(15 feet high & 120 km long)
The wildest frontier of Empire in England had been ravaged from the north and theatrened from the south bytribesmen. By 119 AD estabiility had been restored and Romans probably began to build a turf wall(*) from Iruna (Irthing) to Maia (Bowness). In 122 Emperor Hadrian visited Britain with a new idea:the mighty Empire could expand no further. With Hadrian came an age of containment. He turned the legionaries into defenders.
- is one of the greatest task ever undertaken by Romanpower.
- occupied the ridge to the north of the Stanegate and extended from Pons Aellii (New Castle) to join the turf wall at Willowford.
o took over only 7 yearsand was achived by 8500 soldier builders working (in “centuries” groups of 80) a 40 yds (=36,58 mts.) section and then moved on;
o took advantage of every major slope and outcrop of rock,as climate was cold and work very hard.
o 27 million cu. Ft of stone were quarried and 9 ft deep and 27ft wide ditch was dug along the north side of the wall.
o soldiers werebuilding and fighting off the wild raiders, who were resented this unnatural barrier across their land;
(*) By Hadrian´s death (138), the turf wall had been rebuilt in stone and forts extended alongcoast to Aluana (Maryport)
- consisted of:
o a ditch to the north,
o the wall itself with:
- milecastles (one every Roman mile = 1,5 km)
-watchtowers (two in between)
- large forts to house the garrison (16 built about 5 miles –8 km- apart)
o and a military road to the south with a vallum (a great ditch withembankments dug on the south side and built once the wall was finished) probably as defence from an eventually revolts of tribes to their rear.
Emperor Hadrian decided to...