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Marching on Edinburgh: The Romans in the Lothians

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

The Lothians played a key role in the Roman invasion of Scotland. By examining the archaeological record, the course will take a critical view of what we know about activity in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and will help them develop an informed view of what the Romans were doing in the area.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Open to all, maximum 16

Content of Course

The Lothians played a key role in the Roman invasion of Scotland, supplying and supporting the Antonine Wall, but the picture of Roman occupation is not straightforward; with forts at Cramond and Inveresk, but no trace of occupation in the heart of East Lothian or even within Edinburgh city centre. Does an absence of evidence mean there were no Romans, or have we just not found anything yet?

Day 1 - Inveresk (Taking place at in Inveresk) from 10:00

·The Romans are coming (45 mins)
  • An overview of the Romans arriving in the Lothians, covering their route to the Lothians in the 2nd century, covering strategic importance and the role that the area had in previous years (i.e. the Agricolan period)

·The Romans are Missing? (30 mins)
  • Critically examining the evidence for Roman activity in East Lothian by focussing on the indigenous settlements and assessing whether or not there likely to be undiscovered forts, with a brief look at Roman systems of ‘takeover’ and ‘client kings’.

·Break (15 mins)
·What’s a fort? (45 mins)
  • What does a typical Roman fort look like, and who occupied it? What came with the fort (and why) i.e. settlements, roads, etc.

·Lunch (1 hour)
·Discovering Roman Inveresk (45 mins)
  • When was Inveresk ‘discovered’ as a Roman fort, and what did the early antiquarians think of their finds, and what assumptions did they make? (Case study – the Centurion stone)

·Break (15 mins)
·The Romans at Inveresk (45 mins)
  • A walking tour of Inveresk specifically focussing on four aspects of activity in the area

  • Religion and cults

 

Day 2 – Cramond (Taking place at Cramond) from 10:00

·The Antonine Period (30 mins)
  • An overview of the Antonine period, what was going on in the Empire at this time, and why was it important to invade Scotland. Briefly, what was the Antonine Wall (which Cramond and Inveresk are linked to) and why was it so important?

·Romans in Edinburgh (30 mins) Part 1
  • Critically examining the known evidence for Romans in Edinburgh – did they come to the city and what would we expect to find versus what we have found

·Break (15 mins)
·Romans in Edinburgh (30 mins) Part 2
  • Critically examining the known evidence for Romans in Edinburgh – did they come to the city and what would we expect to find versus what we have found

 

·Discovering Roman Cramond (45 mins)
  • When was Cramond ‘discovered’ as a Roman fort, and what did the early explorers think of their finds, and what assumptions did they make? (Case study – Cramond Lion)

·Lunch (1 hour)
·The Romans at Cramond - tour (30 mins) Part 1
  • A guided tour of Cramond focussing on four aspects of activity in the area

  • The Fort

·Break (15 mins)
·The Romans at Cramond - tour (45 mins) Part 2
  • A guided tour of Cramond focussing on four aspects of activity in the area

  • Cemetery

Teaching method(s)

This course will be taught using a mixture of presentation, use of various different types of evidence (written and physical), class discussion and participation, and a guided tour around Cramond. Easy walk on uneven ground with frequent stops.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically examine Roman finds/evidence within Edinburgh and East Lothian ;
  • Identify key components of Roman activity at Cramond and Inveresk;
  • Analyse different types of evidence (i.e. documentary and physical, primary and secondary) and draw reasonable conclusions;
  • Formulate an informed view of Roman activity and interaction in the region.

Sources

Core Readings

A short course reader and handouts will be provided.

Class Handouts

A summary of key evidence discussed, will be available for distribution.

Student support

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email StudentSupport.COL@ed.ac.uk or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.