South Wales From the Romans to the Normans
Christianity, Literacy & Lordship
- Jeremy Knight
15th February 2013
In the centuries after the end of Roman rule England and Wales emerged as literate and Christian peoples from the debris of the former Roman provinces. This book zooms in on one small area to trace the process from late Roman times to the advent of the full medieval period in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. South Wales is a particularly good area in which to examine this transition. It has the trappings of romanisation in the form of villas and towns but without subsequent English settlement. The story begins in the fortress of the Second Augustan Legion at Caerleon in 244 with the core of the legion making a ritual sacrifi ce. Over the next century and a half, the fortress fell into disuse. After Roman rule in Britain unravelled, new secular and ecclesiastical power structures began to form. South Wales from the Romans to the Normans examines these new structures using recent archaeological and historical work, including the cults and 'lives' of founder-saints, patterns of pastoral care and Cambro-Norse infl uence. The Anglo-Norman conquest saw radical change in a time of climatic improvement, settlement expansion and new forms of religious life. This led to the medieval parochial and settlement pattern and in South Wales represented far more than mere military conquest.