The Antiquarian Rediscovery of the Antonine Wall


Lawrence Keppie


Roman Empire, Antoninus Pius, antiquarian record, Timothy Pont, William Camden, Sir Robert Sibbald, William Stukeley, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, Alexander Gordon, John Horsley, General William Roy, John Buchanan, Robert Stuart

Scotland, UK


Roman Age; Middle Ages; 17th century; 18th century; 19th century; 20th century


The Antonine Wall has been visible as an upstanding earthwork across the central belt of Scotland since its construction by the Roman legions over 1,850 years ago, in the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. This book takes up its story from the time of its abandonment in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and charts developments in our knowledge about it through the Middle Ages and after, up to the early years of the twentieth century, by which time the earliest scientific excavations had taken place.

The book is profusely illustrated with maps, portraits of prominent antiquaries and nineteenth-century watercolours.


  • Front matter
  • Chapter 1
    Lawrence Keppie
  • Chapter 2
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  • Chapter 3
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  • Chapter 4
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  • Chapter 5
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  • Chapter 6
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  • Chapter 7
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  • Epilogue
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  • Editorial notes
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  • Bibliography
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  • Index


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Author Biography

Lawrence Keppie

Professor Lawrence Keppie studied at the University of Glasgow, at Balliol College, Oxford, and at the British School at Rome where he was a Scholar in Classical Studies. For more than thirty years he was a curator of archaeology at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow. He has been a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He has excavated extensively along the line of the Antonine Wall and its forts, and is the author of many books on the Roman army and frontiers, as well as a guide to Roman sites on the Bay of Naples.



April 28, 2023

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