Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Why Was Hadrian's Wall Built?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about why Hadrian's Wall was built and by whom.

Hadrian first came to Britain in AD122 and according to his biographer who wrote Hadrian's story two centuries later, was the first person to build a Wall 80 miles long separating those bloodthirsty Romans from the barbarians'.

With building this wall, the function function of said Wall, was to control the frontier, just like today's modern frontier barriers. Here the army put into force the regulations which governed the whole empire. It would appear, from statements on other frontiers, that people were only permitted access to the empire at designated portals and travel unarmed and with a military escort to certain markets or other destinations. The Wall would help stop raiding which we now know occurred on all the frontiers. The reason of auxiliary units stationed on the frontier was completely different, this was not only a military defence, it also served as protection and the policing of provincials. The placement of forts on the Wall blurred the difference between these two functions. Analysis on the location of the Wall on the landscape shows it was not always the best placed should defence be the primary criterion.

It could be considered the Wall formed only one part of a bigger system of frontier control. Cavalry are settled in several forts on the Wall. And to use these soldiers solely for frontier guards would be a complete waste of their skill set, it is however, more likely they patrolled the area further to the north. Certainly later patrols on the north of the Wall is noted, as well as the treaties between those bloodthirsty Romans and their neighbours to the north.

To keep control of their newly won English territory, the Romans built defended forts all across the country. The most famous of them all, on the northern part of their British territory, the Romans built a wall which spanned from coast to coast, thus protecting them from the Scottish tribes. 

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