Middle Eastern troops at Hadrian's Wall in the early fifth century
August 19, 2006 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap (8 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Peacekeepers doesn't seem like the correct word for the Iraqi troops at Hadrian's Wall. I think the Guardian got a bit carried away in its characterization. Let's just call them reinforcements etc.

Anyway, thanks for the great links. I'm going to study them further.
posted by bim at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2006

It is curious that in both cases, a third-party empire was behind it all.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:55 AM on August 19, 2006

last time I was near Hadrian's Wall, I bored the piss out of everyone I was with by inspecting it ad nauseum. thanks! good links, them.
posted by Busithoth at 8:14 AM on August 19, 2006

13'th Warrior-esque!
posted by Balisong at 8:43 AM on August 19, 2006

There were Hamian archers from Syria stationed at the much further north Antonine Wall a few hundred years before.
posted by scruss at 9:16 AM on August 19, 2006

My fellow soldiers have no beer.

Now, that's a heart-rending line. I hope several cartloads were sent immediately.
posted by languagehat at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2006

I visited a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall in Scotland when I was 18. Nothing was left except the foundations, but the gravity-fed plumbing system was still intact and working! Totally blew my mind...
posted by TheCoug at 11:10 AM on August 19, 2006

For those with an interest in Roman Britain, and the periods before and after it, I would recommend Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms. It's much less medieval-tinfoil-hat than it sounds. One day I'll do an FPP on it.
posted by imperium at 3:34 PM on August 19, 2006

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