"They must have wondered, those rude Picts and Caledonians, when they looked up at Hadrian's Wall, at what sort of a giant serpent had come into their land. And we still wonder at the Wall, as every generation of excavators digs up more puzzles than they solve, and our confident, modern, small questions-How was it built? -have monstrously transformed over the generations into those that the awed barbarians themselves might have asked: What did it intend? What was it for? And so, we are thankful for the guidance of Adrian Goldsworthy, for his clear thinking, his calm judgment, and his crystal prose. If anyone can explain the vast Roman Wall, if anyone can answer the barbarians' questions, it is he."
—J. E. Lendon, University of Virginia
, author of Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins and Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity