Penrhyn Books Logo  
Penrhyn Books The Bitter Sea Shop Online
The Author The Bitter Sea 1
Contact The Bitter Sea 2
The Bitter Sea 3
The Bitter Sea 4
The Bitter Sea 5


This book, the first in the series The Bitter Sea, begins to trace the history of the Irish Sea region during the period of the Roman empire. Here we follow the advance of Roman arms through Britain leading to the establishment of a formal frontier on the west coast. Ireland, still untamed, was truly at this time at the edge of the known world.

The Roman governor Agricola’s reception of an Irish prince in AD81 indicates that the army was well aware of the Irish problem, and Rome’s decision to reject his advice for the annexation of Ireland was to have appalling consequences.

With Scotland unsubdued and British refugees reaching Ireland’s shores with the warning ‘Us today, you tomorrow!’ Irish forces persistently joined Pictish resistance to imperial control.

Rome’s policy of trying to establish treaty relations with tribes north of Hadrian’s Wall was matched by similar attempts in Ireland. Traditional Irish history, largely dismissed nowadays as the imaginings of a later age, speaks of just such a process, with the almost inevitable emergence of pro- and anti-Roman alliances.

In The Limits of the Habitable World what we learn from Roman accounts converges with what we are told in Irish tradition. The result is an extraordinary but entirely credible story of how Rome extended its control over the Britain and how it intervened in Ireland.



Published in 2011 by
Penrhyn Books,
83 Five Ashes Road,
Westminster Park,
Chester CH4 7QS

© David Leedham 2011

All Rights Reserved. Except
as permitted under current
legislation, no part of this
work may be photocopied,
stored in a retrieval system,
published, performed in
public, adapted, broadcast,
transmitted, recorded or
reproduced in any form or
by any means, without the
prior permission of the
copyright owner.

A catalogue record for this
book is available from the
British Library.

ISBN: 978-0-9565884-1-8

Book and Cover Design:
FL@33, Agathe Jacquillat
and Tomi Vollauschek,

Printed in United Kingdom



40 colour illustrations
354 pages
233 x 156 mm
ISBN: 978-0-9565884-1-8
Published February 2011