Roman Infrastructure in Early Medieval Britain
Roman Infrastructure in Early Medieval Britain
The Adaptations of the Past in Text and Stone
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Table of Contents
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List of Abbreviations
List of Maps
List of Figures
Chapter I: Frameworks: From Historiography to the Principal Terms
1. Infrastructure
2. Governance Resource
3. Continuity
4. Re-Use
5. City
Chapter II: Movements: The Charters and Roman Transport Infrastructure
1. Writing Roads Down: Roman Roads in Documentary Practice
2. The Eastern Charters
2.1 Source Introduction
2.2 Roads and Bridges in Boundary Clauses
2.3 State of Maintenance
2.4 Obligations and Burdens
3. The Western Charters
3.1 Source Introduction
3.2 Roads in Western Charters
3.3 Alienation
4. Conclusions
Chapter III: Adaptations: Roman Urban Spaces in Post-Roman and Early Medieval Britain
1. A Very Long Goodbye: Recognising Roman Urbanism in Britain
2. Urban Spaces in the Sub-Roman Period (c. 382-c. 442)
2.1 Transformations of Roman Towns in Britain
2.2 409/410 - the Year(s) Nothing Happened?
2.3 Candidates for Limited Urban Survival
2.4 Coins and Urban Spaces
2.5 Problematising the Shift
3. Urban Spaces in the Pre-Conversion Period (c. 442-597)
3.1 Tax-Gathering and Re-Use of Roman Towns
3.2 Limited Town Functions the Idea of Multifocal Governance
4. Urban Spaces in the Conversion Period and the Times of Bede (597-735)
4.1 The Strategies of Activation
4.2 Sources of Authority
4.3 Between "Continuity of Place" and "Urban Continuity"
4.4 Perceiving Roman Urban Spaces
5. Conclusions
Chapter IV: Spaces: The Church and What Rome Left
1. Tinkering with the Past: Church and the Inheritance of Rome
2. Lawand Space
2.1 Regulating the Role of the Church
2.2 Acquiring and Granting Space
3. Symbolical Geographies
3.1 The "Christian Foundation Legend" and Roman Remains
3.2 Recreating Rome
3.3 Reoccupying Urban Spaces as Ecclesiastical Capitals
4. Memory and Infrastructure
4.1 Whithorn and Remembering Rome
4.2 Wilfrid and the Importing of Memory
5. Conclusions

Reviews and Features

"Focusing on Britain from the end of the fourth century to the middle of the eighth century, Mateusz Fafinski considers how the Roman past was reactivated. [...] A book-length study of this phenomenon is a useful addition to the existing literature. [...] From the perspective of northern history, the discussion and interpretation of the evidence for a number of sites will be of interest."
- Thomas Pickles, Northern History (2021)

Mateusz Fafinski

Roman Infrastructure in Early Medieval Britain

The Adaptations of the Past in Text and Stone

Early Medieval Britain was more Roman than we think. The Roman Empire left vast infrastructural resources on the island. These resources lay buried not only in dirt and soil, but also in texts, laws, chronicles, charters, even churches and landscapes. This book uncovers them and shows how they shaped Early Medieval Britain. Infrastructures, material and symbolic, can work in ways that are not immediately obvious and exert an influence long after their creators have gone. Infrastructure can also rest dormant and be reactivated with a changed function, role and appearance. This is not a simple story of continuity and discontinuity: It is a story of adaptation and transformation, of how the Roman infrastructural past was used and re-used, and also how it influenced the later societies of Britain.

Mateusz Fafinski

Mateusz Fafinski is a medievalist, digital humanist, and translator. His PhD thesis at Freie Universität Berlin focused on the uses of the material past in early medieval Britain. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Text Technologies and teaches medieval history at Freie Universität Berlin.