Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall : A Life

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In Hadrian's Wall: A Life, Richard Hingley addresses the post-Roman history of this world-famous ancient monument. Constructed on the orders of the emperor Hadrian during the 120s AD, the Wall was maintained for almost three centuries before ceasing to operate as a Roman frontier during the fifth century. The scale and complexity of Hadrian's Wall makes it one of the most important ancient monuments in the British Isles. It is the most well-preserved of the frontier works that once defined the Roman Empire. While the Wall is famous as a Roman construct, its monumental physical structure did not suddenly cease to exist in the fifth century. This volume explores the after-life of Hadrian's Wall and considers the ways it has been imagined, represented, and researched from the sixth century to the internet. The sixteen chapters, illustrated with over 100 images, show the changing manner in which the Wall has been conceived and the significant role it has played in imagining the identity of the English, including its appropriation as symbolic boundary between England and Scotland. Hingley discusses the transforming political, cultural, and religious significance of the Wall during this entire period and addresses the ways in which scholars and artists have been inspired by the monument over the years.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 30mm | 839.14g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 109 in-text illustrations
  • 0199641412
  • 9780199641413
  • 1,666,247

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Review quote

[a] lively and richly comprehensive account of the way the Wall has been perceived Christopher Catling, Times Literary Supplement This is a rich and fascinating book, essential as much to students of the Wall as to those interested in the history of our enquiry into the past. Professor Michael Fulford, Archaeological Journal This contribution will be valuable to anybody interested in artefact biography, local history, Scottish-English relation and heritage interpretation. Anna Walas, Medieval Settlement Research This is a magisterial volume ... and the author is to be congratulated on his achievement. Professor Roger Ling, Antiquaries Journal Hingley has been remarkably successful in transforming years of exhaustive research into a pleasurable and informative book that can appeal to a wide ranging audience. Sara Sieteski, Bryn Mawr Classical Review Hingley has written the historiographical account of Hadrian's Wall for this generation and, I suspect, beyond: it is one of the most important books ever to have been written on Hadrian's Wall. Professor David Breeze, Britannia Hingley's message is a welcome and timely one for a field threatened by intellectual ossification, where the distancing mechanisms of objectivity and classical tradition are shown to be the crutches of unreflective privilege and empire. They are the crutches of a dying scholarship. Hingley's book is nothing short of a will to relevance for Roman archaeology, for its living spirit to be resurrected in research that animates past with present. This is a book with a story, a playful joining of analytical and narrative forms that should be emulated. It is a book to be read tucked up in bed after a day of trekking along the Wall, or in preparation or remembrance of a visit. Professor Katheryn Lafrez Samuels, Antiquity This is the culmination of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and all interested in Roman Britain and the Roman frontier should be grateful to that body for helping create this thoughtful, challenging and well-written book. Professor David Breeze, British Archaeology

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About Richard Hingley

Richard Hingley is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Durham. He is author of a number of books that address the Roman empire and Roman Britain, including works on the character of the Roman empire and the significance of Roman models in modern society. He is Director of the Centre for Roman Culture at Durham University and was in charge of the 'Tales of the Frontier' project, a major initiative from chich this book is derived.

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