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Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire

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Author Topic: Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire  (Read 4418 times)
Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2007, 04:46:23 pm »



The Antonine Wall, remains of Roman fortlet, Barr Hill, near Twechar

Wall abandoned

The wall was abandoned after only twenty years, when the Roman legions withdrew to Hadrian's Wall in 164, and over time reached an accommodation with the Brythonic tribes of the area who they fostered as the buffer states which would later become "The Old North". After a series of attacks in 197, Emperor Septimius Severus arrived in Scotland in 208 to secure the frontier, and repaired parts of the wall. Although this re-occupation only lasted a few years, the wall is sometimes referred to (by later Roman historians) as the Severan Wall. (This led to later scholars like Bede mistaking references to the Antonine Wall for ones to Hadrian's Wall.)


Post-Roman history

Grim's dyke


In medieval histories, such as the chronicles of John of Fordun, the wall is called Gryme's dyke. Fordun says that the name came from the grandfather of the imaginary king Eugenius son of Farquahar. This was corrupted into Graham's dyke – a name still found in Bo'ness at the wall's eastern end – and then linked with Clan Graham.

This name is the same one found as Grim's Ditch several times in England in connection with early ramparts: for example, near Wallingford in south Oxfordshire or between Berkhampstead (Herts) and Bradenham (Bucks).

Grim is presumed to be a byname for Odin or Wode, who might be credited with the wish to build earthworks in unreasonably short periods of time. By antiquaries the Graham's Dyke is usually styled the Wall of Pius or the Antonine Vallum, after the emperor Antoninus Pius, in whose reign it was constructed.

In a Scottish context, Grim is also found as a variant of the name Giric, a name borne by an obscure king Giric mac Dúngail of the late 9th century, to whom many great victories were attributed in medieval times.

It is also known sometimes as Graham's Dyke, this name is locally explained as a legend of a victorious assault on the defences by one Robert Graeme.
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