain tactical and strategic functionality, a continual debate to which this publication contributes, the development of those stone forts represented an immense outlay of cash, and dedication of manpower and fabrics. The Saxon Shore Forts are one of the so much awesome surviving monuments of Roman Britain. This ebook addresses a host ofthe attention-grabbing questions they galvanize - Who equipped those Forts? while and for what reasons? How have been they outfitted? How did they function? Who garrisoned them, and for a way lengthy?

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Extra resources for Rome's Saxon Shore: Coastal Defences of Roman Britain AD 250-500 (Fortress, Volume 56)

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As we would expect, Reculver-Regulbium offers an almost archetypal plan of an installation of the early 3rd century AD. In the surviving portion the metalled surfaces of the via principalis, via praetoria and via sagularis have been uncovered on a number of occasions during excavation. The stone-built principia, complete with underground strong room beneath its sacellum, occupied the standard central location, while buildings away from the central range served as barrack blocks, workshops and other ancillary functions (Philp 1996).

They are stationed at Grannona and Marcis respectively (ND Occ. XXXVII14, XXXVIII6). Johnson, who believes that Saxon Shore meant ‘shore attacked by Saxons’, argues for the wider application of the term along the coast of Gaul. For him, the forts of the Gallic Saxon Shore would have been located on the stretch of coast opposite that defended by their counterparts on the Britannic coast. qxd Lutetia TRAC TUS ARM ORI CAN US Loir e Augustodunum been part of the system. To this he adds Grannona from the command of the dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani as the westernmost component of the original Saxon Shore system on the Gallic coast.

As we shall see, their boats were relatively seaworthy and constructed in a way that allowed landing on an open coast. During a sea voyage these were manoeuvred close inshore and navigation was carried out using landmarks. A coastal target, Britannia had always been an accessible landfall for Germanic raiders who dashed across the ‘narrow sea’ after hugging the Gallic coastline south from northern Germania. The Saxon Shore forts were placed so as to deter such maritime raids. The original (Mainz A) was a wide, flat-bottomed vessel with near vertical sides.

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