"The Mayor of Casterbridge" is set in the mythical town of Casterbridge, an
old Roman town where the inhabitants are accustomed to digging up roman
remains, and Hardy's description is clearly intended to be a town within its
Roman walls like Chester. An important scene is set in the amphitheatre just
outside the town.
"THE Ring at Casterbridge was merely the local name of one of the finest
Roman Amphitheatres, if not the very finest, remaining in Britain.
Casterbridge announced old Rome in every street, alley, and precinct. It
looked Roman, bespoke the art of Rome, concealed dead men of Rome. It was
impossible to dig more than a foot or two deep about the town fields and
gardens without coming upon some tall soldier or other of the Empire, who
had lain there in his silent unobtrusive rest for a space of fifteen hundred
years. He was mostly found lying on his side, in an oval scoop in the chalk,
like a chicken in its shell; his knees drawn up to his chest; sometimes with
the remains of his spear against his arm; a fibula or brooch of bronze on
his breast or forehead; an urn at his knees, a jar at his throat, a bottle
at his mouth; and mystified conjecture pouring down upon him from the eyes
of Casterbridge street boys and men, who had turned a moment to gaze at the
familiar spectacle as they passed by."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Barford" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 8:01 PM
Subject: Hedges and Thomas Hardy
Trying to finish a long-overdue article on landscape archaeology threw up
1) Can anyone please remind me of the full reference for the old Hooper
article usually cited for hedgerow-dating? My notes are hidden somewhere. Is
there anything else newer it would be useful to consult on this now?
2) Thomas Hardy wrote a description of the earthworks of Maiden Castle which
has been quoted in archaeological literature several times. Which of his
works is this in?
Many thanks in advance