The Wall: Rome's Greatest Frontier Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This book has some significant weaknesses. I found the narrative sections plodding and hard to follow. Moffat introduces scores of Roman and Briton characters into the story with only the briefest identifications; he does not provide much explanation of geography, government, and everyday life in Britain before the Roman conquest, nor does he provide maps of the indigenous British kingdoms or of the Roman Empire as a whole. Some of his explanations of Roman architecture and technology are puzzling, too; there are no diagrams, and the illustrations aren't very informative.
I bought this book in preparation for a walking tour of Hadrian's Wall. It didn't provide me with as thorough an understanding of the political context and architecture of the Wall as I hoped it would. I did, however, learn a lot of intriguing bits and pieces about the social history of the Wall and recent archeological finds. The book is well-written, accessible, and small enough to tuck into a backpack for a day's exploring.
OKAY, AN UPDATE. IT'S NOW A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER. I'VE READ THIS BOOK. I'VE HIKED THE WALL WITH MY SON. I TOOK A MOOC ON THE WALL FROM HIS UNIVERSITY. AND I CAN NOW SAY THAT THE BOOK IS REALLY QUITE GOOD. VERY INFORMATIVE, VERY DETAILED, BOTH ABOUT THE WALL ITSELF AS WELL AS WHAT WAS GOING ON IN ROME BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER, THAT AFFECTED POLICIES IN BRITAIN. WHEN I TOOK THE COURSE, I FELT QUITE WELL PREPARED. SO I RECOMMEND IT. MORE PICTURES WOULD BE NICE.