What happened when the Romans left

  • Thread starter wolram
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In summary, the Celts allowed towns and villas to decline when the Romans left, although many people stayed. This may have been due to the administration leaving, as tribal warfare may have destabilized various groups. The Picts were never subdued by the Romans, and Roman-era buildings such as towers and walls still remain.
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wolram
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http://www.britainexpress.com/History/Life_in_Roman_Britain.htm

From this the Celtic way life continued along side the more opulent roman way, so why did the Celts let towns, villas, roads decline when the Romans left, although i understand that many stayed it was more the administration left.
 
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One often hears archaeologists talk of roman buildings and robber trenches (what remains after the stone has been removed) this stone is found reused in church walls and other buildings of i think a much later date, so what is the time line, how long for example does a Roman building remain intact after the Romans left.
 
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  • #4
wolram said:
so why did the Celts let towns, villas, roads decline when the Romans left, although i understand that many stayed it was more the administration left.

There were very few 'Roman' soldiers in Britain - it was more the central organisation.
To maintian roads between cities you need someone in charge of both cities otheriwse people will only repair the bits they own/use. Nothing changes - it's the reason interstates have federal funding!
Large estates broke up to be farmed by individual families - so the villa declined because there was no single person to own the entire estate. In towns the buildings continued for much longer - there was still enough of the Roman garrison headquarters left in the C11 to use as the basis for York minster.

The Celtic/Pict/Anglo-Saxon invasion is a bit simplistic - there wasn't a unified invading army any more than there was a unified Roman country to invade. It's more as Astronuc said individual groups attacking their neighbours/raiding cows etc - this contined between Yorkshire and the Scots until the 1978 world cup.

Francis Pryor's book Britain AD does a good job of describing the Anglo-Saxon invasion. He claims it was really more an invasion of new ideas/leaders rather than replacing people, he bases this on the fact that farming patterns didn't change - you can't suddenly invade, kill all the locals but farm in exactly the same way as they had done for 1000s of years.

A good model is the British leaving India after WWII - there were never very many British soldiers it was mostly admin and organisation. After they left some buildings/culture were abandoned but most of the systems were absorbed into the new country.
 
  • #5
http://www.cit.gu.edu.au/~s285238/DECB/DECBbestest.html

I have just found this well worth a look.

A best effort of reconstruction.

The scarcity of reliable sources for this period and the lack of constraint this consequently places on historical reconstructions is discussed in The Facts: How much do we really know. This page grapples with this lack of knowledge to come up with a "best estimate" reconstruction, where I have tried to be as unbiassed as possible. The end result is a far less colourful history, but one not greatly different in outline from that in the "Ruin and Conquest". It is less colourful both because many colourful sources are unreliable and because I have deliberately shortened quotes from the sources that remain so as to get across the essential facts only.
 
  • #6
wolram said:
One often hears archaeologists talk of roman buildings and robber trenches (what remains after the stone has been removed) this stone is found reused in church walls and other buildings of i think a much later date, so what is the time line, how long for example does a Roman building remain intact after the Romans left.

Roofs give up fairly quickly, once you lose a few tiles the roof timbers rot and collapse - say 50 years if you don't do any repairs.
Mortered stone walls last 1000s of years if no one deliberately destroys them, the east anglian shore forts (although they were probably supply depots not forts) are still intact. Probably because they are a long way from anywhere and made of flint so not worth the effort of robbing. There are intact roman towers on York's city walls ( they were probably roofed over and lived in / used for defence and so were maintained until the mediaval walls were built around them.
Foundations get used for a lot longer, York minster is built on the foundations of the Roman garrison and the walls/columns underneath are still in good shape.The roof would probably have collapsed and bits of wall been knocked down to change shapes or used to build smaller buildings but pulling large rough-cut stones out of deep foundations was probably more trouble than it was worth.
 
  • #7
Without money, supplies and men coming from Rome, everything fell into disrepair. Remember, it was all of these things that were done by Romans that the "locals" benefited from, but had neither the means nor discipline to keep them up, even though many Roman soldiers had been given lands to retire on.

I highly recommend "In Search of the Dark Ages" By Michael Wood for an insight into Britain after the Roman conquest.
 
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Was it not all so that some of the invaders just did not need towns and cities, they looted and burned them, why burn them if you have need for them?
 

Related to What happened when the Romans left

1. What caused the fall of the Roman Empire?

The fall of the Roman Empire was a complex process that occurred over several centuries. There is no one specific event or reason that caused the fall, but rather a combination of factors including economic instability, political corruption, invasions by barbarian tribes, and a weakening of the military.

2. What happened to the Roman citizens when the empire fell?

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the citizens of Rome faced many challenges. Many cities and towns were left in ruins, and the economy was in shambles. The social and political structures that had been in place for centuries were also disrupted. Some citizens were forced to flee to other regions, while others adapted to the new rulers and ways of life.

3. Did the fall of the Roman Empire lead to the Dark Ages?

The term "Dark Ages" is often used to describe the period after the fall of the Roman Empire. While there were certainly disruptions and changes during this time, it is important to note that the term is considered outdated and has negative connotations. Many advancements and developments actually occurred during this time, particularly in the fields of art, literature, and science.

4. How did the fall of the Roman Empire impact the rest of the world?

The fall of the Roman Empire had a significant impact on the rest of the world, particularly in Europe. It led to power struggles and the emergence of new rulers and empires. The spread of Christianity, which had been heavily influenced by the Roman Empire, also continued to shape the world in the centuries to come.

5. Could the Roman Empire have been saved from its downfall?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it is impossible to predict what could have happened. Some historians argue that the Empire was too large and complex to sustain itself in the long term. Others believe that if different decisions had been made by the rulers and citizens, the Empire could have potentially survived. Ultimately, the fall of the Roman Empire was a result of a combination of factors and cannot be attributed to one specific cause.

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