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What have the Romans ever done for us?
March 11, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help create a line of light along the length of Hadrian's Wall to mark the purported 1600th anniversary of the departure from Britain of Roman legions under Constantine III. Organisers are looking for 500 people to help create the spectacle on 13 March, which will light up the wall from one end to the other. Each of the volunteer "illuminators" will be responsible for one of the 500 individual points of light that will be placed at 820ft (250m) intervals along the route of the 84-mile (135km) Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail. There is something gloriously pointless about this, although it will undoubtedly be a spectacle. One has to ask though - apart from building a fucking big wall to keep the Jocks out, what have the Romans ever done for us……?
posted by MajorDundee (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
And before anyone gets all uptight - I am a Jock* myself, and I'm not offended....well maybe a bit, but.......

*Pejoritive English name for a Scotsman.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2010


Jocks*Pejoritive English name for a Scotsman.

Did not know that. I was always confused as to why Shane McGowan was singing about studly high school athletes.

Anyway, good post.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:06 PM on March 11, 2010


Don't forget to invite the Saxons... or else.
posted by No Robots at 12:33 PM on March 11, 2010


What the Roman's Did For Us.
posted by empath at 12:47 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't know, they gave us central heating, and bathing for that matter and that's not to mention some nice, long straight roads. So all in all, a photo-op with a line of lights doesn't seem like much at all.
posted by donfactor at 12:51 PM on March 11, 2010


"Hadrian's Wall" is also the answer you should give to every trivia question about Great Britain that you don't know the answer to.
posted by Kirk Grim at 12:53 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Constantine III link:
Constantine III (lived 5th century AD)

This article is available to subscribers only. To read this article please sign-in or register for a free trial.
Kids, this is why we have wikipedia when we want to read about the western emperor Constantine III, though there was a lesser-known, briefly-reigning eastern emperor of the same name.
posted by deanc at 12:54 PM on March 11, 2010


I was always confused as to why Shane McGowan was singing about studly high school athletes.

Yeah, me too. Thanks for clearing that up!
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:03 PM on March 11, 2010


See also Roman departure from Britain. I did not know that Rome's presence in Britain had been on the wane for nearly 2 generations prior to the official departure by Constantine III. Sort of like they left a dieing ship. OTOH, there is archaeological evidence that certain urban centers remained Roman for at least 2 or 3 generations after Constantine. Seems to have been an uneven and gradual process.
posted by stbalbach at 2:00 PM on March 11, 2010


Shame that Hadrian's wall isn't quite in Scotland. Now the Antonine Wall, that's the real deal; built where the empire pretty much fizzled out.
posted by scruss at 2:38 PM on March 11, 2010


I know you're just joking, but G.K. Chesterton's fun book A Short History of England (full text) is largely about how Roman civilization built the modern England. In other words, it's all about what the Romans did for us.
posted by Jahaza at 4:14 PM on March 11, 2010


"Hadrian's Wall" is also the answer you should give to every trivia question about Great Britain that you don't know the answer to.

Hm, I've always heard that you could use "Toxteth O'Grady, U.S.A."
posted by stannate at 5:36 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Hadrian's Wall" is also the answer you should give to every trivia question about Great Britain that you don't know the answer to.

1066, Ethelred The Unready, and "42" will also work.
posted by jfwlucy at 6:31 PM on March 11, 2010


Shame that Hadrian's wall isn't quite in Scotland.

Wouldn't building it in Scotland defeat the purpose?
posted by pompomtom at 8:25 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The same company produced the Lumiere festival in Durham last October, and it was really underwhelming. Maybe it'll look better when it's stretched out across the landscape instead of being hidden in various alleyways and shopfronts.
posted by warpy at 2:06 AM on March 12, 2010


This is great; I was brought up in the house here, where my parents still live - the construction to the right (at the bottom of our garden) is one of the longest intact stretches of the wall. We own the adjacent vallum (the field the to south of the wall), and my brother and I used to spend long summers searching for Roman artifacts (never found any, but that wasn't really the point).
posted by gene_machine at 3:41 AM on March 12, 2010


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