Walls And Immigration— Ancient And Modern

When standing today at Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, everything appears indistinguishably affluent and serene on both sides.

It was not nearly as calm some 1,900 years ago. In A.D. 122, the exasperated Roman emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of an 80-mile, 20-foot-high wall to protect Roman civilization in Britain from the Scottish tribes to the north.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    If I am not mistaken, Hadrian’s successor Antoninus Pius expanded into Scotland and built his own wall between the Firths of Forth and Clyde.

    • AlanUK

      You are correct – The Antonine Wall. This was well into Scotland and was started shortly after Hadrian’s Wall was finished. It was more vulnerable and stretched the supply lines. It was soon abandoned but remains are still visible.
      For more info see Wiki. (But only because it is not really controversial!)

  • AlanUK

    Again, Wiki is a good source of info. for Hadrian’s Wall.
    In addition to the wall there were forts every 5 Roman miles, a further 4 forts North of the wall and 5 forts acting as supply depots to support the Northern army. This made approx. 30 forts (plus a couple of significant turrets).
    Being a legionnaire meant being a road-builder and being able to build fortifications quickly. When in enemy territory, an over-night camp was surrounded by a deep ditch with the excavated soil thrown up as a rampart. The legionnaires were divided into groups of 8 who lived, slept and ate together, shareing a tent (or a room in barracks). Each “tent” had a length of wall to dig and could not eat or put up their accommodation until this was done to their Centurion’s satisfaction. On top there was a palisade of spiked tree trunks. In un-forested areas the wood was often carted from site to site as part of the baggage train. The camps were abandoned (and probably slighted) the following morning and the whole thing repeated.