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At the edge of the Empire: Rome's military presence in Scotland

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City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9BX, UK

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"To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace". Calgacus

Within less than two centuries, the Roman legions conquered most of Western Europe, from present-day Spain to France and England. However, the northern territories of Britain never became fully incorporated into the Empire. This lecture will present an overview of the main phases of Rome's military presence in Caledonia (Scotland), from the first campaigns by Agricola to the final retreat to Hadrians Wall. This is a story of imperial violence and native resistance, but also of intercultural encounters, trade and frontier diplomacy. Rome never managed to control Scotland, but the interactions with the Empire deeply influenced indigenous populations and their later history.

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City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9BX, UK

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