The Auxilia constituted the standing non-citizen corps of the Imperial Roman army during the Principate era, alongside the citizen legions. By the 2nd century, the Auxilia contained the same number of infantry as the legions and, in addition, provided all of the Roman army's cavalry and more specialised troops; the auxilia thus represented three-fifths of Rome's regular land forces at that time. Like their legionary counterparts, auxiliary recruits were volunteers, not conscripts; the Auxilia were recruited from the peregrini, free provincial subjects who did not hold Roman citizenship and constituted the vast majority of the population in the 1st and 2nd centuries. In contrast to the legions, which only admitted Roman citizens, members of the Auxilia could be recruited from territories outside of Roman control. Reliance on the various contingents of non-Italic troops cavalry, increased when the Roman Republic employed them in increasing numbers to support its legions after 200 BC; the Julio-Claudian period saw the transformation of the Auxilia from motley levies to a standing corps with standardised structure and conditions of service.
By the end of the period, there were no significant differences between legionaries and auxiliaries in terms of training, thus, combat capability. Auxiliary regiments were stationed in provinces other than that in which they were raised, for reasons of security and to foster the process of Romanisation in the provinces; the regimental names of many auxiliary units persisted into the 4th century, but by the units in question were different in size and quality from their predecessors. The mainstay of the Roman republic's war machine was the manipular legion, a heavy infantry unit suitable for close-quarter engagements on more or less any terrain, adopted sometime during the Samnite Wars. Despite its formidable strength, the legion had a number of deficiencies a lack of cavalry. Around 200 BC, a legion of 4,200 infantry had a cavalry arm of only 300 horse; this was because the class of citizens who could afford to pay for their own horse and equipment – the equestrian order, the second rank in Roman society, after the senatorial order – was small.
In addition, the legion lacked missile forces such as archers. Until 200 BC, the bulk of a Roman army's cavalry was provided by Rome's regular Italian allies known as the "Latin" allies, which made up the Roman military confederation; this was Rome's defence system until the Social War of 91–88 BC. The Italian forces were organised into alae. An allied ala, commanded by 3 Roman praefecti sociorum, was similar or larger in infantry size to a legion, but contained a more substantial cavalry contingent: 900 horse, three times the legionary contingent. Since a pre-Social War consular army always contained an equal number of legions and alae, 75% of its cavalry was provided by the Latin allies; the overall cavalry element, c. 12% of the total force, was greater than in most peninsular Italian forces, but well below the overall 21% cavalry component, typical of the Principate army. The Roman/Latin cavalry was sufficient while Rome was in conflict with other states in the mountainous Italian peninsula, which disposed of limited cavalry resources.
But, as Rome was confronted by external enemies that deployed far more powerful cavalry elements, such as the Gauls and the Carthaginians, the Roman deficiency in cavalry numbers could be a serious liability, which in the Second Punic War resulted in crushing defeats. Hannibal's major victories at the Trebia and at Cannae, were owed to his Spanish and Gallic heavy cavalry, which far outnumbered the Roman and Latin levies, to his Numidians, fast cavalry which the Romans wholly lacked; the decisive Roman victory at Zama in 202 BC, which ended the war, owed much to the Numidian cavalry provided by king Massinissa, which outnumbered the Roman/Latin cavalry fielded by 2 to 1. From Roman armies were always accompanied by large numbers of non-Italian cavalry: Numidian light cavalry and Gallic heavy cavalry. For example, Caesar relied on Gallic and German cavalry for his Conquest of Gaul; as the role of native cavalry grew, that of Roman/Latin cavalry diminished. In the early 1st century BC, Roman cavalry was phased out altogether.
After the Social War, the socii were all granted Roman citizenship, the Latin alae abolished, the socii recruited into the legions. Furthermore, Roman equestrians were no longer required to perform cavalry service after this time; the late Republican legion was thus bereft of cavalry. By the outbreak of the Second Punic War, the Romans were remedying the legions' other deficiencies by using non-Italian specialised troops. Livy reports Hiero of Syracuse offering to supply Rome with archers and slingers in 217 BC. From 200 BC onwards, specialist troops were hired as mercenaries on a regular basis: sagittarii from Crete, funditores from the Balearic Isles always accompanied Roman legions in campaigns all over the Mediterranean; the other main sources of non-Italian troops in the late Republic were subject provincials, allied cities and Rome's amici. During the
The Wetterau Limes is the name given in the field of historical research to that part of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes which enclosed the region that became known as the Wetterau in the German state of Hesse. During the two campaigns of the Roman Emperor Domitian against the Chatti, the Romans began to cut swathes of open ground through the dense forests of today's Hesse, in order to prevent their columns from being ambushed. On the crest of the Taunus mountain range, such a swathe served as a surveillance route. After the end of the Chatti Wars, the Romans began to secure these conquered regions east of the Rhine with a limes - a line of forts, fortlets and palisades; the forest road was guarded by wooden watchtowers to ensure continuous observation. This ensured that the southern slopes of the Taunus mountains and the fertile and strategically important Wetterau became part of the Roman Empire. In addition to the establishment of this frontier, Domitian turned the two Germanic military territories of Upper and Lower Germanian into Roman provinces.
In spite of this rather modest conquest, he was subsequently celebrated in Rome with great pomp as a triumphator and coins were minted with the ambitious claim Germania capta. The propaganda nature of this policy is evinced by the fact that in the narrow province of Upper Germania there were hardly any Germanii, the area was populated entirely by Celts; the long-held conviction that the Neckar-Odenwald Limes was erected at the same time as the Wetterau Limes after the Chatti wars, is now regarded as having been rejected. Although there were Roman military outposts on the eastern side of the Rhine from the seventies, the border running along the Odenwald-Neckar Line to Donnstetten is now dated by most sources as having not been erected before 98 AD; the state of preservation of the limes is poor due to the heavy agricultural use of the Wetterau. Only a few sections on the foothills of the Taunus, at Echzell and east of Hanau are visible above ground. In the early days of limes research, this situation meant that the eastern Wetterau section remained undiscovered.
This was not disproved until the 1880s by excavations of the Hanauer Geschichtsverein under Albert Duncker and Georg Wolff. Like the other sections of the Upper German-Raetian Limes, the Wetterau Limes was reinforced and expanded. In the eastern Wetterau the dates when the individual forts were first built are not uniform, it is clear that there was a defensive line from Oberflorstadt via Heldenbergen and Hanau-Mittelbuchen to Hanau-Salisberg The forts on the line further east from Marköbel via Rückingen to Großkrotzenburg were not built until the time of Trajan. The neighbouring Taunus line was reinforced in the second half of the second century by the numerus forts of Holzhausen, Kleiner Feldberg and Kapersburg; the further expansion of the limes defences to the north of the Wetterau was in order to protect its fertile soils on the one hand and to meet the high demand for the supply of the troops stationed on the limes and legion camps in Mainz. Archaeobotanical studies have calculated that an annual requirement of 3,034 tons of grain and 10,371 tons of hay were required to supply for the north-facing bulge of the limes in the Wetterau.
The end of the Wetterau Limes came in the year 259-260 AD, when Rome abandoned all areas to the east of the Rhine. Thus, for example, the pottery trade, once flourishing in the Wetterau came to a standstill. Imports of pottery from the Rhineland dominate archaeological collections from the second third of the 3rd century. Bricks found in the area do not seem to have been fired as they used to be. More and more older building material was used instead. Hypocaust heating was replaced by much simpler heating pipe systems. From the border area, there are other interesting finds which shed further light on the period of the limes; this includes the treasure of Ober-Florstadt, concealed during the course of Germanic invasions in AD 233. In 1603, the inscription of a collegium iuventutis was discovered in the area around Altenstadt Roman Fort; this may have been a unit set up to act as a local militia. Kapersburg Roman Fort was reduced during its last days. There is evidence of a local unit, a numberus nidensium, raised in the civitas capital of Nida-Heddernheim.
Lochmühle Fortlet Kapersburg Roman Fort Ockstädter Wald Fortlet Kaisergrube Fortlet Am Eichkopf Fortlet Langenhain Roman Fort Hunnenkirchhof Fortlet Butzbach Roman Fort Degerfeld Fortlet Dicker Wald Fortlet Holzheimer Unterwald Fortlet Hainhaus Fortlet Arnsburg Roman Fort Langsdorf Fortlet Feldheimer Wald Fortlet Inheiden Roman Fort Auf dem Wingertsberg Fortlet Massohl Fortlet Auf der Burg Fortlet Haselheck Fortlet Echzell Roman Fort Lochberg Fortlet Staden Fortlet Ober-Florstadt Roman Fort Stammheim Fortlet Altenstadt Roman Fort Auf dem Buchkopf Fortlet Marköbel Roman Fort Langendiebach Fortlet Rückingen Roman Fort Neuwirtshaus Fortlet Großkrotzenburg Roman Fort The following museums have a permanent exhibition on the Wetterau Limes or individual sites along it: Saalburg Museum, Bad Homburg Wetterau Museum, Friedberg Butzbach Municipal Museum Limes Information Centre at Hof Graß Echzell Local History Museum Heuson Museum, Büdingen Erlensee-Rückingen Local History Museum Schloss Steinheim Museum Großkrotzenburg Museum Limes Dietwulf Baatz and Fritz-Rudolf
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
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office, his success as a military commander in Sulla's second civil war resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. His Roman adversaries insulted him as adulescentulus carnifex, "the teenage butcher", after his Sicilian campaign, he celebrated three triumphs. In mid-60 BC, Pompey joined Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate, which Pompey's marriage to Caesar's daughter Julia helped secure. After the deaths of Julia and Crassus, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate.
Pompey and Caesar contended for the leadership of the Roman state, leading to a civil war. When Pompey was defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated, his career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Empire. Pompey was born in Picenum to a local noble family. Pompey's father, Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, was first of his family to achieve senatorial status, despite the anti-rural prejudice of the Roman Senate; the Romans referred to Strabo as a novus homo. Pompeius Strabo ascended the traditional cursus honorum, becoming quaestor in 104 BC, praetor in 92 BC and consul in 89 BC, he acquired a reputation for political double-dealing and military ruthlessness. He fought the Social War against Rome's Italian allies, he supported Sulla, who belonged to the optimates, the pro-aristocracy faction, against Marius, who belonged to the populares, in Sulla's first civil war. He died during the siege of Rome by the Marians, in 87 BC—either as a casualty of an epidemic, or by having been struck by lightning.
His twenty-year-old son Pompey inherited his estates, the loyalty of his legions. Pompey had served two years under his father's command, had participated in the final part of the Social War; when his father died, Pompey was put on trial due to accusations that his father stole public property. As his father's heir, Pompey could be held to account, he discovered. Following his preliminary bouts with his accuser, the judge took a liking to Pompey and offered his daughter Antistia in marriage. Pompey was acquitted. Another civil war broke out between the Marians and Sulla in 83–82 BC; the Marians had taken over Rome while Sulla was fighting the First Mithridatic War against Mithridates VI of Pontus in Greece. In 83 BC, Sulla returned from landing in Brundisium in southern Italy. Pompey raised three legions in Picenum to support Sulla's march on Rome against the Marian regime of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Gaius Marius the Younger. Cassius Dio described Pompey's troop levy as a "small band". Sulla was appointed as Dictator.
He thought that he was useful for the administration of his affairs. He and his wife, persuaded Pompey to divorce Antistia and marry Sulla's stepdaughter Aemilia Scaura. Plutarch commented that the marriage was "characteristic of a tyranny, benefitted the needs of Sulla rather than the nature and habits of Pompey, Aemilia being given to him in marriage when she was with child by another man." Antistia had lost both her parents. Pompey accepted, but "Aemilia had scarcely entered Pompey's house before she succumbed to the pains of childbirth." Pompey married Mucia Tertia. We have no record of; the sources only mentioned Pompey divorcing her. Plutarch wrote that Pompey dismissed with contempt a report that she had had an affair while he was fighting in the Third Mithridatic War between and 66 BC and 63 BC. However, on his journey back to Rome he examined the evidence more and filed for divorce. Cicero wrote that the divorce was approved. Cassius Dio wrote that she was the sister of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer and that Metellus Celer was angry because he had divorced her despite having had children by her.
Pompey and Mucia had three children: The eldest, Gnaeus Pompey, Pompeia Magna, a daughter, Sextus Pompey, the younger son. Cassius Dio wrote, he was condemned to death, but released for the sake of his mother Mucia. The survivors of the Marians, those who were exiled after they lost Rome and those who escaped Sulla's persecution of his opponents, were given refuge in Sicily by Marcus Perpenna Vento. Papirius Carbo had a fleet there, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus had forced an entry into the Roman province of Africa. Sulla sent Pompey to Sicily with a large force. According to Plutarch, Perpenna left Sicily to Pompey; the Sicilian cities had been treated harshly by Pompey treated them with kindness. Pompey "treated Carbo in his misfortunes with an unnatural insolence", taking Carbo in fetters to a tribunal he presided over, examining him "to the distress and vexation of the audience", sentencing him to death. Pompey treated Quintus Valerius "with unnatural cruelty", his opp
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
The Latin noun līmes had a number of different meanings: a path or balk delimiting fields, a boundary line or marker, any road or path, any channel, such as a stream channel, or any distinction or difference. The term was commonly used after the 3rd century AD to denote a military district under the command of a dux limitis. Limes has sometimes been adopted in modern times for a border defence or delimiting system of Ancient Rome marking the boundaries and provinces of the Roman Empire, but it was not used by the Romans for the imperial frontier, fortified or not; some experts suggested that the so-called limes may have been called Munimentum Traiani, Trajan's Bulwark, referring to a passage by Ammianus Marcellinus, according to which emperor Julian had reoccupied this fortification in 360 AD. The limites represented the border line of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 2nd century AD, it stretched more than 5,000 km from the Atlantic coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.
The remains of the limites today consist of vestiges of walls, forts and civilian settlements. Certain elements of the line have been excavated, some reconstructed, a few destroyed; the two sections of the limes in Germany cover a length of 550 km from the north-west of the country to the Danube in the south-east. The 118 km long Hadrian's Wall was built on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian c. AD 122 at the northernmost limits of the Roman province of Britannia, it is a striking example of the organization of a military zone and illustrates the defensive techniques and geopolitical strategies of ancient Rome. The Antonine Wall, a 60 km-long fortification in Scotland, was started by Emperor Antoninus Pius in AD 142 as a defense against the "Barbarians" of the north, it constitutes the northwestern-most portion of the Roman Limes. The most notable examples of Roman limites are: Hadrian's Wall – Limes Britannicus Antonine Wall – in Scotland Saxon Shore, late Roman limes in South-East England Limes Germanicus, with the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes Limes Arabicus, the frontier of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea facing the desert Limes Tripolitanus, the frontier in modern Libya facing the Sahara Limes Alutanus, the eastern border of the Roman province of Dacia Limes Transalutanus, the frontier in the lower Danube Limes Moesiae, the frontier of the Roman province Moesia, from Singidunum Serbia along the Danube to Moldavia.
Limes Norici, the frontier of the Roman province Noricum, from the River Inn along the Danube to Cannabiaca in Austria. Limes Pannonicus, the frontier of the Roman province Pannonia, along the Danube from Klosterneuburg Austria to Taurunum in Serbia. Fossatum Africae, the southern frontier of the Roman Empire, extending south of the Roman province of Africa in North-Africa. A mediaeval limes is the Limes Saxoniae in Holstein; the stem of limes, limit-, which can be seen in the genitive case, marks it as the ancestor of an entire group of important words in many languages, for example, English limit. Modern languages have multiplied its abstract formulations. For example, from limit comes the abbreviation lim, used in mathematics to designate the limit of a sequence or a function: see limit. In metaphysics, material objects are limited by matter and therefore are delimited from each other. In ethics, men are wise if they do. An etymology was given in some detail by Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch.
According to him, it comes from Indo-European el-, elei-, lei-, "to bow", "to bend", "elbow". The Latin meaning was discussed in detail by W. Gebert; the sense is. The limes was a cross-path or a cross-wall, which the Romans meant to throw across the path of invaders to hinder them, it is a defensive strategy. The Romans never built limites; as the emperor had ordered the army to stay within the limites, except for punitive expeditions, these were as much a mental barrier as material. The groups of Germanic warriors harrying the limes during summer used the concept to full advantage, knowing that they could concentrate and supply themselves outside the limes without fear of preemptive strikes. In a few cases, they were wrong; the limit concept engendered a sentiment among the soldiers that they were being provoked by the Germanic raiders and were held back from just retaliation by a weak and incompetent administration: they were being sold out. So they mutinied; the best remedy for a mutiny was an expedition across the limes against the enemy.
Toward the empire, the soldiers assassinated emperors who preferred diplomacy and put their own most popular officers into the vacant office. Roman writers and subsequent authors who depended on them presented the limes as some sort of sacred border beyond which human beings did not transgress, if they did, it was evidence that they had passed the bounds of reason and civilization. To cross the border was the mark of a savage, they wrote of the Alemanni failing to respect the limes as if they had passed the final limitation of character and had committed themselves to perdition. The Alemanni, on the other hand, never regarded the border as legitimate in the first place, they viewed the Romans as foreigners, who changed native place names and intruded on native homes and families. They were only to be tolerated because they were willing to pay cash for the privilege and offered the blandishments of civilized life. According to Pokorny, Latin limen, "threshold"
Hadrian's Wall called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, was the northern limit of the Roman Empire north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts, it had a stone wall. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, military way and vallum, another ditch with adjoining mounds, it is thought the milecastles were staffed with static garrisons, whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry. In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates may have been customs posts. A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path; the largest Roman archaeological feature anywhere, it runs a total of 73 miles in northern England.
Regarded as a British cultural icon, Hadrian's Wall is one of Britain's major ancient tourist attractions. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. In comparison, the Antonine wall, thought by some to be based on Hadrian's wall, was not declared a World Heritage site until 2008, it is a common misconception that Hadrian's Wall marks the boundary between Scotland. In fact Hadrian's Wall lies within England and has never formed the Anglo-Scottish border. While it is less than 0.6 mi south of the border with Scotland in the west at Bowness-on-Solway, in the east at Wallsend it is as much as 68 miles away. Hadrian's Wall was 117.5 km long. East of the River Irthing, the wall was made from squared stone and measured 3 metres wide and 5 to 6 metres high, while west of the river the wall was made from turf and measured 6 metres wide and 3.5 metres high. These dimensions do not include the wall's ditches and forts; the central section measured eight Roman feet wide on a 3 m base. Some parts of this section of the wall survive to a height of 3 m.
South of the wall, a large ditch was dug, with adjoining parallel mounds, one on either side. This is known today as the Vallum though the word vallum in Latin is the origin of the English word wall, does not refer to a ditch. In many places – for example Limestone Corner – the Vallum is better preserved than the wall, robbed of much of its stone. Hadrian's Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending a short but unknown distance west of the village of Bowness-on-Solway; the A69 and B6318 roads follow the course of the wall from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle along the northern coast of Cumbria. Although the curtain wall ends near Bowness-on-Solway, this does not mark the end of the line of defensive structures; the system of milecastles and turrets is known to have continued along the Cumbria coast as far as Risehow, south of Maryport. For classification purposes, the milecastles west of Bowness-on-Solway are referred to as Milefortlets.
Hadrian's Wall was planned before Hadrian's visit to Britain in 122. According to restored sandstone fragments found in Jarrow which date from 118 or 119, it was Hadrian's wish to keep "intact the empire", imposed on him via "divine instruction". Although Hadrian's biographer wrote " was the first to build a wall 80 miles long to separate the Romans from the barbarians", reasons for the construction of the wall vary, no recording of an exact explanation survives. Theories have been presented by historians of an expression of Roman power and Hadrian's policy of defence before expansion. On his accession to the throne in 117, there was unrest and rebellion in Roman Britain and from the peoples of various conquered lands across the Empire, including Egypt, Judea and Mauritania; these troubles may have influenced Hadrian's plan to construct the wall as well as his construction of limites in other areas of the Empire, but to what extent is unknown. Scholars disagree over how much of a threat the inhabitants of northern Britain presented and whether there was any economic advantage in defending and garrisoning a fixed line of defences like the Wall, rather than conquering and annexing what has become the Scottish Lowlands and defending the territory with a loose arrangement of forts.
The limites of Rome were never expected to stop tribes from migrating or armies from invading, while a frontier protected by a palisade or stone wall would help curb cattle-raiders and the incursions of other small groups, the economic viability of constructing and keeping guarded a wall 72 miles long along a sparsely populated border to stop small-scale raiding is dubious. Another possible explanation for the wall is the degree of control it would have provided over immigration and customs. Limites did not mark the boundaries of the empire: Roman power and influence extended beyond the walls. People within and beyond the limites travelled through it each day when conducting business, organised check-points like those offered by Hadrian's Wall provided good opportunities for taxation. With watch towers only a short distance from gateways in the limites, patrolling legionaries could have kept track of