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Roman Empire

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Goths traversant une rivière, Évariste-Vital Luminais (1822-1896). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Goths came en masse and unopposed as immigrants to Rome
When discussing the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe, we often ignore one thing: most of them are neither Syrians nor refugees. The majority are Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, or even Bangladeshis. They live crummy lives but are in no immediate danger, their motive being simply the prospect of a better life in the West.... Read More
Hanged, drawn, and quartered. (source) Although the Middle Ages were, in the imagination of our contemporaries, “the time of the gallows,” the reality was appreciably different (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 38-39) Like many well-meaning people, I once considered the death penalty a relic of a more barbaric age. Outside the old jailhouse, here in Quebec City,... Read More
The online journal Evolutionary Psychology has published my article “The Roman State and genetic pacification.” The following is the abstract: Please feel free to offer your comments. Reference Frost, P. (2010). The Roman State and genetic pacification, Evolutionary Psychology, 8(3), 376-389, http://www.epjournal.n
Eboracum with the Colonia in the foreground and the fortress across the river. In my last two posts, I presented evidence that Roman York (Eboracum) was home to a large African community in the late 300s. This was due to the stationing of Nubian archers and other African legionnaires in this and other garrison towns... Read More
Figurines of Nubian archers (from Egypt) The Roman conquest of Britain brought not only cultural change but also profound ethnic change, i.e., an influx of soldiers, officials, and traders from elsewhere. Until recently, historians placed this influx mainly in the first century of Roman rule. As the native British became Romanized, they would have increasingly... Read More
The Anglo-Saxons ‘conquered’ the Civil Zone (non-shaded part of England), where the departing Roman army left a social and demographic vacuum. From W.E. Lunt's History of England What happened to the Romano-British? Were they wiped out by the Anglo-Saxons? Or were they absorbed by their conquerors? Razib Khan discusses the latest answer to this question.... Read More
Do empires provide a higher standard of living? In theory, this might seem so. Empires allow goods, capital, and labor to circulate within a much larger land area, thus creating economies of scale and matching supply and demand more efficiently. Empires can also build public works—roads, canals, aqueducts, etc.—that are beyond the reach of smaller... Read More
Historians often assume that the Romans changed Britain politically but not demographically. The indigenous elites adopted Roman culture while the mass of the population remained Celtic. When the Anglo-Saxons arrived in the fifth century, much of this population fled to Wales and Cornwall, where they would retain their language and traditions. Meanwhile, those who remained... Read More
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