Romans in Scotland 5-minute Summary

The Roman military invaded and occupied Scotland from around 75 AD to 400 AD. No towns were built and the primary purpose was to stop Scottish tribes from invading England. They built Hadrian’s Wall, and the Antonine Wall and established a line of watchtowers called the Gask Ridge. Forts, harbours and camps were built to maintain the occupation

There were 6 notable invasions

  • 79 AD. Agricola’s Invaded. He was a French-Roman General whose exploits were written in a book
  • 122 AD The building of Hadrian’s Wall separated England from Scotland. The Spanish emperor Hadrian visited in 122 AD,
  • 142 AD The building of the Antonine Wall between Glasgow and Edinburgh
  • 208 AD The African emperor Septimus Severus invaded with his Syrian wife. He died in York.
  • 306 AD The Serbian emperor Constantius I invaded. He died in York.
  • 367 AD The Spanish Count Theodosius battled in the snows of Scotland.

Three legions fought in Scotland – the 20th, the 2nd and the 9th ( famous from the book “The Lost Eagle of the Ninth”). Detachments of the 6th and 22nd Legions also fought.

Other occupation troops in Scotland came from all over the Roman Empire from what is now France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Syria and Bulgaria.

There is one amphitheatre in Scotland in Melrose and two suspected near Musselburgh and Falkirk. These were turf and wooden places of entertainment and not the large stone amphitheatres of Rome.

The main roads of Scotland follow the old Roman roads in many places. The English Army that invaded Scotland in 1312 for the battle of Bannockburn marched along the old Roman road.

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