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Roman guards. Source: Martin / Adobe Stock.

Could You Survive as A Roman Soldier On Hadrian’s Wall? (Video)


Hadrian's Wall, a monumental fortification stretching 73 miles across second-century Britain, served as the northern limit of the Roman Empire. Defending the wall were approximately 9,000 auxiliary troops drafted from various provinces, including Romania, Syria, and North Africa. Roman soldiers on the wall faced significant challenges. Legionaries, protected by gall helmets and segmental armor, enjoyed comprehensive defense. Auxiliaries, lacking Roman citizenship, wielded longer swords but carried smaller shields. Both soldiers bore the weight of their armor and weaponry, including lead-weighted javelins known as pilum.

Training on Hadrian's Wall demanded exceptional endurance and discipline, with daily marches of up to 20 miles testing their limits. Constant vigilance was necessary due to the threat posed by tribes like the Brigantes. Over time, the wall evolved from turf and wood to robust stone fortifications. Soldiers resided within the forts while civilians lived in settlements outside. With the decline of Roman Britain, the field army withdrew, and frontier troops received alternative forms of compensation. Hadrian's Wall stands as a testament to the resilience and legacy of Roman soldiers.

Top image: Roman guards. Source: Martin / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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