task, and often reminds the reader of the allowances that have to be made for Constantius's work. Yet still I sense that he expects too much matter-of-fact history to emerge from a text like the Life of Germanus: even to conclude that Constantius said little about Britain because he knew little is to judge him as though he were writing history. It is worth asking, though, whether his British chapters would have been very different even if there had been more information at his disposal. The vagueness and sense of remoteness in these sections of the Life arise not so much from the author's ignorance as from his hagiographical intent. Like the desert in the case of eastern monks, Britain was an alien world peopled by enemies-demons, heretics, a horde of pagan barbarians-waiting to be vanquished by the saint; here was the testing-ground for Germanus's powers as a holy man, made all the more telling because the Britain that Constantius and his readers knew (or rather did not know) in their day had slid right outside their world. It is the stylised conflict between saint and enemies of God which determines the course of the narrative, and this does not readily lend itself to conversion into history. For example, Thompson draws conclusions about the social status of Germanus's Pelagian opponents from their arrival conspicui divitiis, veste fulgentes: the assumption may be sound, but the description of their appearance is not surely meant as a statement of fact, rather to symbolise the worldliness of enemies of the truth, whose vanitas and perfidia succumb to Germanus's arguments. Similarly Thompson presses the detail of the encounter with Picts and Saxons into a historical reconstruction without perhaps sufficient regard for its symbolic elements: the newly-baptized army (the Easter setting is suspiciously convenient for the mass baptism) with the saint at its head scatters the barbarians without a drop of blood being shed. The Saxons are the external counterpart of the Pelagian enemy within. This is a lively, readable book, and one which will ensure that the Life of Germanus is now firmly 'on the map' as far as the study of the end of Roman Britain is concerned. It offers a stimulating picture of Britain in the fifth century-though how much of it is history is still the unresolved question. E. D. HUNT Durham ROMAN BRITAIN TO SAXON ENGLAND-AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY. By Christopher J. Arnold. Pp. x, 180; 65 text figs. and maps. Croom Helm Ltd., London and Sydney, 1984. £ 14.95. This interesting work appears in a general, unthematic, 'Studies in Archaeology' series and by itself goes some way to redeem several rather scrappy titles previously offered. Dr. Arnold, now a tutor in extra-mural studies at Aberystwyth, was previously at the University of Leeds and is known for sound