Where history happened: the collapse of Roman Britain

The Roman period in Britain is commonly said to conclude in AD 410 when the legions were called home, yet the story is a little more complicated than that

Portchester Castle in Hampshire was intended as a coastal defence against raiders. (Photo by Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

For Ken Dark, director of the University of Reading’s Research Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, what happened at the end of Roman Britain is probably the biggest unanswered question in British history during the first millennium AD. “The trouble, “he says, “is that the debate is to say the least very sophisticated and subtle”.

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