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Hadrian's Wall AD 122-410 (Fortress, 2) Paperback – February 19, 2003


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Hadrian's Wall AD 122-410 (Fortress, 2) + Rome's Northern Frontier AD 70-235: Beyond Hadrian's Wall (Fortress) + Roman Legionary Fortresses 27 BC-AD 378
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Product Details

  • Series: Fortress (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (February 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841764302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841764306
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the Navy, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School of Archaeology, Athens, and is now a lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
It was a good effort, but Nic Fields just wasn't able to do it.
Wallace V. French III
A great little book, where I learned a lot of fascinating information in an entertaining way.
JPS
The artwork is great like in many of the titles produced by Osprey.
J. McIntyre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Marshall on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with the previous reviews of this book. Knowing a little about Osprey publishing and the way the set their guidlines for authors, I feel the brevity was in no way Dr. Fields fault. This conclusion was drawn particularly from the fact that Osprey required a certain word limit which was met in this 64 page volume.

That said I also have to disagree with the previous entries concerning the doctrinal importance and context of Hadrian's Wall. Indeed I feel Dr. Fields is correct in his assertion that Hadrian's wall was not a defensive point, but a staging point for operations further afield and a watch station to better react to problems before they got to the wall. As Webster in his 1998 republication of The Roman Imperial Army noted that the purpose of the wall was to "impose total control over all traffic passing in and out of the Province, with provision for the collection of fees, tolls and duties and a thorough inspection of goods and persons. Its military purpose is less clear, but it certainly could never have been used as a fighting platform, only as a patrol track. An efficient signalling system and alert surveillance by forwads units would have made it possible for command HQ to order units to move forward through the fort and milecastle gateways to any area to deal with hostile elements." This passage sums up Hadrian's Wall to 'T'. The actual garrison at any given locality on Hadrian's wall couldn't have held it for any length of time against a determined enemy. In addition to this fact it is worth noting that the emperor to succeed Hadrian, Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161), in short order moved the frontier to the lowlands of Scotland where he did in fact build earthen fortifications.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Hadrian's Wall AD 122 - 410 is the second in Osprey's new Fortress series that aims to summarize the "design, technology and history of key fortresses, strategic positions and defensive systems." This new series should serve to fill in many of the gaps of traditional military history, by providing greater detail on the fortresses that have shaped warfare throughout the centuries. Having spent a day exploring Hadrian's Wall several years ago, I felt that few could fail to be impressed by this unique remnant of Roman military engineering. Unfortunately, I wish I could say that same about Osprey's Fortress #2, but I cannot. Dr. Nic Fields, a professor in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh, knows his material but writes in the typical horrid British academic style that reduces all the essential elements of this topic to a opaque mush. Like many academics who write about ancient military history, Fields is too-often sidetracked by esoteric archaeological issues and cannot focus on the actual military aspects of his subject. Furthermore, Fields has borrowed liberally from D.J. Breeze's earlier works on Hadrian's Wall and readers would be advised to check out that author's work in preference to this volume.
Hadrian's Wall AD 122 - 410 begins with a description of the various types of Roman fortifications, the origins of the wall and a very brief chronology. The heart of the book lies in the chapters discussing the anatomy of the wall, the wall's construction, the function of the wall, it's garrison and life on the wall. The author includes three low-quality 2-D maps, all of which are inferior to those in the Visitor's Guide one can purchase on the modern site of the wall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hornby on July 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Like the great wall of china, Hadrian's wall was a feat to build and maintian against marrauding barberians. It was breached and rebuilt many time until it became to a point where it could not long be maintianed. You'll learn about how they lived and policed the wall. If ancient Rome is you liking, you'll love the detailed informaiton.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. McIntyre on December 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hadrian's Wall AD 122-410 is a nice introductory-level book on the topic of this impressive and historical feature in northern England. The artwork is great like in many of the titles produced by Osprey. For those who expect an in-depth, complete history of Hadrian's Wall, this isn't the book. Read the books on the subject by such authors as D.J. Breeze/B. Dobson and G. de la Bedoyere if you are. As previous reviewers commented, you can only fit so much into a 64-page book, and I thought Fields did an ok job.
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