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what was the purpose of hadrians wall.

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Introduction

What was the purpose of Hadrian's Wall? 1. Hadrian's Wall marked the boundaries of the Roman Empire. It was essentially a statement by the Romans saying that we inside this wall are civilised and you outside are barbarians. 2. Hadrian's Wall also acted as a customs post so that people going in and out of the empire could be taxed and monitored. 3. The sheer scale of Hadrian's Wall was designed to intimidate in order to discourage and small scale uprisings that may have occurred by showing the barbarians how advanced the Romans were being able to build a twenty five foot wall. 4. Hadrian wanted to be remembered because everyone knows nowadays that he built a wall whereas if he had not as many people would know anything about him. 5. The wall separated the two British tribes of the Brigantes and the Caledonians, this prevented the Romans being caught in the middle of an intertribal war 6. The wall was also a way in which Hadrian could keep his legions in Britain busy, the building of the wall kept them fit and stopped them getting bored whilst at the same time making something useful. After the wall and its forts were built it also gave Hadrian's legions somewhere to live. ...read more.

Middle

They housed a small garrison, possibly of eight men, four of whom would be on constant patrol duty along the Wall to either side. They were on two levels, with cooking facilities provided on the ground floor and sleeping quarters above, on a timber floor built level with the rampart-walk and accessed from below though a trap-door via a removeable ladder. Turret Profile In the original plan the Wall was to be garrisoned and patrolled from the Milecastles, and there was no requirement for any large forts to be built on the Wall itself. The wall was to be reinforced when needed, from the forts already in existence along the Stanegate, the old military highway from Corbridge to Carlisle built during the campaigns of governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola c.AD78, which ran to the rear of the wall an average three miles distant. This format was to prove inadequate, however, and the wall was soon modified by the inclusion of several auxiliary forts along its length. These garrison forts were of a standard 'playing-card' profile, but varied in size between 3 and 51/2 acres, depending on the type of unit it was built to house. In the infantry forts, the Wall itself generally formed the northern defences of the camp, which projected wholly to the south, as is the case with the Milecastles and turrets. ...read more.

Conclusion

These supply-roads were provided to each of the main forts on the Wall, and also to a few of the milecastles, but many of the milecastles and nearly all of the turrets had to be supplied along tracks and trails along the line of the Wall. At about the same time as the vallum was decommissioned c.AD140, the Wall was provided with its own purpose-built, metalled supply road which ran between the Wall and the vallum - lending some little credence to the theory that the vallum once served in this capacity. This new road connected each of the garrisons on the Wall, and ran through the rear portion of each fort, along the via quintana, passing through small gateways in the defences on either side. An exception to this rule is at Vercovicium (Housesteads) where the fort actually faces east, and the Military Way therefore passes along the main axis of fortification, through its Praetorian and Decuman gates. In addition to providing a shorter and more secure route between each fort, there were branch-roads serving the milecastles, and pathways to all of the turrets probably branched-off from it. The modern name for this road is the Roman Military Way ...read more.

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