The Romans





The Last Frontier

Revised and updated edition, reset, and with new cover and maps, published to coincide with the 1800th anniversary of the last authenticated Roman invasion of Scotland, by the emperor Septimius Severus himself in AD 209. The lands in the north of Britain in what we now called Scotland, then occupied by Celtic settlers, never became part of the Roman empire, in spite of being invaded several times.

The northernmost frontier of the empire was fortified for only a few years after the battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84, when the Caledonians were defeated by Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Work on the construction of an alternative frontier, represented by the elaborate defences of the Antonine Wall, began in about 142. It was maintained hardly longer than 25 years, and by 180 the Roman invaders had retreated back to Hadrian's Wall.

After further Celtic activity, a temporary truce was negotiated personally by the emperor Septimus Severus in 209. Thereafter, until their empire began to collapse, the Romans maintained a fragile hold on Hadrian's Wall in the face of furious attacks by marauding Picts and Scotti (Scots), and a combined operation by land and sea in 367 against the whole of Roman Britain by the northern Celts in an alliance with the Franks and Saxons.

The Last Frontier is a fresh account of these momentous events and the background to them, based on a reassessment of the original sources and on recent archaeological evidence. Extracts from Latin texts, including Tacitus, who wrote a biography of Agricola, are in new translations. The author also sets the involvement of Rome in the context of the development of Scotland from prehistoric times to nationhood.

From reviews of the first edition, which was an alternate choice of the History Book Club in USA:

As accessible as it is scholarly. Properly set in the context of events elsewhere in the empire, it provides a straightforward account of this early episode in Scotland’s story. . . . Mr Kamm informs and entertains in equal measure.
Tom Kyle in Scottish Daily Mail

His writing is clear and precise. . . . The author makes an excellent job of explaining and, where necessary, simplifying the tangled web of what we know, or think we know, about Roman activities between the walls and weaves this tale into the bigger picture as seen from Rome. . . . All is told in 175 enthralling pages.
Ian Keillar in History Scotland

Neil Wilson Publishing 2009

Paperback ISBN 9781906476069

208 pages, 16 maps, timeline, places to visit, list of sources.
List price £14.99
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Julius Caesar: a life


Julius Caesar: a life

This fresh account, for the general reader and student, of the life and times of an extraordinary man who was the ultimate all-rounder, makes an ideal complement to The Romans: an introduction. In particular, it looks at such questions as did Caesar destroy the republic? What were the legality of his position and the moral justifications for his actions? What was his relationship with Cleopatra? How good a general really was he? Why was he assassinated? What happened next? With new translations from classical sources.


This is an excellent basic study that deals with all significant aspects of Caesar’s life and the world of the late Republic.

Suzanne Cross, review on Amazon com.

This is a great book, clear, concise, fast-paced.

G. Neto, review on Amazon co. uk

For those interested in the end of the Roman republic and the growth of the Roman empire, and the great figures of Roman history, this new look at an extraordinary man will be indispensable.

American Classical League

Routledge, London and New York, 2006.

Paperback. ISBN 0-415-41121-1. 188 pages.

Photographs, maps, plans, and line illustrations.

List price UK £16.99, USA $30.95.

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For all amateur bibliographers and others interested in the history of books and printing

Scottish Printed Books 1508-2008


This lively account of the first 500 years of printing in Scotland introduces notable books and other printed literature, the people who wrote, printed, published, and sold them, and the methods by which they were produced. It also reveals some memorable talents and describes Scotland’s remarkable dynastic contributions to the British and international book trades. Many of the images, from rare volumes in the National Library of Scotland, are reproduced for the first time. The author is a former lecturer in publishing studies at Stirling University.

The story set out so attractively in this guide is a fascinating one which Antony Kamm tells with mastery and economy.

Alexander McCall Smith


View sample pages

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Foreword by Alexander McCall Smith

Published by Sandstone Press and the National Library of Scotland

ISBN: 978-1-905207-21-3

52 pages. 95 illustrations in full colour. 4 diagrams. £5.99.

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John Logie Baird: a life

By Antony Kamm and Malcolm Baird


The definitive biography of the first man to demonstrate real television. In the future, when people wish to look up the facts of his life and achievements, I believe it will be to this remarkable book that they will turn first.

Michael Bennett-Levy in British Vintage Wireless Society Bulletin

Kamm and Baird -- the latter the inventor’s son -- tell their tale dispassionately and amidst their careful coverage of the complex technological and business history of Baird and television manage to paint a strikingly clear portrait of the inventor who started it all.

Russell A. Potter in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

NMS Publishing 2002.

Hardback. ISBN 1-901663-76-0. 510 pages. 60 photographs and 11 diagrams.

List price UK £25

Special offer from the publisher's web site


The Israelites: an introduction



A companion volume to The Romans: an introduction. The author draws on Biblical, archaeological, historical, and critical sources to present a straightforward, objective, and largely chronological account of the culture which produced the Old Testament and from which Christianity derives, from its origins to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 135 CE. With a further chapter on the legacies of the Israelites.

Routledge, London and New York, 1999.

Paperback. ISBN 0-415-18096-1. Maps, charts, photographs, and line drawings.

List price UK £17.99, USA $32.95

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Biographical Companion to Literature in English



A revised edition, especially for the American market, of the author’s Collins Biographical Dictionary of English Literature (“A remarkable one-man show”, Daily Telegraph), covering over 1500 writers. Authors of works in other languages are included where these are widely read in English or have influenced the development of literature in English.

In recognition of their ability to capture the essence of their subject’s lives and work, Kamm’s biographies, despite their brevity, merit inclusion among even the most extensive collections of literary biography.

Rettig on Reference


Articles are long enough to provide substantive information, yet the volume remains useable as a quick reference source and can easily be scanned for key facts.

American Reference Books Annual

Scarecrow Press 1997.

Hardback. ISBN 0-8108-3349-0. 624 pages.

List price UK £57, USA $77.

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A selection of other books by Antony Kamm.


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