Who Built Hadrian's Wall? or, The Case of the 173 Page Footnote


Thus begins a long Twitter thread on the history of the attribution of Hadrian’s wall, and John Hodgson, the clergyman whose 1840 History of Northumberland (link is to a Google Books scan of a copy in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford) definitively identifies the Roman Emperor Hadrian as responsible for its construction in a 173 page footnote (in a 444 page book) describing his personal investigation of the matter, including drawings of stones in the wall and those removed from it over the ages and used in other buildings. The footnote has its own footnotes and references.

If you don’t want to read the story on Twitter, here is a ThreadReader unroll of the chain, marred of course, by down-market advertising.