Brexit MK I AD 410

Pages51-60
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-435-420181011
Publication Date06 Dec 2018
AuthorNigel Culkin,Richard Simmons
3
BREXIT MK I AD 410
Britannia had been a colony of the Roman Empire for over 400 years, when
in a relatively short period, we see a signicant change commonly described
as the end of Roman Britain. As with any simplistic generalisation, the pat-
terns that underline such an event are invariably more complex. However, a
snapshot of Britannia essentially England as it is now in AD 400 com-
pared with that of AD 440 portrays a different landscape, with previously
active towns moving into decay and civic life fragmenting into rural islands
around villas of the nobility. Hard Brexit fth century style had happened.
Notwithstanding a popular narrative that sees the fall of Roman Britain
as synonymous with invasions from barbarian Angles and Saxons, change
was more internally than barbariandriven. The barbariannarrative seems
to have been largely engendered by historians remote from events in both
time and distance; writings such as the Gallic Chronicle of 452. Archaeology
paints a rather different picture.
THIRD CENTURY TRIAL BREXIT?
Much of the Western Roman Empire most notably Gaul and Germany
had been deeply affected by the troubles of usurping Emperors in the third
century. Britannia on the contrary, being remote from the continent had con-
tinued to ourish. However, this prosperity masked underlying structural
change. Londinium had declined as stresses and disruption had taken place
in its main continental markets. Esmonde Cleary
145
found that previous lux-
ury pottery industries faded away to be replaced with new ones (e.g. in the
51

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