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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds A toast, my friends, to the wisdom and glory of his majesty, the Emperor Valentinian, our most noble Count Theodosius, and God for helping us through these troubled times. When can we expect our fellow commanders to arrive? Two days hence, assuming there’s no weather or barbarians to trouble them. And Count Theodosius? Our most recent messenger say he should be here in three days. So tell me Victor, how are things at Pons Aelius? Much the same as last month. The joint patrols we have been sending out have kept the peace north of the wall, but everything seems very unsettled. We’re really troubled in the west. The raiders, they travel up the river valleys. They travel over the hills.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds They don’t fight, of course. They run away. But when we fight them, I end up with men in the hospital. I just wish we could send a punitive expedition. Well, why don’t you? Don’t you have the ships? I have two ships, but I need those to watch the northern coast for seaborne raiding. I haven’t had the money or the shipwrights to repair the other ships. And I haven’t had anything– any resources since I got here to Arbeia. There’s no sense in being too proactive. We’ve defended the wall. We’ve stopped most of the barbarians from crossing, and we’ve dispatched those that have. What can we be expected to do without more soldiers and more supplies?

Skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds I think it’s not unreasonable that I have the money to pay my men for their blood and toil. Yeah, well said. I’m also troubled that the reports my arcani send are never listened to. Yes, it has troubled me as well. I had hoped the dux would be able to help, but since the troubles began last year, I’ve had almost no news. Just the briefest of messages to do our duty and send any spare supplies or men to him.

Episode 2: Officers' drinks

The characters in this video are:

  • Flavius Julius Caelestis, Gallic-born commander of the Numerus Barcariorum Tigrisiensium based at Arbeia, and the host of the gathering
  • Ignatius Victor, British-born commander of cohors I Cornoviorum, the infantry regiment stationed at Pons Aelius (Newcastle)
  • Remigius Frigidianus, British-born commander of ala II Asturum, the cavalry regiment at Cilurnum (Chesters).


Caelestis welcomes Victor and Frigidianus, two fellow officers, to his home. Their conversation provides each man with the opportunity to voice his concerns and agenda with regard to the upcoming meeting.

Frigidianus notes that he is troubled because the intelligence reports he passes on from scouts, informers and agents north of the Wall (the areani) are not acted upon.

  • What other worries do the officers share with one another?

All characters played by students from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University. They aren’t actors, so please be nice.

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Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier

Newcastle University

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