Pentlands Book Festival: John Reid


Roamin with the Romans

John Reid, Chair of the Trimontium Trust, will share insights into the extraordinary story of the loss of the Ninth Hispanic Legion sometime in the second century AD.

John is a retired NHS consultant who has been a Roman history enthusiast since childhood. He co-directed the Burnswark Project in Dumfriesshire, the ground-breaking archaeological dig of the only known Roman siege in Britain. He has appeared on BBC TV and radio, is a regular speaker at major archaeological conferences and has been published widely in the academic and popular press.

To John, the Roman presence in Scotland was more about violence than civilisation. For some 300 years, Scotland, he believes, was a battlefield. The Antonine Wall is only 37 miles long but it had 7,000-8,000 men based along it, with a fort every two miles: the most densely-policed part of the Roman empire.

John’s book on Roman Scotland, The Eagle and the Bear, examines what may really have happened to the ‘unlucky Ninth’. Was it transferred to the East to fizzle out in some unrecorded battle or is there any new evidence to support the old theory (and Rosemary Sutcliff’s famous story) that it was lost in the mists of Scotland?

  • Monday 6 November, 6:30pm
  • Currie Library, 210 Lanark Road, EH14 5NX
  • Tickets free; please register
  • Share:
Monday 06 Nov 2023
Currie Library, Edinburgh. United Kingdom