Forthcoming book

The Roman material Past in Anglo-Normal England, forthcoming early 2018, York Medieval Press, an imprint of Boydell and Brewer.

The Roman Material Past in Ango-Norman England examines the re-use of Roman remains as a nuanced and meaningful part of the wider cultural endeavours of the Normans. Following the Conquest, the new Norman elite sought to legitimise their position in England through the construction of royal castles, monasteries, and later, parish churches and other civic institutions. The re-use of Roman remains and the material past played a vital part of this process, and this book employs innovative archaeological, literary and art historical evidence to examine how the Anglo-Norman world was shaped by the material legacy of Roman Britain.

The Roman Material Past in Ango-Norman England develops a wide understanding of re-use, incorporating the appropriation of topography, building material, and portable remains; the emulation of decorative and engineering techniques; as well as acts of re-use which were ‘hidden’ or perfomative. The focus on English case studies contests a Rome-centric view of spolia, advocating and then demonstrating that geographically distant areas engaged with similar cultural practices. Within England, the regional expression and specialisation of re-use can be used to cross examine re-use processes across Europe and negotiate the programmatic transition from the Anglo-Saxon socio-political landscape.

Illustrated with lively images and colour plates, this book will be useful to scholars, students, and amateurs interested in historic buildings, spolia, and medieval representations of the Roman past.

Eric Weiskott

Associate Professor of English at Boston College

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Researcher in medieval architecture, 3D visualisation for museums and cultural heritage, re-use and spolia, twelfth-century literature

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