Roman Londinium

thelegendsoflondonLondon, as a settlement, began in the middle of the first century AD when the Roman Emperor Claudius invaded. The settlement grew rapidly during the Roman occupation and it was known as Londinium. Although not important politically, it flourished as a major port due to its ideal location in relation to the river and of course the European continent. All main Roman roads converged on London and mileage and distances were all measured from London radiating outwards, and mostly north into the country.

By the end of the third century Londinium had become the centre of Roman administration and a prosperous walled city with a fort, a large temple, a basilica and a governor’s palace. The fortified city wall around the city can still be traced in fragments – it roughly corresponds with a square mile, which is what the financial centre of London, or the City of London, is known as today – The Square Mile.


Roman Writing

The Romans wrote only in capital letters. It was easier to carve the letters into stone and wood as it was neater and clearer to read. This font became known as ROMAN. 

In 1931, The Times, a London newspaper, commissioned Victor Lardent to formalise the font for the newspaper to use, and it became known as TIMES ROMAN. In 1932 the revised version of the font appeared and was called TIMES NEW ROMAN. (It is still hotly debated as to who actually came up with the font, and what exactly it was based on, but this seems to be the theory most historians tend to support).

Centuries later, a style, easier to write, which was more flowing and joined-up emerged in Venice in Italy, and became known as ITALICA, or as we call it ITALIC.

Dawn Denton©

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