Roman Britain's Pirate King - A Review

The book for this review was provided by Pen and Sword Books, however all opinions are my own. Thanks to Pen and Sword for letting me know about this new book!

It's always a real treat when we learn about a period in history from someone who is not only knowledgable on the subject but also clearly passionate about it. And if you love the bloodthirsty history of Roman Britain, you'll love this new book: Roman Britain's Pirate King, by Simon Elliott. 

Gold coins, Carausius, London. Wikimedia Commons

The book examines not only the 'pirate king' Carausius, but the wider fight for Britain under Roman control. It also places events and characters in their context, really important for understanding the timeline of  events. And it has all the aspects we all love from a good history: power-grabbing, piracy, soldiers and even the odd murder. We're also given brilliant details about Roman fleets, galleys and weapons used by the Roman military. 

The style of writing is easy to understand, with clearly laid-out chapters. I noticed that there was an emphasis on drawing from archaeological evidence, something I find can sometimes be missing in books dealing with political history, but is really important. It's also really well referenced and researched, with a long number of ancient sources cited.  There are also great illustrations - photos of coinage, surviving Roman structures and models of soldiers and legionaries all help to bring the narrative to life. I loved to see the reconstructions and illustrations of the Roman galleys, again something that's not often looked at. 

The period of the Roman occupation of Britain is not a subject I knew an awful lot about (I'm still learning!) and it was refreshing to read a different take on its history, Carausius being someone I really hadn't heard much of, but clearly deserves more recognition. If you're a fan of Roman Britain I'd urge you to have a read. The author's knowledge and passion for the subject really shines through and you're pulled along with it as you go, igniting your own curiosity.

Find it at Pen and Sword Books or if you prefer it's also on (affiliate link-->) Amazon

Have you read the book? Are you interested in finding out more about Roman Britain? 

Let me know what you think in the comments below... 

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