Sometime in the fall of 122 AD – maybe it was September 13, maybe not – the Romans began to build a wall on the frontier of Great Britain. Too many incursions by raiders from the north prompted the Emperor Hadrian to order the construction.
Things around the Empire had gotten too loose during Trajan’s reign and Hadrian was clamping down. The wall was the most heavily fortified of any the Romans built and it had garrisons spaced at various points to help repel invaders.
The garrisons weren’t large, so it is assumed that the purpose was to keep out cattle-raiders and unwanted immigrants. Sounding familiar yet?
Twenty years later they built another wall further north – the Antonine Wall – to keep the pesky Picts out of their hair.
Hadrian’s wall remained intact for about three hundred years until finally Britons of all sorts started using the stones for roads and houses and other things that were much more useful than a wall.
Interestingly, the Roman empire had already begun its famous decline not long after the wall was completed.