chapter  1
14 Pages

Rural People: Master and Man

Town life was fostered by the Romans as part of a general policy irrespective of the needs of the local barbarians. Towards the end of the Roman occupation, however, when Roman towns such as Verulamium, Silchester, London and Canterbury were on the wane, the countryside appears to have prospered. Many wealthy Roman citizens built themselves villas in the country which not only permitted more spacious and, often, gracious living, but also allowed them to escape urban taxes. The practice has been copied at intervals throughout the centuries right down to the present day, for similar reasons and at such times as law and order permitted and means of communication allowed.