Early Britain—Roman Britain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about Early Britain—Roman Britain.

[Footnote 18:  Posidonius of Rhodes, the tutor of Cicero, visited Britain about 100 B.C., and wrote a History of his travels in fifty volumes, only known to us by extracts in Strabo (iii. 217, iv. 287, vii. 293), Diodorus Siculus (v. 28, 30), Athenaeus, and others.  See Bake’s ‘Posidonius’ (Leyden, 1810).]

[Footnote 19:  The ingots of bronze found in the recent [1900] excavations at Gnossus, in Crete, which date approximately from 2000 B.C., are of this shape.  Presumably the Britons learnt it from Phoenician sources.]

[Footnote 20:  Saxon coracles are spoken of even in the 5th century A.D.  See p. 245.]

[Footnote 21:  ‘Coins of the Ancient Britons,’ p. 24.]

[Footnote 22:  This familiar feature of our climate is often touched on by classical authors.  Minucius Felix (A.D. 210) is observant enough to connect it with our warm seas, “its compensation,” due to the Gulf Stream.]

[Footnote 23:  ‘Nat.  Hist.’ xviii. 18.]

[Footnote 24:  Ibid. xvii. 4.]

[Footnote 25:  Solinus (A.D. 80) adds that bees, like snakes, were unknown in Ireland, and states that bees will even desert a hive if Irish earth be brought near it!]

[Footnote 26:  Matthew Martin, ‘Western Isles,’ published 1673.  Quoted by Elton (’Origins of English Hist.,’ p. 16), who gives Martin’s date as 1703.]

[Footnote 27:  Strabo, iv. 277.  The word basket is itself of Celtic origin, and passed into Latin as it has passed into English.  Martial (’Epig.’ xiv. 299) says:  “Barbara de pictis veni bascauda Britannis.”  Strabo wrote shortly before, Martial shortly after, the Roman Conquest of Britain.]

[Footnote 28:  One of these primitive mortars, a rudely-hollowed block of oolite, with a flint pestle weighing about 6 lbs., was found near Cambridge in 1885.]

[Footnote 29:  Diod.  Siculus, ‘Hist.’ v. 21.]

[Footnote 30:  ‘British Barrows,’ p. 750.]

[Footnote 31:  ‘Geog.’  IV.]

[Footnote 32:  ‘Legend of Montrose,’ ch. xxii.]

[Footnote 33:  Diod.  Sic. v. 30:  “Saga crebris tessellis florum instar distincta.”  This sagum was obviously a tartan plaid such as are now in use.  The kilt, however, was not worn.  It is indeed a comparatively quite modern adaptation of the belted plaid.  Ancient Britons wore trousers, drawn tight above the ankles, after the fashion still current amongst agricultural labourers.  They were already called “breeches.”  Martial (Ep. x. 22) satirizes a life “as loose as the old breeches of a British pauper.”]

[Footnote 34:  Pliny, ‘Nat.  Hist.’ viii. 48.]

[Footnote 35:  Id. xxviii. 2.  Fashions about hair seem to have changed as rapidly amongst Britons (throughout the whole period of this work) as in later times.  The hair was sometimes worn short, sometimes long, sometimes strained back from the forehead; sometimes moustaches were in vogue, sometimes a clean shave, more rarely a full beard; but whiskers were quite unknown.]

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