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Scotlands History
Antonine and the Roman Occupation

Lollius Urbicus, the Roman Governor at the time, passed beyond the boundaries set by Hadrian some 24 years later. With three legions at his disposal he reclaimed an area to the North and marked another boundary which was to become known as the Antonine Wall.

The Antonine Wall's construction began in AD 142 during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. Its basic construction was far simpler than Hadrians Wall and consisted of a turf rampart set on a stone foundation stretching 37 miles across central Scotland. In front of this wall a broad ditch was dug as part of the overall defenses, and the fill from this ditch formed a low mound to the north. The barrier, built from east to west, stretched between the Firth of Forth at Bo'ness and the mouth of the River Clyde at Old Kilpatrick.

The zone between the two walls was in some ways difficult to define. It was not a colony nor a province and perhaps the best description was simply a military area. A permanent garrison of ten thousand Roman soldiers lived in fortified camps surrounded by a (mainly) hostile population.

In A.D.155 an uprising by the population forced a temporary retreat to Hadrians Wall, but by A.D. 158 the forts had been re-garrisoned. However, by A.D 180 they had once again been forced back to Hadrians Wall and this marked a real turning point in the Roman involvement in Caledonia.

By the time of the second century, the Northern tribes had formed a military alliance split into two main groups. South of the Forth to the Clyde line, were the Maetae and to the North were the Caledonii. In A.D. 208, the Emperor Septimius Severus marched his army into Caledonia, with the intention of destroying the two tribes ability to invade. Due to the guerrilla tactics used, no pitched battle was ever fought and the result of this tactic was a form of peace treaty between the two opposing groups. The Romans enjoying a period of fifty years of comparitive peace.

Pictures of Castles