An evocation of a journey from Rome, the heart of Empire, to Hadrian's Wall during the reign of the emperor Hadrian.
'An erudite and fascinating work' Jan Morris, New York Times
'An artful combination of history, archaeology and the imagination' Mary Beard, New York Review of Books
'Riley manages to bring multi-faceted, polygot and multi-cultural Roman Britain to vibrant life for specialists and generalists' Country Life
It is AD 130. Rome is the dazzling heart of a vast empire and Hadrian its most complex and compelling ruler. Faraway Britannia is one of the Romans' most troublesome provinces: here the sun is seldom seen and 'the atmosphere in the country is always gloomy'.
What awaits the traveller to Britannia? How will you get there? What do you need to pack? What language will you speak? How does London compare to Rome? Are there any tourist attractions? And what dangers lurk behind Hadrian’s new Wall?
Combining an extensive range of Greek and Latin sources with a sound understanding of archaeology, Bronwen Riley describes an epic journey from Rome to Hadrian's Wall at Britannia's – and the empire's – northwestern frontier. In this strikingly original snapshot of Roman Britain, she brings vividly to life the smells, sounds, colours and textures of travel in the second century AD.