Purposes of Building the Hadrian’s Wall

Romans ruled over Great Britain for more than 350 years, but there are very few traces of ancient Roman legacy left in England. Ancient Roman ruins are scattered all over other countries which were once a part of the glorious Roman Empire. Remnants of Roman coliseums, baths, roads and aqueducts are found in countries like Spain, France, Syria, Italy, Morocco, Turkey and Algeria. But there are rare ruins of Romans in present day Great Britain. One of the most popular Roman ruins in Great Britain is the Hadrian’s Wall. In ancient times this wall marked the northern frontier between Roman Britain and barbarian territories that lie to the north of what we know today as Scotland and other northernmost counties in England.


Hadrian's Wall: Famous Remnant from Roman Britain

In the ancient times present day Scotland was inhabited by a group of people known as the Picts. There are many things unclear about these people. Some historians opine that they spoke Celtic language which was close to the language spoken in British Isles and other parts of continental Europe. While others suggest they were of Finno-Baltic or Germanic origin. Whatever be their origins of language, they had occupied a large portion of Scotland in the Roman times. Present day Scotland was called Caledonia by the Romans and the inhabitants of this area were known as Caledonians.


Statue of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman Governor of Britain

After they had conquered most of the present day England and Wales, Romans went on to defeat the tribes of northern Britain. Though they won but could not establish direct rule over Northern Scotland. Roman general in those days Gnaeus Julius Agricola subjugated the rebellious uprising among tribes in Wales and marched northward to Scotland. He defeated the Caledonian forces in 85 AD, Agricola constructed a chain of fortifications which would protect the Roman frontier from other barbaric northern tribes.


Map of Roman Britain

Agricola’s campaign was the last bid for expansion. After this Romans tried to protect their frontiers rather than expanding further into Roman Britain. Hadrian’s Wall was the largest and most famous Roman frontier wall. The wall was built on order from Roman emperor Hadrian in 122 AD. This wall was built over a period of five years.


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