Provider: University of Liverpool at FutureLearn [course page]
Lecturer: Ian Haynes
Subject: History + Religion + Politics + Culture
Delivery: intake-based asynchronous study
Recommended Load: 3 hrs/week over 6 weeks
Completion Date: 02/11/2014
Description: This course discusses the society at the time in which Hadrian’s Wall was built until it fell into disrepair.
Strengths: I recall watching short articles on Hadrian’s Wall as a kid. It was a bit of a strange place, for which I recall the moss-covered remains of the wall that ran along the pathway for hundreds of miles. It always struck me as a fascinating place, but it never interested me near as much as Stonehenge… until now.
This course offers further insight into the society that lived in and around the wall, ranging from religious practices, slavery, politics, warfare, bureaucracy, commerce, etc… Over the span of the course, students are shown artefacts located at various dig sites along the wall, predominantly relating to those belonging to the multicultural military force belonging to the Roman Empire.
We learn about religion through altars and headstones. We learn about fashion through artwork and the occasional piece of jewellery. We learn about relationships, law and military structure through tablets. We learn about commerce through the various records that have survived the test of time. And we gain insight into each of these based on where they are found.
Weaknesses: The Roman Empire didn’t just consist of Romans? Not listening… *hands in ears* La-la-la-la-la…
Conclusion: This course offered great insight into what society at Hadrian’s Wall looked like by way of architecture and the various artefacts that have managed to survive at the remains of these sites. It was well-paced and interesting, though the dramatisations featured some rather peculiar acting. In any case, if you interested in the history of England and/or the Roman Empire, this course is a must.