Rome's Northern Frontier AD 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress)
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When the Romans first fought against Caledonii during the reign of Agricola (AD 77-84), Agricola established a frontier along the Gask Ridge. He also consolidated the Forth-Clyde isthmus, the location at which the Romans would later build the Antonine Wall from AD 138 to 143. The following 100 years saw a cycle of advance into and retreat from Scotland, until the Romans abandoned the Antonine Wall completely. This book examines the Flavian, Antonine and Severan conquests of Scotland and the fortifications along Rome's northern frontier, and it explores the archaeological remains and places them in historical context.
up Clydesdale. Such installations are well illustrated on the columns of Trajan (Scene I4) and Marcus Aurelius (Scene Ic). It is also possible, though, that the burning was caused by fires lit by soldiers in hearths in the ground while they were at the site undertaking some other kind of activity. Also associated with the Wall were a number of forts, both outposts to the north and a network of forts in the hinterland to the south. The latter, such as the fort at Newstead, occupied positions along
and the northern frontier reverted south once again to Hadrian’s Wall. Readers are advised to consult the author’s previous title in this series, Fortress 2: Hadrian’s Wall AD 122–410. The erection of a temple to Mercury is recorded on this altar (RIB 2148) from Castlecary, Antonine Wall. Soldiers (milites) of legio VI Victrix, originating from Italy and Noricum, dedicated it. Mercury was the wing-footed messenger as well as the deity who watched over trade and commerce, and thievery. He was
occupied by the fortlet was one of bleak, open moorland. (Author’s collection) The double-ditch system and rampart mound of Castle Greg, looking north-west towards the fortlet’s single entranceway. When originally dug, the V-shaped ditches would have been 3m deep. A split-timber or wattlework parapet, 1.5m high, crowned the earth rampart, while a timber tower stood over the gateway. (Author’s collection) 44 08569 FOR31.qxd:08569 FOR31.qxd 17/3/09 15:21 Page 45 Table 5: Man-days for the
sufficient to convey the great size of a legionary fortress. Part of the military road that runs along the spine of the Gask Ridge can still be traced, and several watchtowers and the fortlet, one of the best preserved in Scotland, at Kaims Castle are still visible above ground. Of the watchtowers, those most worth visiting are at Parkneuk, Kirkhill and Muir o’ Fauld. The line of the road can be followed on foot from Ardunie farm to Midgate. The Museum of Scotland, part of the National Museums of
Mons Graupius’. Liverpool Classical Monthly 1.2: 11–14. Birley, E., 1953. Roman Britain and the Roman Army: Collected Papers. Kendal: Titus Wilson. Breeze, A., 2002. ‘Philology on Tacitus’ Graupian Hill and Trucculan Harbour’. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 132: 305–11. Breeze, D.J., 1993. The Northern Frontiers of Roman Britain. London: Batsford. Breeze, D.J., 1996, 2000. Roman Scotland: Frontier Country. London: Batsford/Historic Scotland. Breeze, D.J. and Dobson, B.,