Living between walls: Northern responses to the Roman frontier
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Any Wall conference needs to look at the people living in the landscape before Rome
arrived. The Wall was built “to separate Romans and barbarians”, claims the only ancient reference
to its role – but who were these “barbarians”? Other talks at the conference will consider the rural
communities in the immediate environs of the Wall, and the military communities that emerged
with conquest. This contribution will look north to the Debateable Lands between Tyne-Solway and
Forth-Clyde, which direct Roman power repeatedly sought to control and Roman ‘soft power’ tried
to influence. The topic is vast. The focus here will be on recent perspectives on the material culture
of these “barbarian” groups and their relations with Rome.