#alongthewallin80days - Day 24
So we have learnt all about the rise and fall of the mighty Roman empire so now its back to Hadrian's Wall. Why did the Romans build it? What was its purpose?
Here in Britain the Roman military came face-to-face with the barbarian tribes of what is now Scotland. During the reign of the Emperor Hadrian many Roman soldiers in northern Britain were dispatched to what is now Romania to deal with a rebellion, leaving the north of England an under-resourced and vulnerable.
So in AD122 the Emperor Hadrian decided to draw a line from the Tyne to the Solway, creating a frontier. This border allowed the Romans control of north-south population movement, trade routes, and the tribal hordes. That new border was Hadrian’s Wall.The Wall was a massive engineering feat, stretching 80 miles from sea to sea and, in places, reaching 6m in height. In addition to stone there were turf walls, ditches and military installations such as milecastles, barracks, ramparts and forts. It took 3 Legions (roughly 15,000 men) only 6 years to build it all.
Hadrian’s successor Antonius Pius abandoned the Wall and built a new frontier 80 miles to the north – the Antonine Wall. But a single generation later Hadrian’s Wall was reinstated as the northern frontier.