Book 1, Chapter 4, 78 AD to 306 AD – Roman Mode of Government – Continued
Manufactures and trades were largely carried on in Britain among the Romans. Many of the products have, of course, perished but others remain, and of these the most numerous are specimens of the potter’s art. Excavations made in different parts of the country, have brought to light thousands of articles of porcelain and earthenware, often in a complete state of preservation, and these are deposited in our national and local museums, or are to be found in the private collections of antiquaries. The Upchurch marshes, on the right bank of the Medway, were the seat of a very extensive Roman pottery, fragments of which have been found over a large area, and prove that employment must have been furnished to a considerable number of workmen. Specimens of the ware manufactured at this place are found not only among Roman remains all over England, but also in France. Potteries are also proved to have existed at Dymchurch, Castor in Northamptonshire, and at various other places; though all of them have not yet been fully explored. From the remains of the works which have been discovered, it is easy to infer the modes of manufacture. The vessels found vary in size, form, and finish. Some are elegantly decorated with a variety of subjects, mythological and actual. Articles of this description must have been found in a Roman house to a much larger extent than is common in modern times, and earthenware vases, bowls, urns, etc. were employed for purposes which now require the use of chests, boxes, baskets, bags, and caskets.
Glass vessels, beads, and buttons have also been found, mostly in tombs which accounts for their preservation. Personal ornaments of a kind of jet, as rings, and armlets, show that the use of the lathe was understood. Pigs of lead, with the official stamps of the Roman miners, are of common occurrence. Fibulae, or brooches, made of bronze, but rarely of silver and gold, and mostly of a uniform pattern, exist in large quantities as do bracelets, ear rings, and finger rings, of the same materials. Pins, of bone or bronze, were used by ladies for fastening the back hair. Leather sandals, both plain and decorated, and occasionally with the soles protected by nails, have been brought to light. Hand mirrors of polished metal, box wood combs, and some of bone tweezers, scissors, needles, clasp knives, spoons, locks and keys, hand bells, lamps, images of the lares and penates, or household gods, stiles, for writing upon wax tablets, steelyards and weights, and numerous other interesting articles, have been discovered by the wise and zealous labours of antiquaries..
Chapter 4, Agricola
Chapter 4, Roman Roads and Towns
Trades and Manufactories
Chapter 4, Roman Memorial of Death
Categories: Book 1