‘Inventing’ Roman Britain?

Gotta love those antiquarians…


… for lack of a better phrase. Charlotte Higgins has a new book on Roman Britain out (Under Another Sky) and a few days ago penned a really interesting piece for the Guardian on the dubious origins of some of the place names there … here’s the first half or so:

During the 1745 Jacobite uprising, it became clear that the Hanoverian forces under the Duke of Cumberland lacked accurate maps of Scotland; their pursuit of Charles James Stuart through the Highlands was considerably impeded by their only partial knowledge of the jagged coastline, lochs and mountains. So in 1747 William Roy, a factor’s son from Lanarkshire, was put in charge of the work of producing an accurate survey of the nation: he and a band of colleagues spent eight and a half years enduring the physically exhausting, technically demanding work. The result of their labours was the…

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