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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behind the actual frontier there is, at a distance of ten or fifteen miles, a
second frontier known as the " Miimlinglinie." Both these lines existed
together. About 145 a.d., just at the time when the Vallum of Pius was
made, the inner German line was strengthened, and then, or perhaps
before, the outer line was erected. Moreover, the corresponding forts on
each line were held by the same regiments, one part probably holding the
outer and one the inner fort. The parallel, as I have said, is not precise.
The English lines are much further apart, and there is no correspondence
between the garrisons of correspondingly placed forts ; for example, the
garrisons of western mural forts appear at the eastern end of the northern
vallum. Close similarity is, however, not to be expected. The Roman
Empire, as Mommsen has well said, was as much a confederacy of provinces
as a centralised administration. The German Limes is differently built
even in the adjoining provinces of Upper Germany and Raetia : so that
greater differences between German and British frontiers are not only
intelligible but inevitable. Thus much we may perhaps assert, that the idea
of double frontier lines was not strange to the age of Pius.

The object of the duplication can only be conjectured, and if we try to
conjecture, we come at once to the problem, why did Pius thus advance into
Scotland ? It was not, we know, from earth-hunger or commercial greed.
Roman civilisation, town-life and villa-system, trade and agriculture ended
in the Vale of York, far south even of Hadrian's Wall, and the occupation of
northern England was entirely military. It was plainly an advance such as
the English have often had to make in North-west India, to ensure the
frontier from dangerous attack. The particular form which it assumed may
be explained by a characteristic feature of Roman frontier policy, by which
a broad belt of uninhabitated land, a glacis on a great scale, was maintained
outside the actual frontier, and the danger of night raiding and cattle lifting,
as of more serious attack, was considerably diminished. Pius, I think,
intended by his vallum to secure some quiet in the district between the
two walls, to relieve the pressure of attack on Hadrian's lines by what I will
call a "breakwater," to push the Caledonian back and to isolate effectually the
untamed Brigantes of the Yorkshire moors and Cumberland fells. This
theory, I think, suits the conditions of the problem, though for the present
it must remain a theory. Whatever theory be adopted, however, I would
repeat what I have already said, that no indications exist of an abandonment
or evacuation of Hadrian's Wall; whatever Pius meant by his vallum, it
was in addition to, not instead of, Hadrian's Wall.

I reach here my last point, the length of time during which the Romans
held the vallum. Different scholars have decided this problem differently.
Mommsen, the greatest, argues for a long occupation and a reconstruction by
Severus, whose alleged wall-building he thus explains. It is never safe to
differ from Mommsen, but on the present occasion I must do so, and for this
reason, that I can detect no trace of Roman garrisons on the wall, or of any
general occupation of Scotland by Romans, later than the reign of Marcus
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