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2 Hadrian’s Wall: An Ill-Fated Strategy for Tribal Management in Roman Britain

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Chapter Summary

The Hadrian's Wall started at Wallsend in the east near the North Sea and stopped at Bowness on the Solway Firth in the west. But as Forde-Johnston points out, the greatest danger for any linear defense system such as the Hadrian's Wall is "that of being by-passed". Upon Hadrian's Wall's reoccupation in the mid-160s, the entire complex underwent a complete repair and renovation with the milecastles being replaced and the barracks and the turrets repaired and rebuilt. The secured zone between the Wall and the Vallum also served as a training field for Roman troops. The tribal nature of British population on both sides of the Wall required the fluidity of spaces and environments utilized by various tribes, an undeniable anthropological reality of this particular political economy at the time that was effectively disrupted and cut in two pieces by this artificial barrier.

Keywords: British population; Forde-Johnston; Hadrian's Wall; milecastles; Roman troops; Solway Firth; Vallum

10.1163/9789004260665_003
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