Frontiers of the Roman Empire

The Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site was created in 2005 and at present consists of Hadrian's Wall, the German Limes and the Antonine Wall. However, the idea behind the FRE is to represent the border line of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched over 5,000 km from the Atlantic coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast. The remains of these frontiers are those of walls, ditches, forts, fortresses, towers, and civilian settlements. Some elements have been excavated, some have been reconstructed, and a few have been destroyed.

The two sections of the Limes in Germany cover a length of 550 km from the north-west of the country to the Danube in the south-east. Hadrian’s Wall was built on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian c. AD 122 at what was then the northernmost limit of the Roman province of Britannia. The Antonine Wall, across the Forth-Clyde isthmus in Scotland, was started by Emperor Antonius Pius in AD 142 as a defence against the barbarians of the North.

Frontiers of the Roman Empire Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SOUV)

Each World Heritage Site is required to have a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which summarises the nature and features of the World Heritage Site which establish its global value. The SOUV provides an overview of not only the context of the site, and of its authenticity, integrity, and management structures. It is the document which  UNESCO uses to describe the World Heritage Site. As Hadrian’s Wall is a component part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site, the SOUV is an overarching statement covering the whole Site. This is supported by summary statements for each of the three component parts.


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