Books: Something There Is, Etc.

HADRIAN'S WALL by David Divine. 244 pages. Gambit. $8.95.

It is a relic, really, of a classic blunder. Perdomita Britannia et statim omissa, noted Tacitus scornfully—"Britain was conquered and then thrown away." He blamed the Emperor Domitian, who in A.D. 84 suddenly ordered his brilliant field commander Agricola to return to Rome just when a wholly Roman Britain seemed within grasp of the legions. Thereafter, year by year, the troops that had pressed nearly to the top of Scotland fell back under guerrilla attacks from the Britons. At last, in A.D. 119, Rome decided to stem the retreat and make the best...

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