REMAINS OF ROMAN BRITAIN

It seems natural that Britishers and those sons of Britain who in days long ago settled in America, and more recently in the great countries of English-speaking peoples which we include in the " Britain beyond the Seas " should take the deepest interest in the antiquities which have been found in Great Britain. These discoveries in towns and cities which are flourishing still are the links between then and now, between the past and the present. They tell us of an England very different from that of to-day, and bring to mind the long period of time during which our island home was dominated by the influence of Rome, and through its workmen by Greek art. Many of the most famous remains of ancient Londinium (London) are of bronze, but some of them are enriched with rarer metals. Some of the figures on which much careful work is apparent have silver and gold additions well chosen to give better effect to the figures, and prominence to their emblems and attributes. Thus the figure of an archer, now in the British Museum, found in Queen Street, London, which is of bronze, has silver eyes, and there is evidence that the bow and quiver of the archer, now missing, were of gold or silver. History is almost silent about the site of the metropolis, destined to be fondly called the " Hub of the Universe," during that period London became a " waste " after the Romans had left it. It had then become one of those lost cities which swallowed up all that remained of Roman occupation and enveloped many treasures in the debris and dust, until years after buildings which had subsequently covered the site had served their purpose. Then the treasures were revealed in the excavations for more imposing piles which modern requirements demanded and in the building of which the foundations had to be laid once more in virgin soil.

The discoveries of Roman occupation have also been made upon sites where there are now few traces of buildings, other than the fragments turned up by the plough, a good example of such sites is that of Verulam, near by the great Abbey of At. Alban's, in the building of which Roman bricks and tiles gathered from the site of the ancient city were freely employed. It is, however, in such cities as Bath and Chester and other important towns, the very plan and outline of the modern streets coinciding with that of the Roman founders, that we appear to stand upon classic ground, for there, remains may be seen in situ, although often many feet below the present level. It is true the ruins shown are mostly architectural, although there are to be found the same designs in the metal work which has been discovered on the sites and mostly deposited for safety in local museums. In such places can be seen beautiful examples of the actual domestic metal work and appointments of the days when the Romans were in possession, and their artists wrought British silver into domestic plate, and fashioned jewelled trinkets.