Previous page: The Roman Bridge

Tacitus, the Roman historian, tells us that London in his time was famous for its "concourse of merchants and for the abundance of its provisions," and that state of prosperity was due to the noble river on which it stood; without the Thames, London could not have existed.

With wealth came the civilising arts; and the soil of London and the bed of the river have yielded from time to time an abundant collection which gives no mean idea of its refinement.

Some of the finest specimens of the Samian or red-glazed ware have been found here bronze statuettes, brooches, glass, stone statues and bas-reliefs, superb tessellated pavements of great richness, extensive hypocausts, and many other outward signs of a population thoroughly conversant with the luxury of the far-off Imperial City.

Next page: Artifacts from Roman London