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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932
Romano-British Kent - Part 1 - Page 1

WITH the Roman conquest of Britain the student of early Kentish antiquities passes from the prehistoric to the historic period. He no longer depends wholly or almost wholly on archaeological evidence; the narratives or the allusions of ancient writers lend him their aid, and it may seem his duty at this point to begin a regular history. That, however, he cannot do. Two facts restrict him to a humbler, though certainly not an easier, task.
   The first of these facts is the character of the Roman Empire of which Britain formed a province. Alike in its vast size and in its complex organization, that Empire was constituted on a scale which dwarfed details into insignificance. Its history—that is, its true history, freed, from court scandals and sensational crimes—is the record of great developments slowly advancing among the populations of three continents. We meet in it none of that continuous individual life, that quick succession of incidents and rapid growth of tendencies, which mark the cities of ancient Greece or the little nations of modern Europe. Local occurrences are the least important items in the Imperial annals and the fortunes of even a whole province are merged in the movement of the larger mass. Thus the province possesses—superficially, at any rate—no individual life which a historian might trace. He can describe its characteristics, the races which inhabited it, the quantity and quality of its civilization, its trade, its agricultural or mineral wealth. He
   1 The article on the Romano-British history of Kent is a composite work. It was originally undertaken before 1908 by the late Professor F. J. Haverfield, who, with the assistance of Miss M. V. Taylor, collected all the material then available for the sections on military history and for most of the towns and villas. He had also made a draft of a topographical index and prepared one or two other matters. The present article has been revised by Dr. R. E. M. Wheeler with help from Miss M. V. Taylor. Dr. Wheeler has undertaken the revision of the sections on the military sites, the towns and the other settled sites, which, owing to fresh information, have been to a large extent re-written. Miss M. V. Taylor has revised and completed the section on villas and has assisted with the topographical index. Mr. R. F. Jessup, under Dr. Wheeler’s direction, has written the section on roads and industries and given much help in the revision of the topographical index, particularly in verifying the references. Mr. R. G. Collingwood has written a note on the inscribed stone in the Maidstone Museum, and Mr. C. F. C. Hawkes has added some notes on the Pudding Pan Rock and assisted in the selection of material for illustration. Mr. H. J. Elgar and Mr. N. C. Cook have sent innumerable additions to the topographical index, and Miss J. C. Dodgson has helped in verifying the references.
   A work thus compiled probably contains inconsistencies and perhaps contradictions. It is hoped that the material collected may nevertheless be found useful by students of this important but difficult subject.

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