Gupta, Tincoff Examine Roman Legacy in Britain

Abbot Scholars Krishna Gupta ’05 and John Tincoff ’05 braved storms and perilous tides as the traveled all over the ruins of Anglo-Saxon Britain in search of Roman influences in Anglo-Saxon Britain. On Wednesday, May 4, Gupta and Tincoff showed the documentary they produced entitled “Romanitas in Anglo-Saxon England.” In it, they examined the ways in which Roman legacy manifested itself in post-Roman Britain, particularly in the concepts of kingship, religion, art, and government. Tincoff and Gupta termed this pervading Roman influence “Romanitas.” “Both the Roman Empire and the English state had always been very close to us, and this opportunity to find a continuity and a connection could not be passed up,” commented Gupta after the presentation. After discussing the trials and tribulations they endured in their research, Gupta and Tincoff showed a 30-minute clip from their documentary. Gupta and Tincoff began the project during their Upper year. They decided to make the documentary so that they could submit it for last fall’s National History Day competition. At the competition, Gupta and Tincoff’s 10-minute documentary on Roman influence in Anglo-Saxon Britain did not place in the top four of out 10 total submissions. Although disappointed at their finish, Gupta and Tincoff received encouragement from Chair of the History and Social Sciences Department Victor Henningsen and Instructor in English Father Francisco Nahoe. At the suggestion of Mr. Henningsen and Father Nahoe, Gupta and Tincoff applied for an Abbot Scholars grant to further pursue their project. After researching for the better part of last year and all of Fall term this year, Gupta and Tincoff took an 18-day trip through England. In England, they interviewed professors at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and King’s College, London. They also spoke to archaeologists and experts at the British Museum, the Yorkshire Museum, and different archaeological sites. Tincoff and Gupta concluded that after the Roman Empire fell in 410 A.D., ending its 465-year governance of England, the Roman influence in Anglo-Saxon England was still felt. Roman customs clearly influences Anglo-Saxon religion, artifacts, and architectural structures. Their 18-day trek across England gave them enough footage and interviews to create a full 60-minute documentary on Romanitas in Anglo-Saxon England. After they completed their research in England, Gupta and Tincoff spent the next two months in the Polk Center editing their documentary and readying it for presentation. “The experience was extraordinary in that was extremely interdisciplinary. It taught us how to become scholars in the truest sense, to pursue a subject that was of immense intellectual interest to us,” said Gupta.