Meet the author: Dr Simon Elliott
This week, Roman Britain’s Missing Legion has been on an exciting blog tour! As part of the tour, we got the chance to ask Simon all about his new book and research.
Tell us a little about your new book Roman Britain’s Missing Legion
I have always had a fascination with all things Roman, and the story of the missing IXth legion is one of greatest mysteries of the ancient world, so the opportunity to write a book about it was a joy. This is a full legion of 5,500 men which simply disappears from the historical record, and a tale which has truly captured the popular imagination. Think Rosemary Sutcliffe and her lovely The Eagle of the Ninth, and Channing Tatum in The Eagle.
Did your opinion on what happened to the legion change during your research?
Yes because I approached the book as a detective story and followed four potential hypotheses about how it was lost. These were lost in the north of Britain, lost in the south of Britain, lost on the Rhine and Danube and lost in the east. The second, about the potential role the IXth legion might have played in a potential revolt in London around the time of the accession of the emperor Hadrian in AD 117, is totally new.
What first sparked your interest in ancient history?
As long as I can remember I have always had an interest in ancient history, and am very fortunate today that I have made a career from my passion!
Have you needed to change your approach to research during the pandemic?
Not at all, I follow my usual routine, get up early, put the radio on, make coffee, write about the Romans (or Greeks, see below)!
What are you working on next?
Ancient Greeks at War, the companion volume to my Casemate best seller Romans at War!
Order your copy here.