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How Roman Britain invented modern Britain

White supremacists deny the long history of non-Europeans in Britain, in the teeth of evidence literally carved in stone

The era in which Britain was Roman—roughly the first 400 years of the last millennium—can seem rather marginal to us in the 21st century. We’ve been schooled, largely by the Victorians, to think of British history as starting with the Saxons, to whom (or so the myth goes) we can trace our most prominent institutions—parliament, the monarchy, the Church.

Sometimes Britain’s early history can seem like embarrassing throat-clearing that happens before things really get going. But dig deep,…

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