Glasgow Archaeological Society   [Hrsg.]
The Antonine Wall report: being an account of excavations, etc., made under the direction of the Glasgow Archæological Society during 1890 - 93 — Glasgow, 1899

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GLASGOW ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY.

too,1 had, in a parenthesis of a curious address to auxiliary
troops serving in Numidia, left a deeply interesting and con-
clusive testimony to the existence and primary utility of the
sod in fortification, cut to a definite model, and easily carried,
handled, and built up. The rampart of sods thus described
by the military authors was, it will be observed, a small
rampart of sods cut approximately to a definite standard of
length, breadth, and thickness. These were sods or turf, in
the strictest sense of the term, cut from the surface of the
ground, and held together by the vegetation (" the roots of
grasses," as Vegetius phrases it) that had grown upon them.
They were cut brick-shaped, approximately 1\ feet long by
1 foot broad. They were built " like a wall"—that is to
say, they were laid row upon row in much the same fashion
as if, instead of sods, they had been bricks. It is suggested
that the term velut mv/rws refers also to the well-known
structural fact that, where the height is not great, sods will
stand at a slope nearly pei-pendicular. Such, then, was the
first kind of rampart described by the Roman military authors.

The second kind of earthen rampart was formed pari passu
with the making of the ditch. As the loose promiscuous earth
was dug out, it was heaped up into an agger, which, in the more
elaborate fortifications, had its stability strengthened not only
with stakes, but with tree branches " interposed " to prevent the

1 Address to the equites of the sixth cohort of Commageni, from a stone pillar
found at Lambaesae. C.I.L. viii. 2532.

Munitiones quas alii per plures dies
divisissent eas uno die peregistis,
murum longi operis et qualis mansuris
hibernaculis fieri solet non multo
diutius extrucxistis quam eaespite
exstruitur qui modulo pari caesus et
vehitiir facile et tractatur et sine
molestia struitur tit mollis et planus
pro natura sua vos lapidibus grandibus
inaequalibus [extruxistis] quos neque
vehere neque locare quis possit nisi ut
inequalitates inter se conpareant;
fossam glaria duram scabramque recte
percussistis et radendo levem red-
didistis.

The military works which others
would have extended over some days,
you have completed in one. You have
erected an elaborate wall, such as is
usually made for winter quarters,
in little more time than it would have
taken to construct it of sod—which,
being cut of equal size, is both easily
carried, and easily handled, and built
without trouble, as it is soft and level
by nature. You have built yours of
huge uneven stones which one can
neither carry nor place in position
without the unevenness between them
appearing. A fosse also, hard and
rough because of the rocky soil, you
cut out well, and by trimming made it
smooth.
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