*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the wall written by historians *Explains the construction of the wall and the daily life of soldiers posted there *Includes a bibliography for further reading
“[The Romans] thinking that it might be some help to the allies [Britons], whom they were forced to abandon, constructed a strong stone wall from sea to sea, in a straight line between the towns that had been there built for fear of the enemy, where Severus also had formerly built a rampart.” – Bede’s description of Hadrian’s Wall in the Middle Ages
The Romans were master builders, and much of what they built has stood the test of time. Throughout their vast empire they have left grand structures, from the Forum and Pantheon in Rome to the theatres and hippodromes of North Africa and the triumphal gates in Anatolia and France. Wherever they went, the Romans built imposing structures to show their power and ability, and one of their most impressive constructions was built on the northernmost fringe of the empire.
In 55 BCE, Julius Caesar was still dealing with Gaul, but that year, he also led the first Romans into Britain, accusing tribes there of aiding the Gauls against him. With winter fast approaching, Caesar’s forces did not make their way far into the mainland that year, but the following year, Caesar’s soldiers advanced into the island’s interior and conquered a large swath of territory before a revolt in Gaul once again drew him back across the Channel. The Romans eventually established enough of a presence to set up the outpost of Londinium, which ultimately morphed into one of the world’s most famous cities today, London.
Shortly after the emperor Hadrian came to power in the early 2nd century CE, he decided to seal off Scotland from Roman Britain with an ambitious wall stretching from sea to sea. To accomplish this, the wall had to be built from the mouth of the River Tyne – where Newcastle stands today – 80 Roman miles (76 miles or 122 kilometers) west to Bowness-on-Solway. The sheer scale of the job still impresses people today, and Hadrian’s Wall has the advantage of being systematically studied and partially restored. A study of the wall and its history provide an insight not only into the political context of Rome at the time but the empire’s incredible engineering capabilities.
Hadrian’s Wall: The History and Construction of Ancient Rome’s Most Famous Defensive Fortification explains the history and construction of one of the ancient world’s most famous defensive lines. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Hadrian’s Wall like never before.