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The Saxon shore

D E Johnston (editor)

CBA Research Report No 18 (1977)


Title page of report 18

The preface to this volume of papers given at a conference in 1975 contains a critique by R M Reece of the way that historical and archaeological evidence are mixed together when they should be kept separate. Barry Cunliffe's paper (1-6) summarizing the problems calls for a much more rigorous approach to excavation, analysis and publication. M W C Hassall (7-10) discusses the historical background, principally the Notitia Dignitatum, and the problems of identifying units and forts on both sides of the Channel. J C Mann's contribution (11-15) is on the military organization of duces and comites in the 4th century, plus a note on the Reculver inscription. The Classis Britannica is treated by Henry Cleere (16-19) from its beginnings in AD 40 or 43, through its iron-producing activities in the Weald, to its disappearance from the record in mid-3rd century. There follow papers on the detailed archaeological evidence: Dover (Brian Philp), Brancaster (D A Edwards and C J S Green), Lympne (Barry Cunliffe), the Channel Isles (David Johnston), Boulogne and coastal defences in 4th-5th centuries (C Seillier), Alet (Loïc Langouët), Brest (René Sanquer) and Oudenburg (J Mertens). The interpretation of the term 'Saxon Shore' is discussed by Stephen Johnson (63-9), and the evidence for religious missions in the shore forts is Stuart Rigold's subject (70-75). The absence of informative inscriptions from the shore forts is taken by J J Wilkes (76-80) as significant and possibly providing a date of AD 260-96 for the system.


  • Title pages
  • List of Contributors (p iii)
  • Editor's Foreword by D E Johnston (p v)
  • The Saxon Shore - some problems and misconceptions by Barry Cunliffe (p 1)
  • The historical background and military units of the Saxon Shore by M W C Hassall (p 7)
  • Duces and comites in the 4th century by J C Mann (p 11)
  • The Reculver inscription - a note by J C Mann (p 15)
  • The Classis Britannica by Henry Cleere (p 16)
  • The British evidence
    • Dover by Brian Philp (p 20)
    • The Saxon Shore fort and settlement at Brancaster, Norfolk by Derek A Edwards and Christopher J S Green (p 21)
    • Lympne - a preparatory comment by Barry Cunliffe (p 29)
  • The Gallic evidence
    • The Channel Islands by David E Johnston (p 31)
    • Boulogne and coastal defences in the 4th and 5th centuries by C L Seillier (p 35)
    • The 4th century Gallo-Roman site at Alet (Saint-Malo) by Loïc Langouët (p 38)
    • The castellum at Brest (Finistère) by René Sanquer (p 45)
  • Oudenburg and the northern section of the continental Litus Saxonicum by J Mertens (p 51)
  • Late Roman defences and the Limes by S Johnson (p 63)
  • Litus Romanum - the Shore forts as mission stations by S E Rigold (p 70)
  • The Saxon Shore - British anonymity in the Roman Empire by J J Wilkes (p 76)
  • Bibliography (p 81)
  • Index (p 89)

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