Book 1, Chapter 5, 296 AD to 410 AD – Christianity in Britain – Continued
The Romans were, as a rule, tolerant of the existing religion of conquered provinces, so long as it did not interfere with the imperial policy. At the same time, the military and the civil authorities reproduced in every foreign colony, the classic superstitions of the central state, and in Britain, temples to Jupiter, Apollo, Diana, Venus, and Minerva were erected. One to the last-named goddess appears to have been built at I3ath (Aqua, Solis, and ‘the Waters of the Sun,’ even than famed for their medicinal virtues). Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions this temple, and Leland, who wrote in the time of Henry the eighth, describes a number of Roman sculptures then built into the town wall of Bath. Ruins of the old temple were found when excavating for the foundations of a new Pump Room, towards the close of the eighteenth century that more remains of Roman temples, and of other public structures, do not remain, or are not more frequently disinterred, may be accounted for by remembering that, the materials of which they were built were too valuable to remain untouched in subsequent ages, and hence the stones were cleared away, and the sculptures employed for other purposes. Yet from altars which have been found in varying degrees of preservation, it is not difficult to gather a tolerably clear account of the worship of the Romans in Britain, and this is interesting, as it must have had some effect upon the native mind.
Chapter 5, Christianity in Britain
Remains of Roman Worship
Chapter 5, Decline of the Roman Power
Chapter 5, The Romans Leave Britain
Categories: Book 1