Britannia – The Failed State: Tribal Conflict and the End of Roman Britain. By Stuart Laycock (Review)

Le Temps Revient

I couldn’t resist picking this book up on a recent visit to Vindolanda, as the title was such an instant attention grabber. No doubt it has led to all sorts of comparisons with the state of current British affairs, pertinent or not. Yet the book’s thesis does go someway to explaining certain rivalries that still effect the geopolitics of Britannia’s island today.

Let’s start off with what the book does quite well. It’s main strength is in linking together both the pre and post Roman periods, showing that the tensions that led to later problems had been there all along. The author is keen to point out his experience in other fields as giving him a different, if not entirely unique, perspective on the events which transpired in the period in question. Laycock was an aid worker in the Balkans during the conflict there (1991-1999) and draws many intriguing parallels…

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