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height above the surrounding country. Hence conquests of Agricola, he took no pains to the Watling-street and other Roman roads, maintain them, and contented himself with which strike north ward into Scotland, are fixing the limits of the province along the found to connect a series of Roman encamp- line of forts which guarded the lower isthmus. ments, many of which in process of time ger. But this line of forts he strengthened by mipated into cities. But if they were uncer- a continuous rampart; and the question tain about the permanence of their advanced arises whether the whole, or what part, of conquests, they were in the habit of drawing the existing remains of fortification between a transverse line of communication, to which the Tyne and Solway are due to his energy the same name of limes was also given, to con- and prudence ? nect their outposts laterally; and this line On this subject the direct testimony of they sometimes protected by a rampart of ancient authors is explicit up to a certain earth, a ditch, and a palisade. This fortifica- point, but is provokingly imperfect beyond tion seems also to have borne sometimes the it. Dion Cassius, speaking of the time of name of limes; but this was not a correct Commodns—that is, after Iladrian and before use of the terın ; the proper word was vallum. Severus—affirms that there was then a teixos The first Roman general who penetrated into dividing the Romans in the island from the the region of the isthmus was the renowned barbarians; but teixos, though we commonly Agricola, in the year 79: after advancing, in construe it a wall,' is used by the best his second campaign, to the limits of the Greek writers indifferently for a wall of Brigantes, he planted a series of camps or masonry or a mound of earth ; nor is it castella from east to west, and opened, we certain whether this author alludes to the may be assured, a communication between works on the upper or the lower isthmus. Hethem. This was called a prætentura ; there rodian speaks of xupata in this place; but was no connecting line of rampart, but the this word is properly applied to earthen castella were near enough to afford support rather than to stone ramparts. Spartian, to each other. We may believe that many the next on our list, says plainly enough of the existing camps in this district were of Hadrian ; • Muruin constructed originally by this commander. millia primus duxiť • [le built the But Agricola carried his victorious arms first wall, or was the first to build a wall;' further north. He drew a second prætentura as if there had been another wall built at between the Clyde and Forth to secure the a subsequent period. Now, as certainly province within the upper isthmus; and from as there was no other stone wall either here this vantage-ground he again issued forth, or at the upper isthmus, we are led at first and we may still perhaps trace the line of his sight to question wbether by murus a stone further advance by the remains of his en-wall is meant at all. The suspicion that campments in Fife and Forfarshire. Still murus here, as often elsewhere, is used for a Agricola erected no continuous rampart. His rampart generally, with no limitation to a time was limited, and so were his means. rampart of masonry, is confirmed by a

The system of vallation was carried out passage of the same writer, in which he more effectively in the next generation. attributes a murus to Severus also : “Muro Trajan executed great works of this kind in per transversam insulam ducto utrimque ad Hungary and Bulgaria, and commenced at finem oceani munivit.' If Hadrian built a least the extraordinary bulwark of mound wall here, then Severus did not, and and ditch, which ran for nearly four hundred vice versa. There is no other such wall in miles between the Rhine and the Danube. the island. A third passage of Spartian, Trajan's successor, Hadrian, was celebrated speaking also of Hadrian, ‘Post murum apud for the development he gave to this system vallum (or aut vaļlum) missum in Britannia,' of fortification. The barbarians hitherto, is too corrupt to make any use of. Nor can says a Roman writer, were kept aloof by we draw any inference from the words of rivers or by limites ; but Hadrian fortified Capitolinus, who says that Antoninus drew these balks of turf with palisades, after the alium murum cespititium,'' another wall of manner of a wall-fence. The Germani vallum, turf,' that the previous rampart of Hadrian which he continued and perhaps completed, was of stone. The phrase is ambiguous in was crowned with such a palisade, but Latin, and may mean either a second wall of modern explorers have found no traces turf like the first, or a second wall, not of throughout its length of the employment of stone like the first, but of turf only. All we masonry. Hadrian

came in person into can say positively so far is, that Hadrian Britain ; but he was not anxious for military erected a ran part of one kind or the other. distinction. He had already relinquished The next builder claimed for the Wall is some of Trajan's acquisitions in the East; the Emperor Severus. Spartian's testimony, without perhaps formally abandoning the we have already seen, is nugatory. Eusebius


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(in Jerome) says that this Emperor erected a In default, however, of testimony of the
Vallum, 132 miles in length, the error in the first class, we may find perhaps indirect
numbers being perhaps that of the transcriber. evidence, from inscriptions, from the style of
Eighty-two miles (Lxxx11. for cxxx11.) would construction, or from the general character of
answer very well to the width of the lower the fortifications before us.
isthmus from Tynemouth to some point on The advocates of the Ælian hypothesis
the Solway, and thirty-two (xxxII. for cxxxi.) rely much on inscriptions. Many inscribed
equally well to the upper : but neither this stones have been discovered, since the time of
nor any other writer tells us which of the Horsley, in the camps contiguous or near to
two was the isthmus Severus fortified. the Wall, and some even in the mile-castles,
Aurelius Victor, indeed, says, “Severus muro bearing the name of Hadrian, and dated in
munivit;' but again, vallum per 32 millia his reign, while comparatively few have been
passuum;' which looks like a correction of found bearing reference to Severus near the
Eusebius, and would refer to the rampart Wall, and none immediately upon it. There
of the Forth and Clyde. Eutropius follows is no doubt indeed that the camps were
Victor: 'Severus vallum per 32 mil

. generally of the age of Hadrian, or earlier, pass. deduxit,' while Cassiodorus adopts and the discovery of his name thus recorded the vulgar reading of Eusebius : Se in them can have no weight in the question

vallum per 132 m. p. &c.' Still before us. The stone walls of the camps may there is nothing definite about the Wall. be of much later construction than the camps Supposing Severus to have raised a rampart themselves. Two inscriptions of Hadrian, in the same district as Hadrian, we still have however, have undoubtedly been discovered no direct evidence that either one or the in mile-castles; unfortunately the position in other erected a wall of stone. But besides which they stood cannot be ascertained. the doubt arising from the number of thirty- They were excavated among the débris near two miles, an expression in Eutropius may the gates; but it is not necessary to suppose incline us to fix the rampart Severus at the that they were erected in a conspicuous place Forth, rather than at the Tyne. The barba- over them.* Such large slabs as those which rians, we are told, had penetrated into the present these particular inscriptions correRoman province, but the Emperor not only spond with the masonry of the gates, which drove them out, but advanced far into the was much more solid than that of the walls; heart of Caledonia beyond it. He eventually and if the wall was erected at a date posterior 'made peace with the barbarians, and with to Hadrian, it might be found convenient to drew in sickness to York; but he built, it is seize upon such massive blocks wherever they said, a rampart of thirty-two miles in length, were to be found. There seems reason to * ut receptas provincias omni securitate muniret:' i. e. to give double security to the

Dr. Bruce lays great stress on the discovery of

such slabs, inscribed with the name of Hadrian, in territory he had recovered. There is no reason to suppose that the barbarians had holm (Vindolana). and also in the mile-castles

the camps at Great Chesters (Æsica) and Chesterwrested from Rome the populous and power- at Milking Gap and Cawfields. It is the last only ful tracts south of the Tyne : the recovered that can have any importance for the question provinces, it would seem, were the lands before us, and the account he himself gives of their imperfectly subjugated, between the Tyne port the notion of their having been originally

discovery would tend rather to discredit than supand Forth.* On the other hand, it must be erected on the spot where they were found. Of added, though there are two, or in fact three the slab at Milking Gap he says, 'it was found in lines of rampart in the vallum of the lower taking up the foundations of the mile-castle' (p. isthmus, of which Hadrian may have con

234), and again repeats the statement at p. 383.

It would seem from these words that the slab in structed one, and Severus added another, question was taken from some other place, and we have no distinct trace of a double built into the foundations of the wall or gateway, fortification in the remains, very imperfect, it where the largest stones were ordinarily used. We must be confessed, of the upper, while we

have had an opportunity, however, of making know from indubitable testimony that one

inquiries on the spot, and of the identical labourer

who excavated the inscribed stones both at Caw. such rampart was there raised by Antoninus. fields and Milking Gap; and he asserts that they We can only say, that, as far as direct evidence were found lying among the débris with which the goes, Severus's claim to the wall is more interior of the castles was filled, one close beside, doubtful than even that of Hadrian.

the others not far from, the gateway. The actual
foundations were not meddled with. The stones must

have occupied some elevated place in the masonry of * We give this as the most natural interpretation the walls; but still it is not necessary to suppose that of the words of Eatropius. It may, no doubt, be they were placed there by Hadrian's officers. We urged on the other hand that Eutropius speaks admit, however, that Dr. Bruce has a reasonable rhetorically, and supposes all the four provinces of presumption in his favour, and we hope that in a Britain to have been momentarily lost, when Seve- future edition he will corroborate or correct the rus came to the rescue.

statement we have here made of the circumstances.

believe that these large stones were often | The construction is also very rude; the conveyed to considerable distances. Inscribed courses indeed are tolerably even, but there slabs have been found at Hexham, four miles is no regularity in the setting of the stones of from the nearest known station, at Corbridge one course above those of another. There is (Corstopitum), and others at Lanercost, none of the squared and chequered masonry nearly as far from Walton or Petriana. we observed in the remains at Rome itself, or There seems therefore no difficulty in sup- even in some parts of Colchester, Richboposing that the inscription found in the mile- rough, and Lymne. Except at the gateways castles at Milking Gap was transported from the materials used both in the Wall and in

camp at Chesterholm (Vindolana). the camps required no machinery to transWhile, however, we give this as a possible port them. They seem to belong to an age explanation of the circumstance, we acknow-when there was abundance of rude manual ledge the evidence for Hadrian from these labour, but great lack of science and machinery. inscriptions to be of the gravest importance. Nor can we find any traces of the well

On the other hand, the partisans of Seve known durable mortar of the best Roman rus point, not to inscribed slabs along the builders; here again the northern wall seems Wall, or in the camps, but to numerous re- very inferior to the great castles of our southferences to the date of his reign in names eastern counties. hese are presumptions graven on the rocks, which seem to have only, but as far as they go they seem to tell served for quarries to the Roman builders. against Hadrian, and in a less degree against Indirect evidence may also be drawn, we Severus also. think, against the claims of Hadrian, from an But if we look to the general design of the inscription found at Kirkandrews, near Car- engineer, the Ælians bid us observe the pa. lisle, south of the barrier, ‘legati legionis vi. rallelism between the wall and vallum, the ob res trans vallum prospere gestas.' Ob- one always keping a little to the north of the serve here the phrase vallum, not murus. It other, and never cutting it, as a proof of a would seem that the mound was in existence common designer. We think that Mr. before the Wall, and therefore that the Wall Maclaughlan's accurate survey has shown was built after Hadrian. But the sixth legion that this parallelism is not so complete as it appears to have been removed to York before has been represented, and that in some places A.D. 190; this inscription therefore does not the wall and the vallum form their angles interfere with the claims of Severus, A.D. 210. respectively (the vallum never admits a curve, If, however, there be any significance in the wall only in following the ridge of the the use of the word vallum, the language of cliffs) without any reference to each other. the Notitia would be fatal to both the rival As for the grandeur of the design of the Emperors; for in that document, dated circ. Wall, we fully admit that nothing can be A.D. 410, the barrier is still called vallum, more imposing than the view of this mighty and not murus. So also the Antonine Itine- bulwark in some of its strides across the cliffs, rary speaks always of the vallum ; and it but the impression this circumstance makes may be taken as one of the many suspicious upon us is rather unfavourable to the Ælians circumstances attending the work which goes than otherwise. We cannot conceive the by the name of Richard of Cirencester, that most powerful of all the Emperors crouching in this Itinerary we find the barrier desig- behind such a barrier, when his legions, withnated as the murus.

out mound or wall of any kind, must have As regards the masonry of the Wall, the been amply capable of defending the propresumption seems to be against Hadrian. vince against any barbarian


We None of the existing limitary ramparts of the very much doubt whether the first conAntonine period present any masonry at all; structors of the great limitary ramparts rethey were merely mounds and stockades.* sorted to such expedients as important mea

sures of defence. We believe they were more

concerned to erect permanent and visible Two or three places on the line of the Anto- boundary lines to the empire, and that it was nine barrier have derived their name from camps, no unimportant consideration with them to as Castle Cary; and we presume that Falkirk is so find means of employing their soldiers without called from the palisade: but there is no place that exercising them in perpetual warfare. It retains in its name the tradition of a wall. So would be well for mankind if certain modern also along the line of the Limes Transrhenanus, there are numerous places denominated Pfahlsburg, Pfahls-heim, &c.; but wall never enters into the composition of their names.

care by our experienced antiquary Mr. Yates, hand, the names on the line of the lower Isthmus whose memoir, the only one we possess on the subrefer to a wall, not to a palisade; as Walls-end, ject in England, has been produced in the TransWaltoo, Thirlwall

, and a great many others. The actions of the Archeological Institute, at their barrier in Germany has been lately examined with Newcastle Meeting in 1852.

On the other

emperors could invent such innocent employ- | The Caledonians had no engines of war, and ment for their own restless armaments.* could take little advantage of the higher

If there be any weight in this considera- ground, with a ditch, mound, and stockade, tion, it would help to account for a circumstance and above all a courageous foe before them; which has caused much perplexity, and which but the Romans had not yet built themselves the Ælians have pressed into the service of houses and castles behind their ramparts, and their theory. It has been said that the Val- their southern battalions could not face in their lum generally keeps on the southern slope of tents, sub pellibus, the northern blast that the hills, while the Wall almost invariably bites so keenly on the mountain ridge. At takes the highest eminence above it. The a later period they were both better protected Vallum accordingly is commanded almost and more acclimatized. throughout its course by higher ground to We throw out this conjecture with hesitathe north, the Wall rarely or never. Could tion, and pass over more than one subsidiary the Vallum, then, ask the Ælians, have ever argument of no great substantive weight, been an independent fortification, exposed as which it would be tedious to discuss. On the it is to an enemy on the side where the whole, however, we find ourselves unable to enemy was to be especially guarded against ? rest in any of the indirect testimonies brought Must not the Wall have been the original in favour either of Hadrian or Severus; and defence against the Caledonians, and may of the latter more particularly we may say, not the Vallum have been merely an adjunct that it seems in the highest degree improbato it, designed to ward off an attack of the ble that he should have constructed so extenBrigantes to the south? Must not Hadrian sive, so perdurable a bulwark, when during have constructed the double system of fortifi- his short residence of three years in Britain cations in order to keep a firm grasp of the he is known to have designed, and at the Isthmus both against external hostility and last moinent intended to prosecute, the entire internal treachery? Here, they say, is a subjugation of the island. That he may have grand conception, grandly executed, worthy, repaired or added to the earth-ramparts of both in conception and execution, of the Hadrian we can conceive, though we are still wisest and most powerful of the Roman more than half disposed to think that his rulers.

work should rather be referred to that of Such extreme precautions, we repeat, seem Antonine; but we have great difficulty in to us utterly unsuited to the genius of Ha- believing with Horsley that he actually built drian and his times; but if the reader will the Wall between the Tyne and Solway. turn to the section of the works given above, What other solution, then, of the question he will see at a glance that, as they now remains to be offered? Is there any other stand, the defences of the Vallum alone, com- person, or any later period to which it can be plicated as they are, present a more formida- ascribed ? We know from the evidence of ble front to the north than to the south, and coins, and incidentally from history, that the were evidently directed, not against the Bri- district north of Solway continued to be gantes, but against the Caledonians. The occupied for two centuries after Severus, and presumption is strong, at least, that the Val- this evidence is far too strong to be set aside lum, the weaker work, both as regards its by the fact of the Itinerary of Britain being position and its structure, was the first made to commence at one station only beyond executed, and the Wall superadded at a later the Vallum. This continued occupation of period by a more timid and perhaps a less the upper province seems hardly consistent skilful designer. But, supposing the Vallum with the existence of so strong a limitary to be the work of Hadrian, we can account line as the Wall below it. for the choice of the lower line in the first in- Unfortunately we have from henceforth stance from the object we have ventured to very meagre notices of the affairs of Britain. attribute to it. At that early period of Ro- Between Rome and her subjects the harmony man occupation, it might seem more impor- seems to have been complete, but the protant to get shelter from the severity of the vince was harassed by marauders in the north, climate than defence against a despised enemy. and by pirates in the south and east. Ca

rausius, when he raised the standard of an * Undoubtedly regular soldiers were at a disad: independent sovereignty in Britain, took vantage as opposed to savages before the invention of fire-arms. The heavy-armed legionary could vigorous measures for the repression of the peither overtake nor intercept the Caledonian gal. Saxon corsairs, but we do not hear of his atlowglasses. Accordingly, a mound and palisade tention being turned to the defence of the might be a very useful adjunct to the defence of a frontier, but it would seem preposterous to oppose

northern frontier. Early in the fourth cena massive stone wall to the raids of half-naked tury the island was overrun by the barbaricattle-listers. The relations of attack and defence ans of Caledonia, whom we now first hear of were probably much altered at a later period. under the name of Picts and Scots, and their

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predatory hordes were encountered by Theo- have occupied, from first to last, fifty years dosius, the general of the Emperor Valens, in building. in the neighbourhood of London, in the year Such is the latitude which we would 368. The invaders were routed and driven recommend in interpreting the well-known back beyond both the limitary ramparts, and passages of Gildas and Bede, which supply Theodosius restored, as we are expressly in- is with the only direct assurance that the formed by a reputable historian, the camps, Wall was not built by Severus, to whom, castles, and prætenturæ, or chains of forts in says Bede, it is erroneously attributed, and the north, and reconstituted the province still less by Hadrian, while they expressly beyond the Solway under the designation of ascribe it to the Romanized Britons of the Valentia. As, however, no prudent general fifth century under the direction of a Roman could hope to retain the permanent occupa- legion. In this assertion, as it stands, we do tion of this exposed district, it might be not place much faith. The authority of Giljudged expedient to take this opportunity of das, though, perhaps, nearly contemporary, securing the lower and more important line is extremely slender, and Bede, two centuries of defences by the strongest fortifications. If, I later, seems to have readily acquiesced in his hitherto, the bulwarks of the lower Isthmus predecessor's assertions. But writers of this had been confined to the camps and mounds class are prone to fixing to a single occasion, of Hadrian and Severus, it was now, we may or on a single person, the authorship of works suppose, that the stations were fenced with which really belong to a period, and we may masonry, and the Wall designed and at least fairly interpret the legend referred to as the partly executed, with broad openings at every mythical way of expressing the fact that the mile for the temporary shelter of the exposed Wall was a barrier executed during a series provincials beyond it. After the retirement of years, not against the Caledonians, but of Theodosius the frontiers were again assailed their successors the Picts and Scots.

It was by the restless savages. Stilicho, about 400, the work, we can easily believe, of the natives issued orders from Ganl for putting the island themselves, under Roman superintendence; in a state of defence against the Saxons, the for the district seems to have been at the Picts, and the Scots, and if we may rely on height of its population and productiveness, the evidence of the poet Claudian, his designs and the execution of the work is just of the were carried fully into execution.* We may rude character we should expect from the at least admit that his engineers continued unskilled labour of the children of the soil and extended the plan of Theodosius. Fi- directed by scientific engineers. For the nally, after the withdrawal of the Roman gar- tradition of the Wall having been the work rison by Maximus, the Picts and Scots of Severus, we may account on a similar repeated their attacks, and the single legion principle. Severus, the most resolute enemy which was sent from Rome in 414, and again of the Caledonians, was the eponymus of a few years later, may have assisted or at least Roman invasion, the Hercules of the later advised the natives in putting the finishing empire; it is said that both the upper and stroke to their defensive works, and thus the lower ramparts have been known to the Gael Wall, the remains of which we now see, may within times quite recent as the Gual Sever,

or wall of Severus. *

We can hardly imagine that such formi. * We can hardly consent to regard Claudian's vi- dable ramparts, if defended by the disciplined gorous lines as mere rhetoric:

bands of Hadrian or Severus, could have been

so repeatedly broken through by half-armed · Me quoque vicinis pereuntem gentibus, inquit,

barbarians. But when the Roman arms were Munivit Stilicho, totam cum Scotus Iernen Movit, et infesto spumavit remige Tethys.

finally withdrawn, no strength of natural or Illius effectum curis, ne tela timerem

artificial defences could avail for the protecScotica, ne Pictos tremerem, neu litore tuto tion of the timid and helpless natives. The Prospicerem dubiis venturum Saxona ventis.'

Wall was speedily penetrated, and from the The existing remains of Roman fortifications at middle of the fifth century it ceased to afford Lymne, Richborough Colchester, Burgh Castle, and Caistor, on the south-eastern coast, seem all to

* Pinkerton asserts, we know not on what aubelong to one period, and that not earlier than the thority, that the Antonine barrier bore the name reign of Carausius, if they are not, indeed, to be of Gualsever. This is the traditional title given to ascribed to an age as late as Stilicho's. Roman the lower wall by Spenser :pavements of an earlier date have been discovered under the foundations of the walls of Colchester. Next there came Tyne, along whose stony bank The 'Saxon shore' was furnished with many other That Roman monarch built a brazen wali, fortifications besides those enumerated, which have Which mote the feebled Britons strongly flank now disappeared, as at Brancaster and Reculver. Against the Picts, that swarmed over all, Other Roman stations, such as Ituna on the Essex Which yet thereof Gualsever they do call.' coast, bavo been swept away by the sea.

See Bruce's Roman Wall, p. 378.

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