I remember watching the film ‘King Arthur’ a while ago. It’s the one about the fall of Hadrians wall that stars Clive Owen as a Roman Officer and a group of Sarmatian Warriors that were on one last mission to rescue a group of Roman nobles for the clutches of the Barbarians in the North. It also starred Kiera Knightley, who whilst looking very attractive in a languid sort of way, didn’t really convince me that she was the warrior queen Guinevere on the grounds that she doesn’t look as though she ‘s got the strength to draw breath, nevermind a war bow.
Anyway, I digress, although, it was a worthwhile diversion just to have an excuse to put a Picture of Kiera in my blog. The point was that the film looked at the legend of Arthur from a new historical Perspective and set the whole legend at the point when the Romans were leaving Britian rather than in the Middle ages.
Well, I was wrong. I was lucky enough to have the time to go and visit Hadrians wall recently and I’ve got to say that it is well worth a look. We went to the fort at Birdosland and I was surprised to find that it was garrisoned by the Dacians and that the later history of the wall seemed to support the the idea in the film that as the Romans pulled out the existing population would have become self governing and the existing garrisons would have stayed on. Even more thought provoking was just how much wasn’t known about the ‘dark days’ as the romans retreated from the wall. So the premise of the film isn’t so outlandish after all.
So I think that I’ll be having another look at that film and this time enjoy it as a possible version of what might have been and not get too sniffy over the historical facts. I bet it will have some great ideas for wargaming scenarios as well…..