Roman Britain on the Big Screen

During a recent conversation over margaritas in the old provincial capital, Peculiar mentioned two new forthcoming movies set in Roman Britain.

There is an added resonance to Americans flocking to films set during the rise and fall of ancient empires as they contemplate their own long-dominant place in the world amid economic upheavals at home and protracted wars abroad.

And I told him about how Troy (2004) subtly supported the archaeological theory of diffusionism.

The movies in question are Centurion and The Eagle of the Ninth.

Both should be regarded as “inspired by” rather than as any attempt at accurate history, I reckon. The so-called”disappearance” of the Ninth Legion is something that historians still squabble about—and bloggers too.

Archaeologists have shown that they were happily in garrison in York in AD 108, which is rather a long time after their supposed demise in Caledonia.

(And it’s amazing how many people think “centurion” means “Roman soldier” rather than what we would call a company commander.)

Clash of the Titans has not fared well on blogs that I read, so I am skipping it.

The Roman province of Britain lasted longer than the United States of America has thus far (just for comparison), so there are plenty of movie-making opportunities left.