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10 years to build a fortification 117km long. A massive work to show off impressive power.

10 years to build a fortification 117km long. A massive work to show off impressive power.

An old border runs in the north of England, from the mouth of the River Tyne to the Irish Sea.

It is a fortification 117 km long, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Roman Empire well protecting the Roman Empire that had settled on the English island.


I have always been fascinated by the story of Hadrian’s Wall (who was the Roman emperor of the time) that divided between England the Roman territories from those called barbaric.


They wanted to protect themselves from invasions from the north, from groups of people that the Romans themselves defied “wild and uncivilized”.


Construction began in 122, by the governor of Britain Aulus Platorius Nepos and was completed in just 10 years by the legions stationed on the island.


A colossal FORTIFICATION was built in less than 10 years.


Built-in cement work and covered with square stones, it was on average about 2 and a half meters wide.

In comparison, the bastion stood for about 5-6 meters and had a battlement and a patrol walkway.

There were about 320 signal towers and every mile, almost always leaning against the bastion, quadrangular forts of about 20 m x 20 m for the sentinels who guarded the entire perimeter of the fort.

At a distance of 4-5 miles from each other, there were actual forts of 1 or 2 hectares, leaning against the wall or even set back, where the auxiliary cohorts that patrolled the border were stationed.


To further protect the wall, there was a moat with the typical Roman V-shape on the northern side, on average 9 m wide and 4 m deep.


The conquest of present-day England was not in hindsight a wise choice.

Too much waste of time, money, men, for wildland, difficult to control and devoid of large quantities of material to be plundered and with unfavourable weather conditions to exploit those lands even from an agricultural point of view.

Fortification


The Romans at least founded London but was it worth it to enlarge the empire at that time?


The soldiers complained about the cold, the food and being forced to live in those wild and dangerous lands so far from the homeland.


Indeed, of the entire history of the Roman Empire, the most impressive account of an Empire in the history of man on earth, the invasion and control of the English island, is the least relevant in their history.


Today, the wall’s ruins are still there, witnessing ancient times and people who had so many resources and capabilities that we have never seen again in the history of mankind.

by Massimo Usai


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