Figure Clayton (1792-1890), a wealthy business man deeply interested

Figure 3. A centurial stone of Lousius Suavis
found near Chesters. There are 211 stones representing 126 centurions. Of
these, the name of Lousius Suavis appears on six stones (Bidwell, 2009). The
stone pictured above can be seen in the Chesters Museum, mainly due to the work
of John Clayton (1792-1890), a wealthy business man deeply interested in Roman
remains surrounding his home. (Symonds and Mason, 2009: 43)


In conclusion, it is unlikely Hadrian’s Wall had a single function, and the role of
the wall may have changed throughout its use. The Wall was maintained for almost three
centuries before ceasing to operate as a Roman frontier during the fifth
century (Symonds & Mason, 2009: xiv). No exact explanation of Hadrian’s
Wall exists, yet several theories have been propositioned through
archaeological research of the Wall itself and its associated features, such as
the Stanegate, forts and civilian settlements (Everitt, 2009). Although it was initially believed
that the Wall acted as a defensive barrier, it is doubtful that role of
Hadrian’s Wall was primarily defensive, as shown by analysis of its location
through aerial photography and study of its structure (Hingley, 2012: 245-251).
Although it may have provided protection from small incursions, the economic viability of constructing and guarding a wall
of this size based on a sparsely populated border is dubious (Everitt, 2009).
However, the Wall would have provided an opportunity for taxation and provided
control over smuggling, or acted as a base from which to patrol and attack when
necessary (Breeze: 2008). Additionally, systematic excavations have
established the structure and chronology of the Wall’s construction, indicating
that the Wall may have simply acted as an expression of Hadrian’s power
(Hingley, 2012: 245-251). Nonetheless, ongoing excavations and research “have continued to extend and amplify our knowledge of Hadrian’s
Wall, challenging past assumptions and offering new interpretations (Symonds
& Mason, 2009: xiv).

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