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Romans In Scotland

The Romans have left important monuments in Scotland. As might be expected in this wild frontier region, these are purely military in character. They may be classified under four headings: roads; marching camps; forts;
and the frontier works on the Forth - Clyde isthmus. Many Roman forts have been identified in Scotland, and a number have been more or less explored. Of these latter, the most famous are Birrens on the Solway, the Roman Blatobulgium, and Newstead, Trimontium, on the Tweed. The excavations of Newstead, by the late Dr. James Curle in 1905 - 1910, formed a landmark in the history of classical archaeology in western Europe. The northmost permanent fort so far known is at Cardean near Meigle in Angus. Thence a line of marching camps extends northwards at least as far as the Spey.

The most important Roman work remaining in Scotland is the Antonine Wall. The frontier line betwixt Forth and Clyde was first marked out by Julius Agricola in the year A.D. 80. Some of his small entrenched posts have
been identified. In AD. 142 or 143 the legate Lollius Urbicus, acting for the Emperor Antoninus Pius, laid out a permanent frontier on the Agricolan line. This consisted of a wall made of sods on a stone foundation, except
in the eastern section, where the wall is of clay. In front was a ditch, deep and wide, and in the rear a military way. The garrison was disposed in some thirteen or more forts. The whole barrier is 37 miles long. It was held,
but with at least two interruptions, till about the end of the second century.

The Roman Conquest of Scotland: The... In the summer of 84 AD the Italian gentleman Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, governor of Roman Britain (78-84 AD), led an army of Roman legionary soldiers and barbarian auxiliaries into northern Britain, known as Caledonia to the Romans. At a place called Mount Graupius, Agricola won a decisive victory over a large Caledonian host, and it appeared at the time that, forty-one years on, the Roman military conquest of Britain had finally been completed. Agricola had already begun thinking about a new challenge - the invasion and conquest of Ireland, but was recalled from Britain by the emperor; and it proved to be Rome's failure - or unwillingness, to assume political control over northern Britain in the wake of Agricola's achievement that would become greatly significant in shaping the medieval and post-medieval political and cultural history of Britain and Ireland. James Fraser is the first historian to identify the true site of this legendary battle, and presents a totally new interpretation of why the Romans invaded Scotland.

The Roman Frontier in BritainThe Roman Frontier in Britain: Hadrian's... Wall, the Antonine Wall and Roman Policy in Scotland. An up-to-date and in-depth historical study of the northern Roman frontier in Britain, why was the military conquest of Scotland never completed and what were the criteria governing Roman policy over the centuries? The idea of the Roman frontier immediately conjures up pictures of Hadrian's Wall with its forts and other remains, and of the Antonine Wall in Scotland. These two structures, however, represent two elements in a story which took a great deal longer to evolve and which, if taken in isolation, tend to mask a clear appraisal of the way in which the frontier in Britain actually developed. What, after all, did the Romans want to achieve in Britain? Why did they not capitalise on Agricola's victory at Mons Graupius in AD83 to subdue the entire country once and for all? How did the idea for a physical barrier evolve? And why, after all the effort of building Hadrian's Wall, did the emperor Antoninus Pius embark upon fresh conquest in Scotland? This book is intended primarily as an historical treatment of the Roman military occupation in Britain up until the early third century AD, although it does also describe the later history of the frontier zone. It draws upon archaeological evidence, but is not intended as a guide to the remains of Hadrian's and Antonine's Walls. Rather, it aims to set these spectacular fortifications into the broader context of Roman military plans.

A Gathering of EaglesA Gathering of Eagles: Romans in... Scotland. This book provides an introduction to one of the formative periods of Scottish history. The opening chapter offers a perspective of the Roman achievement, as viewed by Magnus Maximus, usurper and claimant to the imperial throne, while the final chapter offers another imagined personal commentary on the transition from the Roman period. In between is an account of the monuments which remain today as memorials to imperial rule. From the great marching camps, to roads, from siegeworks to signal stations, from altars to bathhouses and of course along the great fixed fortification of the Antonine Wall, the Roman presence remains a real and palpable one. This, after all, was the northern frontier. Again and again massive imperial armies struck north, under Agricola and under Septimius Severus to name but the most famous - and again and again the tribesmen of the north struck back, most notably in the great Barbarian conspiracy of the late fourth century. Here, almost more than on any other frontier, we see the Empire wrestling with the problem of controlling and containing a restless population, and even as the Empire collapsed it may have left one last legacy which shaped the future of Scotland - the memory and tradition of Empire

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