The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop

The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop* – And their Impact on Military History – is a short but such a good book on the infrastructure during the first centuries of the current era and also on their impact on the conflicts that took place afterwards. For me this was a 5 stars book without any doubt.

The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop

The author touches on the roads that were in Britain before the Romans arrived, which, if you haven’t read about it, it’s quite a controversial topic. I think the author is right and that previous roads were improved. He made a quantitative and qualitative research and I liked that a lot.

There are lots of maps included and that is very helpful too, to create a realistic overview of Roman infrastructure. Also, I liked so much that he linked battles, from medieval to the War of the Roses to the Civil War and also in Scotland, with the example of the 1745 and the rebellion under the Young Pretender. For that part of the book one would benefit from prior knowledge, but it’s a small part and an overall picture can be created even if you are not familiar with all the conflicts.

The book ends with his views on the future research. He points out that much more can be done, especially now, with all the new technology which can offer better insight into things like dating artefacts, surveying fields, and so on. The book deals with many different aspects which keeps it very interesting.

The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen and Sword Military
Year it was published: 2021 (first published in 2014)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Ancient history
Pages: 210

About the author: M. C. Bishop is a freelance writer, publisher, and archaeologist who – among other things – walks, drives, cycles, flies, tweets, blogs, draws, and photographs Hadrian’s Wall. His particular specialities are Roman arms and armor and the Roman site at Corbridge in Northumberland, but he confesses to being at his happiest when working on articles or books (writing, illustrating, editing, copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, and indexing).
He is also a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Classics at St Andrews University, Scotland.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.



6 thoughts on “The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M.C. Bishop”

    • Aww, no, not the Romans (which it should be controversial, and the vikings, just as 18th-19th centuries empires are), but the existence of roads before the Romans. :))

  • I think I would enjoy the maps in this one as much as the narrative. Surveying fields to discover their past history and usage, is also a really interesting aspect to me. We may live close to Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill, but if you could see the state of our roads, you would have to agree that it definitely doesn’t look as though a Roman ever passed this way! I don’t think we have many direct routes from A to B across Somerset or Dorset, it’s just a maze of roads with switch-back bends and nowhere to pass the many farm vehicles which use them.

    I hope that your Christmas break was good and I wish you and your husband all good things in 2022! 🙂
    Yvonne (@Fiction_Books) recently posted…Christmas With The Railway Girlsby Maisie ThomasReviewMy Profile

    • Some Roman roads are now boundaries between fields, as they changed their use in medieval times. That might be the case around Stonehenge. I paid more attention to the Liverpool area, of course. :))
      All the best Yvonne to you and your husband. Happy 2022! xx

  • I’ve not seen anything about roads in Britain before the Romans. They were skilled at building and known for their roads, so I can only imagine they were an improvement over anything that was there previously. I would enjoy seeing all the maps.
    Kelly recently posted…Reading wrap-up for 2021My Profile

    • There is very little research into that and I’m not sure how much can be done, with the new Roman roads on top and other roads above those too. Yes, the Romans did improve greatly the roads, the discussion is more on the location of the roads and it they were new or not. It’s quite a fascinating subject.

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