Book review – Septimius Severus in Scotland

Archeologist Simon Elliott’s romp through the history of Roman Scotland is a hugely enjoyable read.

Elliott focuses on Emperor Septimius Severus, who in 208AD led his army of 40,000 men north of Hadrian’s Wall, marching north to take the Antonine Wall and then reoccupying many forts built by Agricola over 100 years earlier following the Battle of Mons Graupius.

Severus crippled the ability of the Caledonians to raid Roman Britain, but was subjected to a guerilla war and failed to subjugate Scotland before falling ill and dying.

Elliott has a great grasp of military and architectural detail but despite the vast amount of information this is an easy read that is complemented by the use of illustrations.

In-depth and fascinating.

Septimius Severus in Scotland: The Northern Campaigns of the First Hammer of the Scots, by Simon Elliott, Greenhill Books, £19.99.

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