chapter  2
18 Pages

The two traditions: Celtic and Graeco-Roman

The interaction of two or more cultural traditions is one of the most fascinating phenomena that can be studied in human society, for it can lead either to intense and mindless conflict or to innovation, growth and enrichment - or indeed, both, at different phases of the relationship. It is complex and obscure even in its effects on contemporary societies and is often capable of widely differing interpretations, since few observers, being human themselves, are wholly neutral and objective in their opinions. Several references have already been made to the fact that the culture of Roman Britain combined elements from the Celtic and pre-Celtic traditions of the indigenous population and those of the Graeco-Roman world which were introduced when the country became a province of the Roman Empire. Most students of Roman Britain have fairly strong views on the extent to which Roman culture succeeded or failed in changing the underlying attitudes and behaviour of the population.