Segedunum Roman Fort Essay

1. Describe the layout of Segedunum Roman Fort.

The Segedunum Roman Fort is shaped like a playing card; it has rounded corners so the soldiers could easily look to see if an attack was heading their way. Inside of the fort there were buildings such as, the Hospital (Valetudinarium) , Granaries (Horrea), Head Quarters (Principia) , C.O’s House (Praetorium) , Work Houses, Infantry Barracks, Cavalry Barracks, Fore Hall and Water Tank. Located in the middle of the fort was the headquarters building with the commanding officers house next to it. The fore hall was right next Headquarters this was for easy access in case of an emergency or announcement/meeting.

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The infantry and cavalry barracks were at opposite sides of each other inside the fort, the hospital was situated away from both of the barracks. Next to the hospital was the water tank this was situated here so that the hospital had easy access to the water for patients to drink and wash with.

The granaries were situated next to the headquarters and the fore hall. The granaries were where the supplies of food were kept.

On the edges of the wall there were occasional corner towers for protection where the two walls meet. Segedunum was also built next to a river for protection and defence purposes. The wall was also based at the top of a small hill for defence purposes. The fort also had four major gates and one portal gate on the west side. Not all of the gates where used for defence one gate was used for access to the public and residents outside of the fort.

2. Why was Segedunum built in this style?

Segedunum had a playing card layout so that the solders could see clearly around the fort in case of attack or so they could see if the enemies where heading towards them.

Along the wall there were watch towers where the soldiers would stand and keep look out for any surprise attacks or boats with food supplies on coming up the river. On each corner there was also a watch tower so that the soldiers could watch out for the enemies. The wall was next to a river for trade purposes and also for a defence mechanism.

In the centre of the fort was the HQ building, this was located here because it was the administration therefore it was most important as everything needed to run smoothly, next to the HQ building was the Commanding Officers house, this building was located here because the Commanding Officer need to be in the middle of the fort for protection as he was the most important person in the frontier. The fore hall was a place where all announcements and important notices where read, they would also hold emergency meetings and read daily announcements to the soldiers of the fort.

Just outside of the fort was another walk away from the hospital where people would go to get treated for illness, or if they were injured. The hospital was located away from both the cavalry barracks and the infantry barracks so that disease did not spread, if disease was to spread it would alter the number of soldiers if some died which meant that they would have fewer soldiers if they were attacked. Segedunum was one of a few forts with a hospital.

The water tank was right next to the hospital, this was to provide constant water to the patients off the hospital. The water tank was also located here so that illness was not spread throughout the whole of the fort by ill soldiers going for water.

The double granaries at Segedunum were also relatively close to the hospital. This was so that the hospital had a constant supply of food for all of the injured or ill patients to get them better.

The soldiers also needed a place to eat and sleep, they done this in the infantry and cavalry barracks. They also kept their horses in the barracks. This was in case of an attack in the middle of the night so they had a quick way of getting to battle.

The toilets (latrines), where just outside of the barracks using the water tank to flush them.

The workshops were where the soldiers took all of their weapons to be repaired although most of the time they done it themselves.

3. Describe the contribution of Hadrian’s Wall and Segedunum to the defences of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire covered a distance of 2500 miles. It’s shear size meant that there would be very long frontiers to defend. Defending these frontiers was not easy, and where possible the Romans relied on natural boundaries like rivers, for example. Where these natural boundaries where not possible defence systems had to be organised.

People outside of the Roman Empire where called “barbarians.” These barbarians included German tribes who could be difficult to handle. To deal with these tribes Rome used auxiliaries from other parts of the Roman Empire. Auxiliaries were non-Roman citizens. They were recruited from tribes that had been conquered by Rome or were allied to Rome. They also served for 25 years. At the end of their service they gained Roman citizenship as a reward.

In Britannia the Roman legions had kept control in most areas. However, certain tribes like the ….. often gave cause for concern. In 122 AD Hadrian set about building the wall across the north of the country. The aim of this was to separate the Barbarians from the Romans.

In conclusion Hadrian’s Wall was a good thing as it stopped many invasions and separated the barbarians form the Romans.

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