Hadrian's Wall Facts

Hadrian's Wall Facts
Hadrian's Wall, Latin Vallum Hadriani, is the name of a wall and series of defensive fortifications that stretched for seventy miles across the Roman province of Britain from the Solway Firth in the west to the mouth of the River Tyne in the east. The wall was begun in AD 122 during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (ruled 117-138) as a bulwark to defend the Romans and Romanized Celts of the south against the aggressive Celtic tribes to the north, including the Picts and Caledonians. The wall was originally built from a combination of turf and stone, with the western section being primarily turf, but the entire wall was eventually made of stone. When Roman rule in Britain ended in the fifth century, Hadrian's Wall became obsolete. The new invaders were the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, who came to England via ships south of the Wall.
Interesting Hadrian's Wall Facts:
Small forts know as "milecastles" were built every Roman mile along the Wall. A Roman mile is slightly shorter than the modern, English mile. Hadrian's Wall measured about eighty Roman miles.
There was a permanent fort that held more legionnaires about every five to ten miles.
The dimensions of the Wall varied, but it was eight to ten feet wide in most places and up to twenty feet tall.
Emperor Hadrian was actually a well-traveled man for the time. He left Rome in 121 and arrived in Londinium (London) in 122, which is when he ordered construction of his eponymous wall. He then traveled through Gaul, Spain, North Africa, and Turkey before going back to Rome in 125. He then traveled through North Africa in 128 and from 128 to 132 he visited Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey.
Britain was conquered by the Emperor Claudius (ruled AD 41-54) in AD 43.
Hadrian's Wall is often believed to be the dividing line between Scotland and England, but neither country existed when it was built. Although it is close to the English-Scottish border, it is entirely within England, with it being anywhere from about half a mile to nearly seventy miles south of Scotland.
It took about six years to complete the Wall.
Hadrian's Wall was built primarily of locally quarried limestone.
Similar to myths about the construction of the Great Pyramids, there has been a persistent myth that Hadrian's Wall was built by slaves. In the case of the wall, the myth was that enslaved Celtic warriors did most of the labor.
After Hadrian's rule, the Wall was damaged in 155 and 196, but restored by Septimius Severus (ruled 193-211) from 200 to 205.
Large parts of the wall were destroyed in 297 by restored by Constantius I (ruled 293-305).
Although most believe that Hadrian's Wall was constructed to keep bellicose Celtic tribes out of Roman territory, some scholars believe that it was used to control Roman citizens and friendly Celts to the south.
Hadrian's Wall has become a popular tourist site in recent decades and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite its growing popularity, much of it is in unpopulated areas so it remains commercially undeveloped.
An eighty-four mile long hiking path known as Hadrian's Wall Path follows alongside the legendary wall.


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