A. Walas
Britannia 50, pp. 530-531
Publication year: 2019

Roman Britain: The Frontier Province. Collected Papers. By M. Hassall. Hobnob Press, Warminster, 2017. Pp. xvi + 291, figs 30. Price £18 (bound). ISBN 978-1906978426

As the co-editor of the epigraphic section between 1970 and 2007, Hassall’s collected papers volume is an attractive pick for the readers of Britannia. Spanning across forty years of career, the volume presents a selection of works of one of the most prolific scholars in the area of Romano-British epigraphy. Several articles originally published in Britannia have found their place in the book, including a paper on the proposed presence of Batavians in the province from 43 A.D. originally published in the first issue of Britannia. The concept for the volume follows that of ‘Roman Britain and the Roman Army’, the collected papers of Eric Birley. Twenty contributions fall into four thematic sections: early military history of the conquest period up to the foundation of Hadrian’s Wall; the developed frontiers of High Empire; matters of the province encompassing themes of administration, urban governance, religion and trade; and a segment dedicated to the later history of the province in the 4th Century A.D.

Hassall’s wide knowledge of the epigraphic material and the power to present often fragmentary, British evidence in its wider European context are some of the strongest points of the volume. The collection offers an excellent overview of the role of epigraphy, and written word more generally in building the picture of Britannia as a Roman province. A series of papers provides syntheses of the material in relation to particular aspects of the province such as epigraphic material from Hadrian’s Wall (pp.27-32), epigraphy of the Roman army in Britain (pp.55-68), distribution of military tile stamps (pp. 69-76) and the epigraphic material relating to religion in the province (pp. 144- 158)…

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