Second only to the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall was a triumph of engineering, man-power and military might. However, from its ruinous state today it is difficult to appreciate what an ingenious and ordered system it was, how in many respects it was far from just a large defensive wall. Instead, as demonstrated in this short video from the History Channel, it was a living and breathing hybrid of structures, which over a period of years changed the environment and culture of the areas it ran through.
Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 122 and was the most fortified frontier of the entire Roman Empire. The wall itself spans 117 kilometres and traditionally marked the border between Roman Britain and the northern tribes of what is now Scotland. Today, however, the wall is entirely in northern England, with the border between England and Scotland lying between 15 kilometres and 110 kilometres further north.