Saturday, May 12, 2018

ROMANS PAINTED SCARY RED WARNINGS
ON ANTONINE WALL ACROSS SCOTLAND



ANCIENT Romans used blood red, bright yellow and stunning white paints to illustrate dire warnings on the wall that separated them from the rebellious tribes-people of Scotland, a new study shows.

The painted warnings — including Roman eagles with blood-stained beaks, and the slain and decapitated bodies of the defeated victims of the victorious Roman legions — were shown alongside Latin inscriptions on carved stone slabs placed along a Roman rampart in Scotland.

Archaeologist Louisa Campbell from the University of Glasgow says the carved and painted stone slabs would have served as "Roman propaganda" to local tribes-people north of the Antonine Wall, a fortified wall built across Scotland by the Roman legions during the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius in the second Century AD.

Although the stone slabs are plain gray today, Campbell’s research shows that they were once brightly colored with naturally made paints, including red and yellow ochre, a red mineral called realgar, a red plant dye known as madder, a bright yellow mineral called orpiment and white lead.

The reds, in particular, were used to paint details, such as the cloaks of Roman soldiers, and to signify the bloody end in store for enemies of the Roman Empire. "The scenes depicted by the iconography demonstrate the power and might of Rome in a highly graphic manner," Campbell told Live Science in an email.

The stone slabs, placed at intervals along the Antonine Wall, would have promoted the idea of Roman control of the region, both to the Roman armies and visitors from the empire, as well as to the indigenous peoples who lived around and north of the wall, she noted.

The stones were "a very visible message to the indigenous peoples of those regions that Rome is a powerful empire that will not tolerate any challenge to her authority," Campbell said.

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