Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Antonine wall fills gaps in story of Roman occupation of Britain

One of the Roman empire's most enigmatic monuments – the Antonine wall between the firths of Forth and Clyde in Scotland, which briefly marked the northernmost point of the empire between the 140s and 160s AD – is set to reveal some of its secrets.

The elaborately carved sculptures from the wall, brought together for the first time, form the centrepiece of a new gallery at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, which has reopened after two years' refurbishment.

The Antonine wall was built early in the reign of Antoninus Pius, Hadrian's successor as emperor, who pushed the Roman border north from Hadrian's wall in order to secure a military victory that would play well back in Rome. According to the director of the Hunterian, Professor David Gaimster: "It was an act of propaganda by an emperor who had not held any significant military command, and its success ensured his position."

More at The Guardian

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