By M. J. Ryan, Nicholas Higham
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Extra info for The Anglo-Saxon World
Overall, therefore, Britain’s defences were comparatively effective through to the late fourth century. Recruitment to the frontier forces at least was largely local, with sons following their fathers into service. Responsibility for the army fell more heavily on the insular population than had been the case earlier, when the Roman army was supplied predominantly via long-Â�distance networks. From Diocletian’s reign in the late third century onwards, military provision was increasingly via taxation in kind, with civilians carrying produce directly to the fort gate.
Whether or not this ‘Norman Yoke’ had ever been fully removed from English necks was much debated. A belief in the superiority of the Anglo-Â�Saxons and their institutions was not restricted to English writers. Over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries such notions would also be voiced increasingly by writers in the American Colonies and, following the Revolutionary War, the United States. In 1776 the Philadelphian author ‘Demophilus’ held up the Anglo-Â�Saxon system of governance as a blueprint for the authors of the Pennsylvania Constitution, describing the former as ‘the best model, that human wisdom, improved by experience, has left them to copy’.
Archaeologists offer insights into the wealth of newly discovered settlements, changing material culture, trade links and occupational evidence. Art and architectural historians explore the intellectual achievements, cultural values and aesthetics of both pagan and Christianising Anglo-Â�Saxon England. A range of scientists pursue new insights into the origins of the Anglo-Â�Saxons, their diets and the world in which they lived, based on data of types unthinkable only a half-Â� century ago. Particular mention should here be made of the effects of the Treasure Act 1996, which established the Portable Antiquities Scheme to log, identify and interpret introduction 19 a veritable host of new finds as these have arisen, largely through the activities of metal detectorists.