May 23, 2022
The Royal Headrain Wall (Photo: English Heritage)

Explaining the history journalist Andrew Southam, Landmark’s anniversary program includes year-round rehearsals, walks, food, arts, music and conversation.

The Roman Emperor Hadrian began building his wall in the north of Roman Britain 1,900 years ago to prevent attacks by Scottish tribes.

This great engineering project used more stones than the Egyptian pyramids to become one of the largest Roman fortifications.

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Hadrian’s Wall Partnership is celebrating its 2022 anniversary with exhibitions, reenactments, walks, food, arts, music and conversation programs.

Hadrian’s Wall is still a major attraction for young and old alike (Photo: English Heritage)

Highlights include a Roman-themed city of light in Carlisle, a mid-summer evening Roman meal, dance and song festival at Corbridge, a night raid by savage tribes on Roman defense in Chester, and a Japanese graphic novel series on Roman life. ۔

The Romans conquered Britain – modern-day England and Wales under Emperor Claudius in 43AD, and ruled the island as a province for 400 years.

Julius Caesar briefly attacked twice before but did not stop.

When the Spanish-born Hadrian became emperor in 117AD, he needed to protect the vast Roman Empire he had inherited from his predecessor, the Trojan emperor.

He visited Britain in AD122 and decided to build a coastal wall to protect his northwestern border. Fifteen thousand elite soldiers, called the Legionnaires, worked for six years in the dark northern winter to build the 73-mile-long wall.

They broke through hard cliffs, bridged fast-flowing rivers, and built hillsides on top of hills to create a border extending from Walsand in the northern Tyneside to the west coastal town of Raven Glass in the Lake District.

At every mile they built a small fortress and gate, at every third mile a small watch tower called a bridge, and 17 forts along the length of the wall.

A wide ravine protected the rear.

The Roman soldiers had never before built anything like the wall of Hadrian.

The Royal Headrain Wall (Photo: English Heritage)

Unlike defense structures in Germany and Africa, they used about 20 million rocks made of turf.

Attackers of tribes such as the Pacts first encounter large dunes, then spears a ten-foot ditch before meeting the wall, which is six meters high in places.

Flying overhead was the Imperial Eagle or the lone bird (Jupiter’s bird that flies over storms), the standard of the most powerful army of the time.

This new border wall divided the British Isles and is still the largest stone monument in Europe.

However, he did not consider separating Scotland from England as much as the modern Northumberland is north of the wall.< /p>

He also marked the extent of Roman power in the defensive line that ran from the west coast of Britain to the Black Sea, below the Red Sea, and across the North African coast to the Atlantic Ocean.

The empire did not expand further after the second century AD.

This did not mean that no efforts were made to expand Caledonia, to modern-day Scotland.

Much of Caledonia has been under Roman occupation for more than 300 years and was attacked 50 years before the construction of the Hadrian Wall.

Defending Roman Britain was not easy.

Three Roman armies, each numbering 5,000 men, were needed to take control of the island and the northern invaders. Egypt needed only one army.

The army also used auxiliary units of about 600 infantry and cavalry to patrol the wall. At one time there were 70 such units, numbering 40,000.

1,900 years ago Roman legionnaires could be seen on the wall of Hadrian (Photo: English Heritage)

Overall, about 15% of the entire Roman army was stationed in Britain, with about 9,000 in the north along the Hadrian Wall, the most defensive of any Roman fortifications.

Ethnicly diverse auxiliary troops were recruited from across the empire, such as modern Spain, Syria, Romania, Belgium, Hungary, and North Africa or Britain.

He signed up for 25 years of service, after which he received Roman citizenship and a plot of land.

He first managed the wall for only 25 years, as Emperor Antonius Pius built another coastal wall in central Caledonia, called Antonin, around 142AD when attempts were made to conquer the country.

However, the Romans retreated from the Hadrian wall eight years later.

The African emperor Septimus Severus tried again in 208AD.

He recaptured the Antonin Wall but at the same time surrendered and returned to the wall of Hadrian.

Severus was the only Roman emperor to die in York, the capital of the Roman Empire in northern Britain, while leading a large army in Caledonia.

Subsequent emperors began withdrawing troops from Britain to defend the empire against attacks by German tribes.

The Romans finally abandoned the island in 409AD.

A year later, Emperor Flavius ​​the Honorable famously told British leaders that they could no longer defend the country and that they should take care of themselves.

Many forts along the Hadrian Wall were still occupied during the fifth and sixth centuries when Roman Britain developed into Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Today, the wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to Britain’s first 35 years.

Headrain wall at sunset (Photo: English Heritage)

On Hadrian’s Wall, all aspects of Roman life are included in the birthday program, which began last month with the celebration of Emperor Hadrian’s birthday and ends with the Roman festival of Saturn from December 17 to 23.

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