England: Vindolanda, the Roman Frontier
This has been one of my all-time favorite locations to visit. Built by the Romans as part of a series of fortifications to supplement Hadrian’s Wall along the Scottish Borders, Vindolanda was finally abandoned after 410 A.D. When the sacking of Rome led to troops being gradually called back from the frontiers. By that point, the days of Roman expansion were over, and the empire started to (fairly rapidly) implode. According to our guidebook, this retreat from Vindolanda happened over several years, despite the fairly popular idea that all frontier posts were immediately abandoned after the city of Rome was sacked.
In fact, there are several historical sources that state that some of the Romans may have chosen to stay in what is now England (then Britannia) even after the majority of the troops pulled out. My personal favorite of these old stories involves a man named Ambrosius Aurelianus, who…
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