Sunday, 29 May 2016
walled in or out?
Travelling to Scotland, we spent some time along the remains of Hadrian's Wall. Originally 15 to 18 feet high and running across the whole of the Great Britain between Solway Firth in the west and and Wallsend on Tyne in the east.
Built in 122 AD, supposedly to keep the 'barbarians' from the north outside of the Roman Empire, I suspect there was also a symbolism to the original bright white colour of the wall and its Roman mile spaced turrets and fortified checkpoints.
Quite a statement along the lines of beyond it 'there be dragons'.
As well as the wall's obvious military deterrent effect, there were also also a couple of wide ditches and a set of 'entanglements' added in the English side, so it looked as much about keeping people in the Empire as about keeping people out.
After Hadrian left, his successor decide to build another less well0known wall further north. Hadrian's wall started to become maintained by non-Legion locals and eventually fell into disrepair, being raided for its stone, which is now well dispersed in local stately homes, cathedrals and churches.
I'm sure there's some 'history repeats itself' lessons in all of this?