World History Moment: Emperor Hadrian’s Wall

Roman Emperor Hadrian
A bust of Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138). Justin Ennis / Flickr
Roman Emperor Hadrian
A bust of Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138). Justin Ennis / Flickr

World History Moment: Emperor Hadrian’s Wall

In the year 117, Hadrian succeeded his cousin Trajan as Roman Emperor.

The Empire was at its height. Hadrian ordered his army to build a wall along the colony’s northern border. Work began on September 13, 122. That’s the traditionally accepted date, though some scholars believe that the wall was already under construction by that time.

Scholars are also divided on why Hadrian built his wall. Historian John Schmidt explains.