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Average height of a Roman fortlet

Average height of a Roman fortlet

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I'm wondering if anyone knows where someone has recorded the 'average' height of a Roman fortlet in Britain (Scotland specifically), or some information on the ranges to which they were built?

I'm asking as I'm currently creating a model that uses visibility, as so I need to know the height that the observer would be at.


That's a really good question, and the answer is that nobody knows. We know a great deal about the plan of Roman forts and fortlets, but none of them actually survive beyond a couple of metres or so above ground level, so any figures given for the heights of fortlets is just guesswork.

There are lists available online of Roman forts and fortlets in England, Scotland and Wales.

One of the best preserved fortlets in Scotland is the Lurg Moor Roman Fortlet at Greenock which was located at the western end of the Antonine Wall. This short video gives an idea of what the remains look like today.

This video gives a 3D visualisation of a Milecastle on Hadrian's Wall. The video forms part of an online course offered by Newcastle University on the FutureLearn platform. It might help you estimate a figure for your model.

How tall were the ancients?

Don't laugh, I know that the title sounds silly, but it's an honest question - here goes.

When I went to the Brooklyn museum about a year ago I saw one of the mummies there from I-cant-remember-which-(Egyptian)-dynasty. I was very surprised by how short the chap seemed, even though I prepared myself for the idea that he might be rather small by our modern comparisons.

Again this year I was very fortunate to go to a hellenistic museum exhibit in Manhattan that had, in addition to a number of cool vase paintings and such some pieces of ancient bronze armor (a helmet and greaves). Again, I was shocked by the size of the pieces. The helmet honestly looked small enough to fit a child (From what I understand, because there was no mass production then, armor would hae to be more or less custom made unless inherited from a relative or otherwise - and armor was made for fully grown and respected 'citizen soldiers' so it's highly unlikely that it belonged to a child at all, as some people suggested to me).

It would be one thing is the greaves were short and stocky, I can imagine a short and stocky mediterranean man, but they were short and very thin! I wouldn't be exaggerating when I say that in comparison a modern man would seem like a giant.

1)The process of mummification involves drying the dead body, and the process of decay combined with aging conspires to shrink the mummified body. This might explain why the mummy seemed so small, even though I suspect before dying the noble was short (four feet and change) even by Egyptian standards. Unlike hoplites, in the case of Egyptian nobles, it is possible to be mummified as a child, so that's another consideration.

2)Nutrition by modern standards was such that people did not grow to their full potemtial. Even in comparion to the greatest of kings then, what with modern medicine combined with easily available goods from global sources people generally eat better and healthier today. Then you have the controvery of hormones in our livestock, but I won't aproach that subject.

3)A variety of stock was available to ancient people as migrations occurred, invasions happened, and basic mutations in available stocks produced larger people over time. Compared to the shorter Romans barbarian celts seemed like giants, so the tall gene could have been inherited as populations mixed over time.

I'm about at the end of my pontificating, but let me know if this all makes sense. If anybody has some good stats or information, or can refer me to a good online resource of some kind I would greatly appreciate it. When you see these things up close it makes it hard to imagine how these people could have held large Hoplons for hours on end and weild spears up to nine feet long!

Roman Fort

The Roman army constructed both temporary and permanent forts and fortified military camps (castrum) across the frontiers of the empire's borders and within territories which required a permanent military presence to prevent indigenous uprisings. Although given basic defensive features, forts were never designed to withstand a sustained enemy attack but rather to provide a protected place for accommodation and storage facilities for food, weapons, horses, and administrative records. Over the centuries Roman forts took on a remarkably standardised layout, and the impressive gates and ruins of some of the larger ones can still be seen across Europe today.


Forts were constructed in particular along the frontiers of the Roman empire such as along sections of the River Danube and River Rhine. These prevented incursions from hostile neighbouring groups. Forts were also built during long sieges such as at Numantia in Spain and Masada in Judaea. The majority of forts, though, were built in the interior of provinces in order to deter rebellions and better control the conquered peoples therein. Britain and Dacia are examples of provinces which required a permanent military presence to maintain Roman control. In such hostile territories, forts were linked in a network for mutual support, but there were also isolated forts, especially at naval and supply bases. Roman Britain has remains of over 400 camps, but some of these were either temporary or practice operations for engineers and soldiers to hone their fort-building skills.


Dimensions & Defenses

The earliest known semi-permanent forts were constructed in Spain during the 2nd century BCE, but it was during the reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE) that Roman forts began to assume a standardised form. Forts varied in size with the smallest measuring under a single hectare while the larger ones could be over 50 hectares in area. An example of the larger type fort is at Vetera and Oberaden in Germany, which housed two legions each.

Smaller forts and military camps were more temporary affairs which provided troops with a safe accommodation while on campaign. Small forts were also used by auxiliary units as frontier posts, and small square forts (quadriburgia) with 50-metre-long walls and a single gate were built in all Roman territories during the later empire period. Even larger forts were not self-sufficient for a long period of time and so were usually located near to cities or, alternatively, settlements (canabae) sprang up around the fort to meet its needs and take advantage of the Roman soldiers there who were some of the select few to receive a regular income in the Roman world. Many of these settlements would evolve into medieval towns in their own right.


While all forts had their own individual features, there were many elements common to most. Standard forts were typically rectangular with rounded corners, and the walls of most were built using timber and, later, stone set above an earth rampart. Around the perimeter was a double row of ditches (clavicula), the earth from which was used to form the sloping rampart. The walls had three principal gates and towers set at intervals. From the 3rd century CE, when the use of artillery weapons became more widespread, towers projected outwards from the walls to increase the angle of fire.

Gates had two arched entrances which could be closed using wooden doors which were perhaps protected from fire by metal plating. They were locked by a cross bar on the inside, had their own two- or three-storey towers, and were protected by a separate line of ditches projecting out from the walls. Despite these defensive precautions the Romans did not design camps to resist sustained attack as in medieval castles, but rather, they aimed to provide enough measures to act as a deterrent for improvised enemy attacks. No doubt, if a fort was attacked by a large force, then the troops would be mobilised to meet the enemy in the field, but the reality was that for most of Rome's existence its enemies were not capable of the organisation and skills required for successful siege warfare (the Sassanian empire being a notable exception). In the later empire, however, the threat from marauding bands became much greater and forts evolved accordingly with fewer gates, curved towers to protect the gateways, and fan-shaped towers projecting from corners to maximise the field of fire from within and allow the walls and gates better protection. The Saxon Shore forts of Britain display these design features as well as having purpose-built tower battlements to allow the use of catapults.

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A temporary camp was built each night when an army was on the march, or for a few days in order to rest and make repairs and resupply, to prepare for a battle, during a siege, or for winter quarters (hiberna). A camp probably took a few hours to build and sometimes had to be done under enemy fire. A wooden palisade protected by a ditch was built, again, on a rectangular plan, with tents instead of buildings but still keeping the general layout described below. Ten men from each century were tasked with building the camp, supervised by a military surveyor (gromaticus) who selected suitable terrain on high ground near a water source. Soldiers sometimes piled up stones against their leather tents for better protection from the elements, a habit useful for archaeologists to reconstruct temporary Roman camps. A single tent would have housed eight men.

Interior Layout

Inside the walls of permanent forts there were a number of separate buildings, which included barracks for legionaries (eight men to a room) and cavalry (men and their horses shared rooms), accommodation for the commanding officer, his family and slaves (praetorium), and sometimes also living quarters for tribunes, granaries (horrea) which were built on raised platforms to better protect their contents from damp, workshops (fabricae), a hospital (valetudinarium), a cistern, and in the case of larger forts, a number of shops (tabernae) or a market (macellum) and Roman baths. The latter were very often built outside the earlier mostly wooden forts as the furnaces needed to provide the underground heating were a real fire hazard. A wide avenue ran around all of these internal structures so that they were safe from enemy missiles landing over the wall.


The fort complex was dominated by the headquarters building or principia, positioned in the dead centre of the fort. Inside the principia was a basilica with aisles and a tribunal set on a raised platform at one end from where the camp commander would lead assemblies, conduct disciplinary hearings, and perform his local judicial duties. There were also rooms for officer recreation (scholae) and for use as offices, the aedes - a shrine where the legion or unit's standards were kept, long rooms used as armouries (armamentaria), and an open courtyard. Under the aedes was the strongroom dug into the floor where the fort's cash reserves were kept.

Forts had two internal streets leading to the three principal gates, so forming a T-shape. These were called the via praetoria (which led from the main gate or porta praetoria) and via principalis, and the principia was located where the two streets met. Gates on the left and right side of the fort were known as the porta principalis sinistra and porta principalis dextrarespectively. The rear gate was known as the porta decumana which was connected by a road leading directly to the principia or commander's tent in the case of camps. A good example of a Roman fort built on this standardised plan is the late 2nd century CE Wallsend fort (Segedunum) on Hadrian's Wall which housed 480 legionaries and 120 cavalry.

'Ideal' Penis Size Depends on Guy's Height

Put down the rulers, guys — whether your penis is the "right" size depends on the proportions of the rest of your body, a new study finds.

Women rate men with larger penises more attractive, but the returns on bigger genitals start to decrease at a flaccid length of 2.99 inches (7.6 centimeters), the researchers found. What's more, larger penises gave tall men a bigger attractiveness boost than shorter men. The study suggests that women's preferences for bigger penises could explain why human males have relatively big genitals for their body size.

Studies on women's preferences for penis size have been mixed, with some suggesting that women who frequently orgasm through vaginal stimulation are the pickiest, perhaps because penis size matters for that sort of stimulation. Men typically fret more about size than women, however, at least according to a 2007 review article in the British Journal of Urology International.

But studies have relied on questionnaires, which may not always glean honest answers, Australian researchers wrote today (April 8) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And in other studies, scientists have asked women to judge the attractiveness of male figures in photos with only penis size varied, when in fact no trait is ever evaluated in a vacuum, the scientists added. [The 7 Weirdest Animal Penises]

To compensate, the researchers, led by Michael Jennions of Australian National University, showed 105 young Australian women life-size computer-generated figures of nude men, varying the figures' flaccid penis size, height and shoulder-to-hip ratio. Height and shoulder-to-hip ratio have previously been shown as factors used by women to judge attractiveness. The computer simulations varied penis width in sync with length, so that all penises were proportional.

The results revealed that women preferred taller men as well as high shoulder-to-hip ratios (meaning that the wider the shoulders were than the hip, the more attractive the man). Shoulder-to-hip ratio was a major determiner of attractiveness, accounting for 79.6 percent of the variation in hot-or-not ratings.

Though the effect was less extreme, women also preferred larger penises, at least up to 5.1 inches (13 cm) flaccid, which was the largest computer-generated penis in the study. Beyond 2.99 inches, however, the additional attractiveness per extra length started to decline. That's good news for guys, according to a 2001 Italian study that found 2.99 inches flaccid to be below average.

When the researchers controlled for shoulder-to-hip ratio, they found that a larger penis had a greater effect on attractiveness for taller men. It's possible that a larger penis just looked more proportional on a taller man's body, the researchers wrote, or it could be that women were biased against shorter men to the extent that even large genitals didn't help.

Women's own features mattered as well, the researchers found: Taller women were more likely to find taller men attractive. Women with greater body mass per height were slightly more likely than thinner women to weigh penis size more heavily in their judgments of attractiveness, though the difference was small.

The findings might help explain why humans have remarkably large genitalia given their average body size, the researchers wrote. Male humans outgun any other primate species: For example, male gorillas can weigh as much as 400 pounds (180 kilograms), but their erect penis length is only about 1.5 inches (4 cm). Human males weigh about half of what gorillas do, but studies peg average erect or flaccid-but-stretched penis length from 4.7 inches (12 cm) to 6.5 inches (16.7 cm).

Evolutionary biologists theorize that large human penises might help remove sperm from competing males during sex, but in an era before clothing, women may have been drawn to mating with men whose genitalia caught their eye. Men with larger penises, then, may have passed on their genes more readily, resulting in the large-genitals trait being handed down the generations. In other words, guys may have women to thank for their greater-than-gorilla-sized genitals.

5 Answers 5

What if Jesus was exceptionally tall?

An average result tends to exclude some exceptional value. For example,

Suppose there are 100 people 99 of them are 5 feet tall and only one of them is 7 feet tall.

Average height= ((99x5)+7)/100 = (495+7)/100 = 5.02

The Bible doesn't tell us about the physical appearance of Jesus. We don't know how tall was Jesus. Hence, we can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin based on it's dimension.

From the scientific method, there would be discrepancy calling to question the authenticity of the shroud based on the height of the image only if 1) the actual height of Jesus was known, 2) a claim was made that the image on the cloth is his image, and 3) the height of image when compared with his known height could not be reconciled within acceptable scientific margins.

Has the Church said that the relic that is the Holy Shroud of Turin is the actual "clean linen cloth" in which Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus Christ? [cf. Mt 27:59 (RSVCE)].

That the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin is taken for granted, in various pronouncements of the Holy See cannot be disputed.

So to the Holy See [and many others], the relic is authentic, but the Holy See has not declared this relic was the burial shroud of the LORD.

It is said that this is the most studied artifact in history, therefore there are tons of material out there. Here is a link to one:

Brutal punishment

In their research paper, Gualdi and her colleagues noted that the Romans had learned of crucifixion from the Carthaginians and used it as a form of capital punishment for almost a thousand years, until Emperor Constantine banned it in the fourth century A.D.

Roman crucifixions were designed to cause maximum pain for a prolonged period &mdash victims' feet and wrists were usually nailed to a wooden cross, which would hold them upright while they suffered a slow and agonizing death, often taking several days, the researchers said.

As such, it was usually carried out only for the execution of slaves in Roman society, the researchers said the bodies were often left on the cross to rot or to be eaten by animals, but in some cases, they were removed and buried.

Regarding the remains from Gavello, there were no signs that the man was nailed up by the wrists instead, his arms may have been tied to the cross with rope, which was also done at the time, Gualdi said.

Crucifixions are often described in historical writings from ancient Roman times, including when Roman soldiers executed 6,000 captured slaves after the revolt led by the gladiator Spartacus in the first century B.C.

The visual height of your fist, held out in front of you, is about 10 degrees.

You can check this by starting with your arm straight out, and than walking you fists upward, hand over hand. At 9 fists, you should be pointed at the ceiling.

A brief elaboration: together, the distance from eye to outstretched fist, and the height of the fist, form two sides of a right triangle, and thus determine an angle. (say 58 cm and 9 cm, "opposite over adjacent" is 9/58, with arctan(9/58) = 9 degrees).

It would be nice to have some notes on usage, on sensitivity to fist distance, on measuring the distance to objects of known size (aircraft, people), on measuring the height of a building by walking towards it, on .

Roman Villas in England

When the Romans invaded Britain in the first century AD they made little attempt to adapt their architecture to the traditions of their new Roman province of Britannia. Rather, they imposed their own Mediterranean style of architecture and town planning. One of the most visible remnants of that style in England is the Roman villa.

In Latin the word villa means simply, "farm", so technically villas were any form of rural agricultural dwelling built in a Roman style. In practice, though, when we speak of villas we mean the country estates of the Romanised British elite. Although at first the conquered tribal aristocracy may have been drawn into towns, it wasn't long before they began a "back to the land" movement.

Most large villas are built quite close to major urban centres, generally within ten miles, so the owners were never very far from the centre of affairs. Villas were more than fancy houses, though they were centres of rural industry and agriculture.

In one complex they could hold the landowner and his family, overseers, labourers, storehouses, and industrial buildings. Although some may have been strictly the centre of large farms, others included industry in the form of pottery and metalworking.

Although villas are not unknown in the north of England, by far the largest number were constructed in the fertile lowlands of the south east, particularly in Kent and Sussex.

Roman building falls into two major eras immediately post-conquest most houses and public buildings were built in timber on stone or wooden foundations, and in the 2nd century were rebuilt in stone.

Individual houses were as different then as they are now, but the villas followed some general patterns. Most were one story in height, based on a stone foundation, and capped with slate or clay tiled roofs. These villas also boasted some creature comforts which would not be common to England again for over a thousand years after the end of the Roman era. Mosaic or marbled floors, painted plaster walls, and central heating were not unknown, especially in those villas owned by government officials.

Underfloor heating systems were universal, fed by a separate fire chamber which funnelled hot air through stone channels under the building. One wonders how much some of the British aristocrats understood the new Roman styles they were adopting, for in one intriguing case the heating system was never fired up.

Tile floors were common, and most larger villas contained at least one room with a mosaic floor. Walls may have been decorated with mosaics or painted scenes. Roman furniture was made of wood, in patterns similar to Roman style throughout the Empire. Many villas also had separate bath houses.

Floor plans fell into three main categories, the corridor, courtyard, and basilica styles. These styles were occasionally mixed together in the same building. The corridor style is pretty basic architecture just a long passage with rooms opening off it. [Note: this floor plan drawing and the two that follow are grossly simplified].

By the fourth century, the corridor sprouted wings and finally enclosed a central space to become a courtyard house. Although reminiscent of Mediterranean houses arranged around a central atrium, these courtyard villas were actually little more than a three or four-sided group of corridors with adjoining rooms.

The basilica, or aisled hall, (also called "barn style") is similar to both earlier Iron Age and later Saxon halls. The hall is a rectangular building, with two rows of interior posts along the length, creating a central nave while leaving space along each long wall.

The golden age of the villa in England was in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. After that, they fell into disuse or were taken over for other purposes.

Major Villas to visit in England:
Bignor Roman Villa
Bignor, 7 m N Arundel, West Sussex, off the A29
In its heyday, Bignor took in 70 buildings over 4 acres. Today, the site museum preserves some of the best mosaics in England. From Bignor, you can trace the route of Stane Street, the great Roman road linking Chichester with London.

Yanworth, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on A429, National Trust
Romano-British villa in a lovely valley setting. Two bath complexes and intricate mosaics, with a museum of local artefacts.

Fishbourne Palace
Salthill Road, Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex, off the A27
!st century Roman palace with intact mosaics, underfloor heating system and baths. Part of the gardens have been restored to the Roman plan, with appropriate plantings. Try your hand at making your own mosaic in a hands-on display area.

Eynsford, Kent, off the A225, English Heritage
Discovered in 1949, remains of an extensive villa with lovely mosaic floors depicting ancient myths. Also on the site, the remains of one of the earliest Christian chapels in England.

Roman Aqueducts

The great and highly advanced Roman waterway system known as the aqueducts, are among the greatest engineering and architectural achievements in the ancient world. The running water, indoor plumbing and sewer system carrying away disease from the population within the Empire wasn't surpassed in capability until very modern times.

The aqueducts, being the most visible and glorious piece of the ancient water system, stand as a testament to Roman engineering. Some of these ancient structures are still in use today in various capacities.

Roman aqueducts were built from a combination of stone, brick and the special volcanic cement pozzuolana. While their visible remains leave a definite impression, the great bulk of the Roman waterway system ran below ground. Channels bored through rock, or dug below the surface carried water where it was convenient and possible. Of the approximately 260 miles in the aqueduct system, only 30 miles consisted of the visible, mammoth arched structures.

The aqueducts were built only to carry the flow of water in areas where digging, burrowing, or surface grades presented problems, such as valleys. The entire system relied upon various gradients and the use of gravity to maintain a continuous flow and the engineering at the time was remarkable. Without the aqueducts it would've been impossible to maintain the flow of water at the proper grades required.

When water reached Rome it flowed into enormous cisterns (castella) maintained on the highest ground. These large reservoirs held the water supply for the city and were connected to a vast network of lead pipes. Everything from public fountains, baths and private villas could tap into the network, sometimes provided a fee was paid. The water system was as politically motivated as any other massive public works project. Providing additional sources of incoming flow, feeding the baths or simply providing water access to more of the populace could grant great prestige.

Maintenance of the water system was a continuous task, and the Romans assigned a Curator Aquarum to oversee this undertaking. Paid laborers, slaves and the legions all had parts in building parts of the water system. The Curator Aquarum maintained the aqueducts of Rome, while similar curators oversaw those in the provinces. The legions however, when building new colonies or forts, were responsible for providing their own water supply. Just as they were the great road builders of the Empire, they most assuredly took part in the aqueduct construction of outlying areas.

Eleven separate aqueducts supplied the city of Rome and were built over a span of 500 years. The first, the Aqua Appia, was built in conjunction with the great southern road the Via Appia in 312 BC. Aqua Novus stretched the farthest from the city, reaching approximately 59 miles away. At its largest extant, nearly 200 cities within the empire were supplied buy aqueducts, far surpassing the capability of any civilization before or after for nearly another 2 millenia. The last Roman aqueduct built was the Aqua Alexandrina built in 226 AD.

In the waning days of the western empire, invading Germanic tribes cut the supply of water into Rome and only the Aqua Virgo, which ran completely underground, continued to deliver water. During the middle ages, a couple of the lines were restored, but full access to running water wasn't re-established until the Renaissance. At the height of the ancient city's population of approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants, the water system was capable of delivering up to 1 cubic meter of water per person in the city, more than what is commonly available in most cities today.

Watch the video: Average Human Height by Country 2021. Height Comparison Worldwide 3D (May 2022).