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Whilst it is not essential to do any background reading before the course begins, you may find it useful to do so. The reading list below contains books that you can read. You don’t have to read all of these. Indeed, we don’t specify any that you must read. Instead, these are readings you can use to gain a preliminary understanding of topics, as well as to study in more depth those parts of the course you are particularly interested in. You may also want to take a look at magazines such as British Archaeology, World Archaeology and Current Archaeology.


Tacitus. Agricola. (Published by Penguin Classics etc)


Goodman, M. 2011. The Roman World 44 BC – AD 180. 2nd Edition. Routledge.

Kelly, C. 2006. The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press

Oliver, N. 2012. A History of Ancient Britain. W&N. (accompanies the BBC TV series of the same name, which is available on 2 DVDs)


Alcock, J. P. 2006. Life in Roman Britain. The History Press.

Birley, A. 2002. Garrison Life at Vindolanda: A Band of Brothers. History Press.

Collins, R. 2014. Hadrian’s Wall and the End of Empire: The Roman Frontier in the 4th and 5th Centuries. Routledge.

de la Bédoyère, G. 2013. Roman Britain: A New History. Thames & Hudson.

de la Bédoyère, G. 2015. The Real Lives of Roman Britain. Yale University Press. (due to be released in May 2015)

Salway, P. 2000. Roman Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press

Also available is a map of Roman Britain published by the Ordnance Survey (2011).