2.2 Antiquarian research

The study of Roman Scotland may be said to have started in the 16th century with the first modern written accounts and the recording of inscriptions and sculpture (such as the Inveresk altar recorded in 1565; Moir 1860, 4-7; RIB 2132; or the works of Hector Boece (1527) and George Buchanan (1582)). The literary sources, and in particular Tacitus’ Agricola and the quest for Mons Graupius, framed much of the early discourse (see Maxwell 1990), a trend which has persisted in some quarters to this day. The 18th century saw the heyday of antiquarian research with Alexander Gordon and John Horsley (among others) describing the remains and William Roy mapping and planning the surviving earthworks and occasionally buildings (Gordon 1726; Horsley 1732; Roy 1793); among 19th-century works, Robert Stuart’s Caledonia Romana may be singled out as a valuable synthesis (Stuart 1845; 1852).

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