Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Roman Walls

Agricola, in addition to his line of forts between the Forth and the Clyde, had erected detached forts at the mouth of the valleys which issue from the Highlands, in order to hinder the Caledonians from plundering the lower country. In 119 the Emperor Hadrian visited Britain. He was more disposed to defend the Empire than to extend it, and though he did not abandon Agricola's forts, he also built further south a continuous stone wall between the Solway and the Tyne. This wall, which, together with an earthwork of earlier date, formed a far stronger line of defence than the more northern forts, was intended to serve as a second barrier to keep out the wild Caledonians if they succeeded in breaking through the first. At a later time a lieutenant of the Emperor, Antoninus Pius, who afterwards became Emperor himself, connected Agricola's forts between the Forth and Clyde by a continuous earthwork. In 208 the Emperor Severus arrived in Britain, and after strengthening still further the earthwork between the Forth and Clyde, he attempted to carry out the plans of Agricola by conquering the land of the Caledonians. Severus, however, failed as completely as Agricola had failed before him, and he died soon after his return to Eboracum.

No comments:

Post a Comment