Talk:Vallum Aelium

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Following the departure of the Romans, the pentapolis was consumed by internal political power struggles, and many warlords recruited from among the homesteaders just across the aemilii mountains, depopulating the north face. when things began to settle, some of these towns thought they could expand southward by semi-organized repopulation. ultimately this geopolitical maneuver failed, however, but the cultural legacy was that an osmotic transfer of Faelish culture and Vallo-Roman culture extended up the mountains and into the valleys of the north face, and down into the foothills and lowlands of the upper midlands, respectively. (this would make a good map).

⬆ the above can be a small sidebar portion of the history of the wall or wall region, and the main article can be the Rumanha page, which is de facto a history of the wall region. Rumanha is a cultural region of intermixing of Faelish and vallo-roman cultures, mostly on the south face of the wall. but the story is largely one of the people, not a political entity. the Rumanha are something like the Wallachs of the region. Politically the vhallonesians never projected political control over the mountains, but cultural influence was significant expsecially among the peasantry. Nevertheless the Rumanhese were a significant segment of the population and were taken into consideration by the local lords.

features/ construction

other walls (inspiration)


(Latin: Rigore Valli Aeli, "the line along Hadrian's frontier").

i am thinking that perhaps it is built later than hadrians, as a further example based on the success of hadrians in britain. and also on a much more limited scale

notes on the latin from wiki article about contemporary name: The only ancient source for its provenance is the Augustan History. No sources survive to confirm what the wall was called in antiquity, and no historical literary source gives it a name. However, the discovery of the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan in Staffordshire in 2003 has provided a clue. This small enamelled bronze Roman trulla (ladle), dating to the 2nd century AD, is inscribed with a series of names of Roman forts along the western sector of the wall, together with a personal name and phrase: MAIS COGGABATA VXELODVNVM CAMBOGLANNA RIGORE VALI AELI DRACONIS.

Bowness (MAIS) is followed by Drumburgh-by-Sands (COGGABATA), until now known only as CONGAVATA from the late Roman document, the Notitia Dignitatum. Next comes Stanwix (VXELODVNVM), then Castlesteads (CAMBOGLANNA). These are the four of the westernmost forts on Hadrian's Wall, but excluding Aballava.

RIGORE is the ablative singular form of the Latin word rigor. This can mean several things, but one of its lesser-known meanings is "straight line", "course", or "direction". This sense was used by Roman surveyors and appears on several inscriptions to indicate a line between places. So the meaning could be "according to the course".

There is no known word vali, but vallum was the Latin word for an earthen wall, rampart, or fortification.[24] In modern English usage vallum is applied to the ditch and adjoining mounds dug by the Roman army just south of the wall, but to the Romans a vallum was a wall and not a ditch (it is the source of the English word 'wall'). The genitive singular form of vallum is valli, so one of the most likely meanings is VAL[L]I, "of the Wall". Omitting one of a pair of double consonants is common on Roman inscriptions; moreover, an error in the transcription of a written note could be the reason: another similar bronze vessel, known as the Rudge Cup (found in Wiltshire in the 18th century) has VN missing from the name VXELODVNVM, for example, although the letters appear on the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan. The Rudge Cup only bears fort names.

The name AELI was Hadrian's nomen, his main family name, the gens Aelia. The Roman bridge and fort at Newcastle upon Tyne was called Pons Aelius.

DRACONIS can be translated as "[by the hand – or property] of Draco". It was normal for Roman manufacturers to give their names in the genitive ("of"), and "by the hand" would be understood. The form is common, for example, on Samian ware.

The translation, therefore, could be:

Mais, Coggabata, Uxelodunum, Camboglanna, according to the line of the Aelian wall. [By the hand or The property] of Draco.

Another possibility is that the individual's name was Aelius Draco, which would only leave us with an unspecified vallum, "wall".

concept and evolution

the wall begins not as a continuous fortification but as a series of stopgaps in the line of the aemili. over time these are strengthened by the romans.

i imagine an initial construction of a ditch and berm (agger?) and thereafter a rampart, meant to control access at crucial passes in the mountains, and primarily at the point of entry for the Roman Road. Moreover, the fortifications close the "open border" that is the Albin Hills. Here especially was the wall conceived as a military defence, where elsewhere it was more of a customs screen, and base whence patrols could reach far into the interior along aforementioned road.

Following Roman evacuation, that part which guarded the sfolsio corridor deteriorated rapidly and was cannibalized for stone by local inhabitants who could easily port the quarry elsewhere (as opposed to the more rugged regions which made the collection of such more diffuclt and therefore not worthwhile).

Meanwhile, at various times the cities of the Pentapolis saw fit to expand upon the fortifications which separated them from the faels across the fault. indeed, mountain towns would form on either side of tthe wall and create hemicircles in which to fortify themselves along the wall. cities from the latin side would often use the rumanha to augment fortifications, build castles/forts, etc. and generally keep the wall maintained and to link up certain divisions.

More or less though the construction was thought of as a supplement to the defense afforded by the mountains themselves


modern construction during civil war by Pentapolis