Roman Towns of South-East Britain: Roman Imperialism, British Traditions, and the Features of Provincial Urbanization

Baryshnikov Anton Ye.

The paper considers the urbanization of South-East Roman Britain. It is focused on the so-called ‘major’ towns: Londinium, Camulodunum, Verulamium, Calleva, Noviomagus, Venta Belgarum and Durovernum. Despite some general features which one can detect in the urban development of the region, each town presents a special case in Romano-British urbanism, largely determined by a number of factors. Key factors can be labelled as ‘Roman’ (the activity of the provincial administration, the influence of migrants from the continent who settled down in towns), ‘British’ (the will and ability of local elites to participate in urbanization and urban life, the presence of local population retaining their identities and traditions in urban communities) and ‘geographical’ (the location of the settlement, its relation to the existing system of communication and trade, connections with the ‘old’, pre- Roman settlements and centres of religious activity). The pieces of the urban puzzle were laid out in different ways in every case in the south-east of Roman Britain, shaping the development and fate of each town.

Keywords: Londinium, Camulodunum, Verulamium, Calleva, Noviomagus, Venta Belgarum, Durovernum, urbanization, Romano-British urbanism, Roman imperialism

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