Renæssanceforum 6 • 2010

Geoffrey Eatough
William Camden's Reshaping of Britain

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Abraham Ortelius asked William Camden to restore her antiquity to Britain and Britain to her antiquity. Camden's discovery of Britain's ancient remains confirmed that all things change, the peoples themselves, who had migrated to this land, and even the land itself change. Old divisions and antagonisms are made obsolete. The engines of progress are the resources of the land, industry and above all trade, aided by the very shape and setting of Britain. Trade is not the antithesis of religion, it is a civilising and unifying force, and it brings knowledge. In the old legionary city of Chester, from which the whole world can be envisaged, memories of empire are awakened.