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Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire

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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2007, 04:43:43 pm »



The Antonine Wall, looking east, from Barr Hill between Twechar and Croy

Construction of the Antonine Wall began in 142, during the reign of Antoninus Pius, by Quintus Lollius Urbicus and was completed in 144. The wall stretches 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Bo'ness, Falkirk, on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to replace Hadrian's Wall 160 km (100 miles) to the south, as the frontier of Britannia, but while the Romans did establish temporary forts and camps north of the wall, they did not conquer the Caledonians, and the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may mean the area north of Hadrian's Wall.

The Antonine Wall was inferior to Hadrian's Wall in terms of scale and construction, but it was still an impressive achievement, considering that it was completed in only two years, at the northern edge of the Roman empire in what they perceived as a cold and hostile land. The wall was typically an earth bank, about four metres high, with a wide ditch on the north side, and a military way or road on the south. The Romans initially planned to build forts every six miles, but this was soon revised to every two miles, resulting in a total of 19 forts along the wall. The best preserved but also one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort.

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