adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Romans Round the Coast

The face of Neptune from the Mildenhall Treasure (British Museum)

with John Fairclough

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 28th February 2009

An examination of the role of the Roman fleet in the Imperial conquest of Britain and the control of British waters.

We start the day with Julius Caesar fighting a great sea battle, then consider the invasion fleet of the emperor Claudius and how he might have transported elephants. We shall examine the role of the imperial fleet in British waters, Classis Britannica, in the conquest of Britain and the control of our coast. We shall look at the evidence for import and export trade and the need to guard against pirates.
How did Carausius attempt to create a truly Roman empire based in Britain, to challenge his two “fellow emperors”? What was the role of the “Count of the Saxon Shore”? We shall discuss the forts within his command and compare those round the rest of the British coast. Finally we must ask “Who were the Saxons?” and “How Roman was the great ship burial at Sutton Hoo?”

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Invasion and conquest  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Trade and protection  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Carausius creates a naval empire  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Raiders and invaders – the Saxons cometh  
  16:15 Close  

About John Fairclough

John Fairclough studied Greats at Oxford and worked on the excavation of Iron Age hillforts in the Welsh Borders in the 1960s. He was Museum Education Officer for Suffolk for 25 years and has lectured for the continuing education departments of Cambridge University and the University of East Anglia and for the Workers Educational Association. He is intrigued by the challenge of understanding how the Romans maintained seaways in northern waters and defended the coasts of their British province. He regrets a widespread failure to recognise that the British fleet was a significant Roman naval force, equal in importance to a land-based legion.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Casson, L., Ships and seafaring in Ancient Times (British Museum 1994)
Cunliffe, B., The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek (Penguin 2001)
Cunliffe, B., Facing the Ocean (Oxford 2001)
Darling, M.J. & Gurney, D., Caister on Sea Excavations (EAA Report 60, 1993)
Evans, A.C., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986)
Greenhill, B., Archaeology of the Boat (London 1976)
Johnson, S., The Roman Forts of the Saxon Shore (2nd ed., London 1979)
Mason, D.J.P., Roman Britain and the Roman Navy (Tempus 2003)
Maxfield, V.A., The Saxon Shore - a Handbook (Exeter 1989)
Milne, G., The Port of Roman London (Batsford 1985)
Pearson, A., The Roman Shore Forts (Tempus 2002)
Taylor, J. & Cleere, H., Roman Shipping and Trade (CBA Research Report 24, 1978)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

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