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Mary Beard 'aggressively' trolled over ethnic diversity in Roman Britain

Historians in the News
tags: mary beard, Roman Britain



Mary Beard has spoken about the “Twitterstorm” of abuse she received after arguing that Roman Britain was ethnically diverse.

The historian and television presenter said she received a “torrent of aggressive insults” for days after she said a BBC schools video that depicted a high-ranking solider and a father of a Roman Britain family as being black to be “pretty accurate”.

She argued that the character in the BBC cartoon was loosely based on “Quintus Lollius Urbicus, a man from what is now Algeria, who became governor of Britain.”

She spoke against the “rubbish” arguments about genetic evidence from alt-right commentators and their “desire for certainty” when it came to historical information that was not always possible to ascertain, such as the population of Britain during the Roman empire and the ethnic make-up. 

“It also feels very sad to me that we cannot have a reasonable discussion on such a topic as the cultural ethnic composition of Roman Britain without resorting to unnecessary insult, abuse, misogyny and language of war not debate (and that includes one senior academic)," she wrote in the Times Literary Supplement. ...

Read entire article at Independant


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