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Hadrian's Wall

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Hadrian's Wall by Monique Barb -

The Roman armies built a massive wall across northern England in order to keep out the Picts who lived in Scotland and Northumberland. The wall was built to the orders of the Emperor Hadrian.

By the time Hadrian became Emperor in 117 AD the Roman Empire had ceased to expand. Hadrian was concerned to consolidate his boundaries. He visited Britain in 122 AD, and ordered a wall to be built between the Solway Firth in the West and the River Tyne in the east "to separate Romans from Barbarians".

The wall was built of stone and rebuilt and altered at various times during the period of Roman rule. Its height was sometimes as great as 6 metres and in width it varied from 2 to 3 metres. There were small forts for 50 men at frequent intervals and these are called milecastl es. Larger forts for 500 to 1000 men were built at longer intervals and these held the main garrisons. A road ran parallel to the wall together with a long ditch called the Valium.

The areas of England and Wales which lay to the south of the wall were divided into two zones-a military zone and a civil zone. You can see from the map how the military zone lay close to the frontier, and three great fortress cities at York, Chester and Caerleon formed the headquarters of the defending Legions. In the military zone the main Roman remains are Camps, Forts, the Wall and the roads. In the civil zone the main remains are towns, villas and roads.

Hadrian's Wall is widely considered to be the principal monument of the Roman occupation in Britain and the most outstanding of all Roman border constructions. From Wallsend on Tyne in the east the wall stretched 117 km (73 miles) westwards to Bowness on the Solway Firth, and at the highest point of its path it follows the ground to 347m (1,230 ft) above sea level.

Here are some questions to discuss on the Hadrian's Wall Forum

1. What military remains of the Roman period are to be found in your country?

2. How did the Romans make good use of the hills when building the wall?

3. Why do you think the Romans found it difficult to conquer the land to the north and west of Britain?
Hadrian's Wall written by Monique Barb for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: roman army, massive wall, emperor hadrian, scotland, northumberland

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 02 October '07

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