The Romans in the North East

On 15 April, Nancy Jardine spoke to us about the Ancient Roman invasions of Aberdeenshire by General Agricola in c.AD 84 and Emperor Severus in c. AD 210.

They say look at your surroundings and you’ll see your heritage. Well, yes and no. The Romans made sustained incursions into the north-east of Scotland – their marching camps are strung out like beads along the route of the A96. The one at Kintore is truly of European significance; the one at Stonehaven demonstrates their strategic use of naval power; the one at Logic Durno is the biggest one north of the Antonine Wall. Yet we mainly shoot past without knowing they are even there. And then there is evidence which we keep looking for but not even with aerial scrutiny can we find: primarily of course the site of the Mons Graupius battlefield. (If indeed it ever existed.). And did Calgacus ever live – he of the fabled line “they have created a desert and called it peace”.

Nancy brought expertise and an engaging enthusiasm to her talk, which provided a deeply-informed and extremely well-illustrated guide to this complicated but endlessly fascinating period of our history.