LOST AND FOUND: THE REDISCOVERY OF ROMAN LONDON – JOHN CLARK

20 February, 2018

Another terrific talk to start the year.

TUESDAY, 27 FEBRUARY at 7.30
In 1136 a book appeared that was to change history – literally. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ”History of the Kings of Britain” detailed a fundamentily ‘British History’ that was accepted as genuine for 400 and more years. There was no place in it for the Roman Conquest of Britain, or for Londinium, capital of a province of the Roman Empire. Just that London had been ‘New Troy’, older than Rome and ruled by independent British kings like Lud, who built the city’s walls. Only in the 16th century did London historians question this story. With access to classical texts rediscovered during the Renaissance and spread by printing, and with the natives of the newly discovered America’s as models for an understanding of the ‘Ancient Britons’ described by Julius Caesar, they were better placed to interpret the nature of Roman London. Rebuilding works after the Great Fire revealed relics of this earlier London, and they were collected, recorded and discussed by antiquarians. Yet the popular belief that London was an already ancient city before the arrival of the Romans was hard to ignore.

John Clark was formerly Keeper of the Medieval Department at the Museum of London. Now retired he is Professor Emeritus. Do come along and here this fascinating, illustrated talk.

St Clements Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6
FREE (Non-members £3 includes refreshments)

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