My first full-length short story. I’m hoping to place future chapters of this story on an alternate history timeline, but for now there are no big-picture deviations from the original timeline. Comments and constructive criticism welcome.
Length: 22 pages and 7,300 words (not counting the title page, footnotes, or author’s notes at the end)
They were found in Lingwell Gate in West Yorkshire, between
Leeds and Wakefield. Dated to 180-225 AD they would have been used to create
forgeries of official Roman coinage. This was a popular thing to do before the
debasement of the silver coins in later years.
A Roman knife handle
from Syston, Lincolnshire. Only a few erotic knife handles have been found in
Britain and this handle is of a new type. It depicts an erotic scene between
two men and a woman, and a decapitated head.
Aerial view of the Wall at Cawfields, looking east, showing Cawfields
milecastle. The line of the Vallum – the earthwork to the south of the
Wall – can be seen in the background
Permanent conquest of Britain began in AD 43. By about AD 100 the
northernmost army units in Britain lay along the Tyne–Solway isthmus.
The forts here were linked by a road, now known as the Stanegate,
between Corbridge and Carlisle.
Hadrian came to Britain in AD 122 and, according to a biography written
200 years later, ‘put many things to right and was the first to build a
wall 80 miles long from sea to sea to separate the barbarians from the
The building of Hadrian’s Wall probably began that year, and took at
least six years to complete. The original plan was for a wall of stone
or turf, with a guarded gate every mile and two observation towers in
between, and fronted by a wide, deep ditch. Before work was completed,
14 forts were added, followed by an earthwork known as the Vallum to the
Its military effectiveness has been questioned by many scholars over
the years owing to its length and the positioning of the fortifications
along the route. Regarding this, Professors Scarre and Fagan write,
Archaeologists and historians have long debated whether Hadrian’s
Wall was an effective military barrier…Whatever its military
effectiveness, however, it was clearly a powerful symbol of Roman military
might. The biographer of Hadrian remarks that the emperor built the
wall to separate the Romans from the barbarians. In the same way, the
Chinese emperors built the Great Wall to separate China
from the barbarous steppe peoples to the north. In both cases, in
addition to any military function, the physical barriers served in the
eyes of their builders to reinforce the conceptual divide between
civilized and noncivilized. They were part of the ideology of empire. (Ancient Civilizations, 313)
The construction of the wall began in 122 CE, under the reign of
Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was 80 Roman miles (73 miles) long. Its width
and height depended on the availability of the materials then.
Apparently a frontier, it was designed to be permeable, to supervise not to deny movement.
As time passed the job of guarding the surrounding
countryside then gradually fell to men who were recruited from the
local population. Manning Hadrians Wall was eventually viewed as a good
job by the local population and the job of manning it was passed from
father to son, much as with any other occupations of the era.
Initially, it was built in two parts, with the west side of the
wall built first with turfs, so as to quicken the process of
construction. Once the Wall was built, it is assumed to be covered in
plaster, then white-washed to reflect the sunbeams which could be
visible from far away.
Camps of people would accompany each
of soldiers at the wall, although little is known of
these communities and they weren’t permitted to settle between the Wall
and the ditch (or Vallum) that ran along its length.
The barrier was the first of two “great walls” created by the Romans in Northern Britain. Years later,
on AD 142, the construction of the “Antonine Wall” started at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius
16 Roman forts were built along the wall - these forts could house up to 800 Roman troops and afforded even greater control across the boundary.
On the north side a deep defensive ditch was dug -
ensuring that it could only be crossed through the Roman controlled
Milecastles or Forts.
In 1987, Hadrian’s Wall was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Old King Cole” was a real person. Coel was a fourth-century British prince who is said to be the father of St. Helen, who was the mother of Roman emperor Constantine. Coel appreciated music, which may be why the nursery rhyme makes mention of “his fiddlers three”.
Queen Boudicca is believed to be buried on a site now covered by the number 10 platform of King’s Cross Station.
There were ancient kings with such melodious names as “Offa,” “Ecgfrith,” “Eadwig,” and “Harthacnut."
Aethelred the Unready was king of England – twice. The first time, he was deposed by a Danish king. But when he died, Aethelred returned from exile in Normandy, France, and ruled until his natural death.