Lower Germanic Limes
The Lower Germanic Limes is the former frontier between the Roman province of Germania inferior and Germania Magna. The Lower Germanic Limes separated that part of the Rhineland left of the Rhine as well as the Netherlands, part of the Roman Empire, from the less controlled regions east of the Rhine; the route of the limes started near the estuary of the Oude Rijn on the North Sea. It followed the course of the Rhine and ended at the Vinxtbach in present-day Niederbreisig, a quarter in the town of Bad Breisig, the border with the province of Germania superior; the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes started on the opposite, right-hand, side of the Rhine with the Roman camp of Rheinbrohl. The Lower Germanic Limes was not a fortified limes with ramparts, palisades or walls and watchtowers, but a river border to the limites on the Danube and Euphrates; the Rhine Line was guarded by a chain of castra for auxiliary troops. It was laid out by Augustus and his stepson and military commander, who began to strengthen the natural boundary of the Rhine from the year 15 A. D.
The decision not to conquer the regions east of the Rhine in 16 A. D. made the Rhine into a fixed frontier of the Roman Empire. For its protection, a large number of estates and settlements were established; the names and locations of several sites have been handed down through the ‘’Tabula Peutingeriana and Itinerarium Antonini. Together with the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, the Lower Germanic Limes forms part of the Limes Germanicus As it runs along the Rhine the Lower Germanic Limes passes four landscapes with different topography and natural character; the southernmost and smallest portion, between the Vinxtbach and the area around Bonn still belongs to the Rhenish Massif, through which the river passes in a narrow valley between the heights of the Westerwald and the Eifel Mountains. From the area of Bonn, the Rhine valley opens into the Cologne Bay, bounded by the Bergisches Land, which hugs the river on the right-hand side, the Eifel and High Fens to the southeast and east; the Cologne Bay has fertile loess soils and is characterized by a mild climate.
It is therefore little wonder that most of the rural vici and villae rusticae in Lower Germania were established in this area in Roman times. In the vicinity of the military camp of Novaesium, the Cologne Bay expands further into the Lower Rhine Plain, a river terrace landscape. Only a little west of today's German-Dutch border in the area of the legion camp of Noviomagus, the Lower Rhine Plain transitions into the watery marshland formed by the Rhine and Meuse and which ends at the North Sea in the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Tilmann Bechert: Germania inferior. Eine Provinz an der Nordgrenze des Römischen Reichs. Zabern, Mainz, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8053-2400-7. Tilmann Bechert, Willem J. H. Willems: Die römische Reichsgrenze von der Mosel bis zur Nordseeküste. Stuttgart, 1995, ISBN 3-8062-1189-2. Tilmann Bechert: Römisches Germanien zwischen Rhein und Maas. Die Provinz Germania inferior.. Hirmer, Munich, 1982, ISBN 3-7774-3440-X. Julianus Egidius Bogaers, Christoph B. Rüger: Der niedergermanische Limes.
Materialien zu seiner Geschichte. Rheinland Verlag, Cologne, 1974, ISBN 3-7927-0194-4. Michael Gechter: Die Anfänge des Niedergermanischen Limes. In: Bonner Jahrbücher. 179, 1979, pp. 1–129. Michael Gechter: Early Roman military installations and Ubian settlements in the Lower Rhine. In: T. Blagg, M. Millett: The early Roman empire in the West. 2. Auflage. Oxford Books 2002, ISBN 1-84217-069-4, S. 97–102. Michael Gechter: Die Militärgeschichte am Niederrhein von Caesar bis Tiberius. Eine Skizze. In: T. Grünewald, S. Seibel: Kontinuität und Diskontinuität. Die Germania inferior am Beginn und am Ende der römischen Herrschaft, Beiträge des deutsch-niederländischen Kolloquiums in der Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, 27. Bis 30.6.2001. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2003, pp. 147–159. Heinz Günter Horn: Die Römer in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Theiss, Stuttgart 1987. Nikol, Hamburg, 2002, ISBN 3-933203-59-7. Anne Johnson: Römische Kastelle des 1. Und 2. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. in Britannien und in den germanischen Provinzen des Römerreiches.
Zabern, Mainz, 1987, ISBN 3-8053-0868-X. Margot Klee: Grenzen des Imperiums. Leben am römischen Limes. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart, 2006. ISBN 3-8062-2015-8. Pp. 33–40. Hans Schönberger: Die römischen Truppenlager der frühen und mittleren Kaiserzeit zwischen Nordsee und Inn. In: Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission. 66, 1985, pp. 321–495. Lower Germanic Limes on the website of Dutch historian, Jona Lendering Vici.org Lower Germanic Limes, interactive map »www.niedergermanischer-limes.de« Germania inferior on the private website of author, Peter Lichtenberger De Limes - Grens van het Romeinse Rijk Romeinen in Nederland
Roman siege engines
Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. Small efforts were made to develop the technology. Up to the first century BC, the Romans utilized siege weapons only as required and relied for the most part on ladders and rams to assault a fortified town. Ballistae were employed, but held no permanent place within a legion's roster, until in the republic, were used sparingly. Julius Caesar took great interest in the integration of advanced siege engines, organizing their use for optimal battlefield efficiency. To facilitate this organization and the army’s self-sufficiency, an engineering corps was developed. An officer of engineers, or praefectus fabrum, is referenced in armies of the late republic, but this post is not verifiable in all accounts and may have been a military advisor on the personal staff of a commanding officer. There were legion architects who were responsible for the construction of war machines who would assure that all artillery constructions in the field were level.
Ensuring that constructions were level was the job of the libratores, who would launch missiles and other projectiles during battle. The engineering corps was in charge of massive production prefabricating artillery and siege equipment to facilitate its transportation. Roman artillery was efficient at that time, during a siege the Romans would attack the weakest area of their enemy's defenses and attempt to breach the walls at that point. To support this effort, artillery fire would commence, with three main objectives: to cause damage to defenses, casualties among the opposing army, loss of enemy morale, it would provide cover fire for troops building siege ramps or those in siege towers. There were machines called tormenta, which would launch projectiles such as javelins, rocks, or beams; these devices were on wheeled platforms to follow the line’s advance. All were "predicated on a principle of physics: a lever was inserted into a skein of twisted horsehair to increase torsion, when the arm was released, a considerable amount of energy was thus freed".
It was stated that sinew, instead of twisted hair, provided a better “spring.” These weapons were high-maintenance devices and vulnerable to having their leather, sinew, or hemp skeins affected by wet or damp, which would cause them to slacken and lose tension, rendering the engine useless. It is somewhat difficult to define and describe Roman artillery, as names are confused and historians still do not agree on all definitions. Best known are the ballista, the onager, the scorpio. After the absorption of the ancient Greek city states into the Roman Republic in 146 BC, some advanced Greek technologies began to spread across many areas of Roman influence; this included the hugely advantageous military advances the Greeks had made, as well as all the scientific, mathematical and artistic developments. The Romans'inherited' the torsion powered ballistae which had by now spread to several cities around the Mediterranean, all of which became Roman spoils of war in time, including one from Pergamum, depicted among a pile of'trophy' weapons in relief on a balustrade.
The torsion ballista, developed by Alexander, was a far more complicated weapon than its predecessor, the Romans developed it further. Vitruvius, in his De Architectura book X, describes the tuning of ballistae; every century in the Roman army had a ballista by the 1st century AD. It was the command of the chief of the ballistae, under whom were the artillery experts, or doctores ballistarum and the artillerymen, or ballistarii. Ballistae were heavy missile weapons, they resembled large crossbows, rather than catapults. They were powered by two horizontal like arms, which were inserted into two vertical and wound "skein" springs contained in a rectangular frame structure making up the head or principal part of the weapon; the arms were drawn rearward with a winch lever to further twist the skeins and thus gain the torsion power to cast a projectile. It has been said that the whirring sound of a ballista-fired stone struck fear and dread into the hearts of those inside the walls of besieged cities.
The stones chosen to be used in the ballista had to be a particular sort. According to Vegetius, river stones were best, since they are round and dense. Ballista stones found at the site of Masada were chiseled to make them as round as possible; the early Roman ballistae were made of wood, held together with iron plates around the frames and iron nails in the stand. The main stand had a slider on the top, into which were loaded the bolts or stone'shot'. Attached to this, at the back, was a pair of winches and a claw, used to ratchet the bowstring back to the armed firing position. A slider passed through the field frames of the weapon, in which were located the torsion springs, which were twisted around the bow arms, which in turn were attached to the bowstring. Drawing the bowstring back with the winches twisted the taut springs, storing the energy to fire the projectiles; the ballista was a accurate weapon, but some design aspects meant it could compromise its accuracy for range. The lightweight bolts could not gain the high momentum of the stones over the same distance as those th
Roman military engineering
The military engineering of Ancient Rome's armed forces was of a scale and frequency far beyond that of any of its contemporaries'. Indeed, military engineering was in many ways institutionally endemic in Roman military culture, as demonstrated by the fact that each Roman legionary had as part of his equipment a shovel, alongside his gladius and pila. Fabri were workers, craftsmen or artisans in Roman society and descriptions of early Roman army structure attributed to king Servius Tullius describe there being two centuriae of fabri under an officer, the praefectus fabrum. Roman military engineering took both routine and extraordinary forms, the former a proactive part of standard military procedure, the latter of an extraordinary or reactionary nature; each Roman legion had a military legionary fort as its permanent base. However, when on the march in enemy territory, the legion would, after a day's marching, construct a fortified camp or castra, requiring as raw materials only earth and timber.
Camp construction was the responsibility of special engineering units to which specialists of many types belonged, officered by architecti, from a class of troops known as immunes since they were excused from or immune from, regular duties. These engineers would requisition manual labor from the soldiers at large as required. A legion could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. Judging from the names, they used a repertory of camp plans from a set textbook, selecting the one appropriate to the length of time a legion would spend in it: tertia castra, quarta castra: "a camp of three days", "four days", etc; the engineers built bridges from both timber and stone depending on required permanence, time available etc. Some Roman stone bridges survive to this day. Stone bridges were made possible by the innovative use of the keystone to allow an arch construction. One of the most notable examples of military bridge-building in the Roman Empire was Julius Caesar's Bridge over the Rhine River.
This bridge was completed in only ten days and is conservatively estimated to have been more than 100 m long. The construction was deliberately over-engineered for Caesar's stated purpose of impressing the Germanic tribes, who had little experience of engineering, to emphasise that Rome could travel wherever she wished. Caesar was able to cross over the completed bridge and explore the area uncontested, before crossing back over and dismantling the bridge. Caesar relates in his War in Gaul that he "sent messengers to the Sugambri to demand the surrender of those who had made war on me and on Gaul, they replied that the Rhine was the limit of Roman power"; the bridge was intended to show otherwise. Although most Roman siege engines were adaptations from earlier Greek designs, the Romans were adept at engineering them swiftly and efficiently, as well as innovating variations such as the repeating ballista; the 1st century BC army engineer Vitruvius describes in detail many of the Roman siege machines in his manuscript De Architectura.
When invading enemy territories, the Roman army would construct roads as they went, to allow swift reinforcement and resupply, as well as a path for easy retreat if necessary. Roman road-making skills are such. Michael Grant credits the Roman building of the Via Appia with winning them the Second Samnite War; the Roman army took part in building projects for civilian use. There were sound reasons for the use of the army in building projects: that if they weren't directly engaged in military campaigns, the legions were unproductive, costing the Roman state large sums of money, but the involvement of the soldiers in building works, kept them not only well accustomed to hard physical labour, but kept them busy, since it was the held belief that busy armies weren't plotting to mutiny, whereas idle armies were. Of both military and civilian use was the construction of roads within the boundaries of the Empire, in which the army was involved, but so too were soldiers put to use in the construction of town walls, the digging of shipping canals, the drainage of land, harbours in the cultivation of vineyards.
In some rare cases soldiers were used in mining work. They were skilled in conducting mining operations such as building the many aqueducts needed for prospecting for metal veins, in methods like hydraulic mining, the building of reservoirs to hold the water at the minehead, it is that they were capable of building and operating mine equipment such as water mills, stamp mills and dewatering machines. It is that they were involved in exploiting gold resources such as those at Dolaucothi in south west Wales, it was developed soon after conquest of the region under Frontinus, the local auxiliary troop came from north-west Spain, a country where gold mining developed on a large scale in the early part of the first century AD. The knowledge and experience learned through such routine engineering lent itself to any extraordinary engineering projects required by the army, it is here that the scale of Roman military engineering exceeded that of any of its contemporaries in both imagination and scope.
One of the most famous of such extraordinary constructions was the circumvallation of the entire city of Alesia and its Celtic leader Vercingetorix, within a massive length of double-wall – one inward-facing to prevent escape or offensive sallies from the city, one outward-facing to prevent attack by Celtic reinforcements. This wall is estimated to have been over 20 km long. A second example would be the massive ramp built using thousands of ton
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft of wood, with a pointed head. The head may be the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with fire hardened spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, iron, steel or bronze; the most common design for hunting or combat spears since ancient times has incorporated a metal spearhead shaped like a triangle, lozenge, or leaf. The heads of fishing spears feature barbs or serrated edges; the word spear comes from the Old English spere, from the Proto-Germanic speri, from a Proto-Indo-European root *sper- "spear, pole". Spears can be divided into two broad categories: those designed for thrusting in melee combat and those designed for throwing; the spear has been used throughout human history both as a weapon. Along with the axe and club, it is one of the earliest and most important tools developed by early humans; as a weapon, it may be wielded with two. It was used in every conflict up until the modern era, where then it continues on in the form of the bayonet, is the most used weapon in history.
Spear manufacture and use is not confined to humans. It is practiced by the western chimpanzee. Chimpanzees near Kédougou, Senegal have been observed to create spears by breaking straight limbs off trees, stripping them of their bark and side branches, sharpening one end with their teeth, they used the weapons to hunt galagos sleeping in hollows. Archaeological evidence found in present-day Germany documents that wooden spears have been used for hunting since at least 400,000 years ago, a 2012 study suggests that Homo heidelbergensis may have developed the technology about 500,000 years ago. Wood does not preserve well and Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees means that early humans used wooden spears as well five million years ago. Neanderthals were constructing stone spear heads from as early as 300,000 BP and by 250,000 years ago, wooden spears were made with fire-hardened points.
From circa 200,000 BC onwards, Middle Paleolithic humans began to make complex stone blades with flaked edges which were used as spear heads. These stone heads could be fixed to the spear shaft by gum or resin or by bindings made of animal sinew, leather strips or vegetable matter. During this period, a clear difference remained between spears designed to be thrown and those designed to be used in hand-to-hand combat. By the Magdalenian period, spear-throwers similar to the atlatl were in use; the spear is the main weapon of the warriors of Homer's Iliad. The use of both a single thrusting spear and two throwing spears are mentioned, it has been suggested. In the 7th century BC, the Greeks evolved the phalanx; the key to this formation was the hoplite, equipped with a large, bronze-faced shield and a 7–9 ft spear with an iron head and bronze butt-spike. The hoplite phalanx dominated warfare among the Greek City States from the 7th into the 4th century BC; the 4th century saw major changes. One was the greater use of light infantry armed with spear and javelins.
The other was the development of the sarissa, a two-handed pike 18 ft in length, by the Macedonians under Phillip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. The pike phalanx, supported by peltasts and cavalry, became the dominant mode of warfare among the Greeks from the late 4th century onward until Greek military systems were supplanted by the Roman legions. In the pre-Marian Roman armies, the first two lines of battle, the hastati and principes fought with a sword called a gladius and pila, heavy javelins that were designed to be thrown at an enemy to pierce and foul a target's shield; the principes were armed with a short spear called a hasta, but these fell out of use being replaced by the gladius. The third line, the triarii, continued to use the hasta. From the late 2nd century BC, all legionaries were equipped with the pilum; the pilum continued to be the standard legionary spear until the end of the 2nd century AD. Auxilia, were equipped with a simple hasta and throwing spears. During the 3rd century AD, although the pilum continued to be used, legionaries were equipped with other forms of throwing and thrusting spear, similar to auxilia of the previous century.
By the 4th century, the pilum had disappeared from common use. In the late period of the Roman Empire, the spear became more used because of its anti-cavalry capacities as the barbarian invasions were conducted by people with a developed culture of cavalry in warfare. Muslim warriors used a spear, called an az-zaġāyah. Berbers pronounced it zaġāya, but the English term, derived from the Old French via Berber, is "assegai", it is a pole weapon used for throwing or hurling a light spear or javelin made of hard wood and pointed with a forged iron tip. The az-zaġāyah played an important role during the Islamic conquest as well as during periods, well into the 20th century. A longer pole az-zaġāyah was being used as a hunting weapon from horseback; the az-zaġāyah was used. It existed in various forms in areas stretching from Southern Africa to the Indian subcontinent, although these place
The Limes Britannicus is a modern collective name sometimes used for those fortifications and defensive ramparts that were built to protect the north, the coasts, major transport routes of Roman Britain. These defences existed from the 1st to the 5th centuries AD and ran through the territory of present-day England and Wales. Britain was one of the most troubled regions in the European part of the Roman Empire and could only be secured by the Roman Army at considerable effort. Despite a rapid victory over the tribes in the south, which Claudius' field commander, Aulus Plautius, achieved in 43 AD for Rome, the resistance of the British was not broken for a long time afterwards; the Romans succeeded in further consolidating their rule in the period that followed, although the troops stationed there were overburdened by having to defend Britain on three fronts. The incursions of barbarians from the north of the island caused serious problems. To the west and south, the Britannic provinces had to be defended against Hibernian and Germanic attacks.
Against all odds, Britain was held for three centuries by the Roman Empire. In retrospect, the Roman domination of Britain is considered to be positive. For a long time there was prosperity on the island. Behind the protection of Hadrian's Wall and that formed by the natural coastal boundaries to the east and west, the region we now know as England was influenced by the achievements of Roman civilization. Hadrian's Wall and the castra on the Saxon Shore are still the most prominent symbols of Roman rule over Britain; the conquest of Britain was ordered in 43 AD by Emperor Claudius. Claudius had a low reputation among his troops and was forced - according to the tradition of emperors - to acquire glory on the battlefield in order to secure his rule permanently. Britannia had large deposits of precious metals, fertile soil and vast forests, which made it economically attractive to the Romans. Most of Great Britain was conquered in the first year of the invasion. However, this campaign sparked a long-running resistance by the native Britons against their occupiers that lasted for decades.
Following the Boudica Uprising, they succeeded in expelling the Roman Army from the island. It may have been that Claudius planned to occupy only the lowland regions of Britain. In the 1st century, the Romans had no clear idea. Roman influence was therefore continually extended as the borders of their conquered territory shifted several times. Time and again fighting broke out with the indigenous Celtic tribes in the border zones of the new province, compelling Roman troops to move into new areas in the west and north, in order to ensure the permanence of Roman rule and to secure their borders. In 80 AD, the army of Agricola penetrated well into Caledonian territory after his victory in the Battle of Mons Graupius. After attempts to permanently occupy the Highlands failed, the Romans fell back in 120 AD to the Stanegate line; the majority of troops in Britain had to continue to be stationed in the north. As protection against raids by pirates from Ireland, a powerful protection force was needed on the west coast.
In particular, the regions of Cumbria and Lancashire suffered time and again from the plundering of the Irish. During the reign of Hadrian, Britain was still not an peaceful province. Coin missions dating to this time indicate that Britain was in a "permanent state of defence" and pre-Roman tribal societies continued to occupy the outer regions of the island; the greatest danger was always posed by the Picts from who lived on the far side of the Scottish rivers, the Forth and the Clyde. Moreover, in the lands between these rivers and Hadrian’s Wall, the Central Lowlands, there were still four other Celtic tribes - the Votadini, Selgovae and Novantae - which Rome sought to incorporate in order to be able to neutralise their fighting power and make use of their farmland. To that end, road forts were built to protect Rome’s territorial claims. From 122, the northern border was secured by Hadrian's Wall; the fortifications on the coast of Cumbria, which were erected were intended to prevent the Wall being circumvented in the West.
Under Hadrian, the three legion camps were rebuilt in stone. In 140 AD, Roman troops advanced again against the Caledonians and built the Antonine Wall further to the north but, by 160, it had been abandoned. In the period 155-158 AD there was a revolt in Britain which led to heavy losses being inflicted on the local legions; these losses had to be made up by reinforcements from the Germanic Rhine provinces. At the end of the 2nd century seafaring Germanic peoples – the Angles and Franks - began to threaten the Gallic and British coasts with the first raids from the continent. During the course of the civil war that followed the election of Septimius Severus as emperor, his rival, Clodius Albinus, set forth for the continent in 197 with the Britannic army, but suffered a crushing defeat against Severus’ troops in the Battle of Lugdunum. In the 3rd century, Roman Britain underwent profound changes. With the return of soldiers to the island, their first task was to drive back the Picts, who had taken advantage of the absence of Roman troops to raid and plunder extensively.
As a result, Septimius Severus ordered a large-scale punitive expedition against the tribes north of Hadrian's Wall and reoccupied the Antonine Wall for a short time. Unlike the other provinces, Britain appeared stable and calm; the short-term separation of the island from the rest of the Empire under the usurper Carausius showed that this was an illusion and that the power of Ro
Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes
The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, or ORL, is a 550-kilometre-long section of the former external frontier of the Roman Empire between the rivers Rhine and Danube. It runs from Rheinbrohl to Eining on the Danube; the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is an archaeological site and, since 2005, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with the Lower Germanic Limes it forms part of the Limes Germanicus; the term limes meant "border path" or "swathe" in Latin. In Germany, "Limes" refers to the Rhaetian Limes and Upper Germanic Limes, collectively referred to as the Limes Germanicus. Both sections of limes are named after the adjacent Roman provinces of Germania Superior. In the Roman limites we have, for the first time in history defined territorial borders of a sovereign state that were visible on the ground to friend and foe alike. Most of the Upper German-Rhaetian Limes did not follow rivers or mountain ranges, which would have formed natural boundaries for the Roman Empire, it includes the longest land border in the European section of the limes, interrupted for only a few kilometres, by a section that follows the River Main between Großkrotzenburg and Miltenberg.
By contrast, elsewhere in Europe, the limes is defined by the rivers Rhine and Danube. The function of the Roman military frontiers has been discussed for some time; the latest research tends to view at least the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes not as a military demarcation line, but rather a monitored economic boundary for the non-Roman lands. The limes, it is argued, was not suitable for fending off systematic external attacks. Thanks to a skillful economic policy, the Roman Empire extended its influence far to the northeast, beyond the frontier. Evidence of this are the many border crossings which, although guarded by Roman soldiers, would have enabled a brisk trade, the numerous Roman finds in "Free Germania". Attempts were also made, to settle Roman legions beyond the limes or, more to recruit auxiliaries; as a result, the Romanization of the population extended beyond the limes. Interest in the limes as the remains of a site dating to the Roman period was rekindled in Germany at the time of the Renaissance and Renaissance humanism.
This was bolstered by the rediscovery of the Germania and Annales of Tacitus in monastic libraries in the 15th and early 16th centuries. Scholars like Simon Studion researched discovered forts. Studion led archaeological excavations of the Roman camp of Benningen on the Neckar section of the Neckar-Odenwald Limes. Local limes commissions were established but were confined to small areas, for example, in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or Grand Duchy of Baden, due to the political situation. Johann Alexander Döderlein was the first person to record the course of the limes in the Eichstätt region. In 1723, he was the first to interpret the meaning of the limes and published the first scholarly treatise about it in 1731. Only after the foundation of the German Empire could archaeologists begin to study more the route of the limes, about which there had only been a rudimentary knowledge; as a result, they were able to make the first systematic excavations in the second half of the 19th century. In 1892, the Imperial Limes Commission was established for this purpose in Berlin, under the direction of the ancient historian, Theodor Mommsen.
The work of this commission is considered pioneering for reworking of Roman provincial history. Productive were the first ten years of research, which worked out the course of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes and named the camps along the border; the research reports on the excavations were published from 1894 to the dissolution of the Commission in 1937. The individual reports went under the title of The Upper Rhaetian Limes of the Roman Empire, published in fifteen volumes, of which seven cover the route of the limes and eight cover the various camps and forts; the documents of the Imperial Limes Commission are now in the custody of the Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute. The RLK numbered the sections of the route, the forts and the watchtowers on the individual sections. In the course of this work the 550-kilometre-long route of the limes was surveyed, divided into sections and described; this division followed the administrative boundaries in 19th-century Germany and not that of ancient Rome: Section 1: Rheinbrohl – Bad Ems Section 2: Bad Ems – Adolfseck near Bad Schwalbach Section 3: Adolfseck near Bad Schwalbach – Taunus – Köpperner Tal Section 4: Köpperner Tal – Wetterau – Marköbel Section 5: Marköbel – Großkrotzenburg am Main Section 6a: Hainstadt – Wörth am Main Section 6b: Trennfurt – Miltenberg Section 7: Miltenberg – Walldürn – Buchen-Hettingen Section 8: Buchen-Hettingen – Osterburken – Jagsthausen Section 9: Jagsthausen – Öhringen – Mainhardt – Welzheim – Alfdorf-Pfahlbronn Section 10: Wörth am Main – Bad Wimpfen Section 11: Bad Wimpfen – Köngen Section 12: Alfdorf-Pfahlbronn – Lorch – Rotenbachtal near Schwäbisch Gmünd – Aalen – Stödtlen Section 13: Mönchsroth – Weiltingen-Ruffenhofen - Gunzenhausen Section 14: Gunzenhausen – Weißenburg – Kipfenberg Section 15: Kipfenberg – Eining Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes in general Dietwulf Baatz: Der römische Limes.
Archäologische Ausflüge zwischen Rhein und Donau. 4th edn. Gebrüder Mann, Berlin, 2000, ISBN 3-7861-1701-2. Thomas Becker
The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned 63 kilometres and was about 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. Lidar scans have been carried out to establish the length of the wall and the Roman distance units used. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side, it is thought. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in what the English once called Northern Britain, its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south because the turf and wood wall has weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor. Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, took about 12 years to complete. Antoninus Pius never visited Britain. Pressure from the Caledonians may have led Antoninus to send the empire's troops further north.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them. The soldiers who built the wall commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs, twenty of which survive; the wall was abandoned only eight years after completion, the garrisons relocated back to Hadrian's Wall. In 208 Emperor Septimius ordered repairs; the occupation ended a few years and the wall was never fortified again. Most of the wall and its associated fortifications have been destroyed over time, but some remains are visible. Many of these have come under the care of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall around 142. Quintus Lollius Urbicus, governor of Roman Britain at the time supervised the effort, which took about twelve years to complete; the wall stretches 63 kilometres from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to extend Roman territory and dominance by replacing Hadrian's Wall 160 kilometres to the south, as the frontier of Britannia.
But while the Romans did establish many forts and temporary camps further north of the Antonine Wall in order to protect their routes to the north of Scotland, they did not conquer the Caledonians, the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may refer to the whole area north of Hadrian's Wall; the Antonine Wall was shorter than Hadrian's Wall and built of turf on a stone foundation, but it was still an impressive achievement. It was a simpler fortification than Hadrian's Wall insofar as it did not have a subsidiary ditch system behind it to the south, as Hadrian's Wall did with its Vallum; the stone foundations and wing walls of the original forts on the Antonine Wall demonstrate that the original plan was to build a stone wall similar to Hadrian's Wall, but this was amended. As built, the wall was a bank, about four metres high, made of layered turves and earth with a wide ditch on the north side, a military way on the south.
The Romans planned to build forts every 10 kilometres, but this was soon revised to every 3.3 kilometres, resulting in a total of nineteen forts along the wall. The best preserved but one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort. In addition to the forts, there are at least 9 smaller fortlets likely on Roman mile spacings, which formed part of the original scheme, some of which were replaced by forts; the most visible fortlet is Kinneil, at the eastern end of the Wall, near Bo'ness. There was once a remarkable Roman structure within sight of the Antonine Wall at Stenhousemuir; this was Arthur's O'on, a circular stone domed monument or rotunda, which may have been a temple, or a tropaeum, a victory monument. It was demolished for its stone in 1743. In addition to the line of the Wall itself there are a number of coastal forts both in the East and West, which should be considered as outposts and/or supply bases to the Wall itself. In addition a number of forts farther north were brought back into service in the Gask Ridge area, including Ardoch, Strageath and Dalginross and Cargill.
Recent research by Glasgow University has shown that the distance stones, stone sculptures unique to the Antonine Wall which were embedded in the wall to mark the lengths built by each legion, were brightly painted unlike their present bare appearance. These stones are preserved in the University's museum and are said to be the best-preserved examples of statuary from any Roman frontier. Several of the slabs have been analysed by various techniques including portable X-ray fluorescence. Tiny remnants of paint have been detected by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Several of the distance slabs have been scanned and 3-D videos produced. There are plans to reproduce the slabs, both digitally and in real physical copies, with their authentic colours. A copy of the Bridgeness Slab has been made and can be found in Bo'ness, it is expected that lottery funding will allow replicas of distance markers to be placed along the length of the wall. The wall was abandoned onl