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Roman Architectural Ornament in Britain

Thomas F. C. Blagg


The eminent scholar in the field of Roman architecture, Thomas Blagg, died in 2000. As a further mark of respect Grahame Soffe, Martin Henig, and Anthony King have collaborated in this publication of T F C Blagg’s London Ph.D. thesis from the early ‘70s.It is a study of the decorated stonework used in the construction and embellishment of Roman buildings in Britain. Stonemasons’ tools and techniques are considered first, followed by classifications and discussions of various categories of architectural ornament. Two reconstructed monuments from Roman London are presented as case studies in the archaeological use of architectural ornament. The concluding chapter contains a discussion of the historical and social contexts for the introduction into Britainand the subsequent development of Roman architectural decoration in stone, including aspects of patronage and craft organization, the relationshA of civilian to military and of rural to urban architecture. Soffe, Henig, and King have added a detailed appreciation and list of publications, and the release of this BAR makes a fitting, additional, tribute to the work of this well-respected scholar.