Book Review – ‘The Maritime Landscape of Roman Britain: Water transport on the coasts and rivers of Britannia’ by James Ellis Jones

By Jorit Wintjes, published October 2020


Water transport was an important part both of Roman army logistics and of the civil economy of Roman Britain. Given that Britain was an island, and one not only with many accessible shore areas, but also with rivers allowing access far inland, this appears to be rather self-evident. Yet even so, water transport has not featured prominently in the literature on Roman Britain. In fact, the only study directly dedicated to it so far has been Jones’s own dissertation on water transport off the Western costs which was published in 2009 as The Maritime and Riverine Landscape of the West of Roman Britain (BAR British Series 493, Oxford). This new study follows Jones’s earlier work in that the author tries to collect all the available evidence for maritime transport activity; this approach has made his earlier 2009 study eminently useful for anyone working on the maritime history of Roman Britain, and Jones’s new book is no less so….

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Filed under: Antiquity | English Channel | Irish Sea | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Archaeology | Ship Handling & Seamanship

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