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Full Version: Marching Camps - The day after the night before
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Hi guys - quick question this. I've looked up in Poybius, but I wanted to get a general consencus on this.

The army marches along, calls a halt, digs a ditch and rampart, sets up the marching camp for the evening...great.

What happens the next day. Do they garrison this temporary fort or just bugger off and leave it (I often wonder if this was the case, surely a mobile enemy could take advantage of this).

Or did the Romans de-construct the whole thing? Not sure that that is the case, cos Polybius says (paraphrasing) that they left the camps in case things went badly for them the following day...but, I'm really not sure.

Any views on this?

Cheers
Russ
The marching camp as you say was built at the end of the day's march, it's function was to simply give over night protection. They did not dismantle these camps but simply pulled out their palisade stakes and off they went in the morning. It may well be that should they have need they could always fall back on a well made protection, this is why today we find so many of these camps still there. The reference to a marching camp being garrisoned may well be correct, however this may have been smaller ones which appear at strategic points.
Thanks, Brian - I just wanted to double check, cos I'm just writing about that now, and I thought "Best get it right!"

Cheers

Russ
I just thought I would mention the point on the garrison situation for where these strategic places may have been some what hostile, the Romans went belt and braces with double type gates of Tuttulus and Clavicular for greater protection.
nice one!

Cheers

Russ
i sent you a PM but my B/band sig is going wild just now.
Hi Brian - nothing in the PM box, but not to worry, I hope you get your Broadband sorted!

Cheers

Russ
Hi Russ tried a PM again.
Quote:... where these strategic places may have been some what hostile, the Romans went belt and braces with double type gates of Tuttulus and Clavicular for greater protection.
I think we established on another thread that the use of two different gate types in a single camp was highly unusual.
That is not wrong Duncan however I do mention that where there may have been hostile positions this is the case, infact should you go to Grid ref NY 646 654 you will find a very good example. This is just one mentioned by Collingwood Bruce 1/4 mile below turret 47 A on Hadrians' Wall, then just half a mile to the east of this you find the camp of Glenwhelt which is another. They are both above the gap of the Tipalt Burn, indeed I think they are connected with the Stanegate frontier possibly early period.
Quote:I do mention that where there may have been hostile positions this is the case, infact should you go to Grid ref NY 646 654 you will find a very good example. This is just one mentioned by Collingwood Bruce 1/4 mile below turret 47 A on Hadrians' Wall, then just half a mile to the east of this you find the camp of Glenwhelt which is another.
My goodness, these are two peculiar little camps.

Just to gain some perspective, out of the 95 camps in England listed by RCHME, these are the only two that display external tituli + internal claviculae. All others opt for one scheme or the other. I haven't seen RCAHMS's corresponding volume for Scotland, but (afaik) there are no similar examples from Scotland.

Given the tiny size of these camps (Glenwhelt Leazes is 1.2ha; Chapel Rigg is 0.6ha), I would hesitate to link them with warfare.

I wonder what Welfare & Swan ([amazon]Roman Camps in England: The Field Archaeology[/amazon], 1995) say about them?

(Apologies to Russ for diverting his thread! :wink: )
I have to agree Duncan these two camps at the Tipalt Burn gap are unusual, they may well have functioned along with the pre Wall fort of Magna on the other side of this gap. Infact they can't realy be considered as marching camps at all, they are more of a permanent policeing nature at this vunerable point on the Stanegate Frontier. I think it would be a very interesting subject for Welfare and Swan to take up, for I'm sure that a bit more searching may prove that this system was more widely used than we think at vunerable places.
I'll ask again on this thread.

The gate and berm/ditch. Was the passage over the ditch by way of a plank or log bridge, or was a section of the ditch simply left undug for entering and exiting the camp?
I believe it was left undug dave, from what I've seen! Check the pictures of the camps in scotland, you'll see the gateways have no ditch in front.
At least none of the photos I recall did.
That's correct what Byron says David, the walls of these camps were created from the spoil of the ditch. However when the ditch reached both sides of the gates it stopped, this way it gave a solid entrance to the camp. With the Clavicula type gate one has to look at it from the inside to understand it, you have the gate infront of you then the left wall comes inwards and swings into an arc. This way should an enemy try to enter the gate he has to turn to his left to get in, this of course gives you the advantage where you have him on his right flank. Then there is the Tutulus gate where there is a short wall placed across the entrance on the outside of the gate just beyond the outer ditch line, here again the enemy has to present his left or right flank to you if he want's to get in. There have been studies made where larger camps have one or the other type of gate, where I mention both together is with smaller camps that guard a vunerable place. I have given a grid ref'. earlier that shows the two which up to now may be the only ones recorded.
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