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The Frontiers: Fundamental essentials Farthest Points The Romans Ever Got

The Roman Empire spanned the med and would be a massive empire. Its borders were typically Hadrian's Wall in Britain, the Rhine and Danube rivers in Europe, the Parthian Empire in the east, and also to the Sahara to the south.

The Roman Empire did expand outside of these borders and often reached very far – sometimes in occupation as well as in other times included in military campaigns. As these were frontier regions which were often very undeveloped or just occupied very briefly, so there aren't normally many impressive Roman ruins to appear today.

The Red Sea: The Farasan Islands

The Farasan Islands are a select few of coral islands in the Red Sea now part of Saudi Arabia. They are located very far down the Red Sea just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, close to Yemen and Eritrea.

In the first century AD, these little islands maintained as Portus Ferreseanus and they are believed to have housed the farthest Roman outpost from Rome. A Latin inscription found on the islands dating from 144 AD implies that the Romans built a garrison here. Administratively, the area was probably area of the Roman province of Arabia Felix before being transferred to the province Aegyptus (Egypt). They are over 3,000 from Rome.

  • Remotest: These Islands Had The Remotest Roman Garrison
  • Distance: 4,000 km or 2,500 miles From Rome

Today these islands have grown to be popular holiday destinations and there's a free ferry ride twice daily to the island from Jizan Port in Saudi Arabia.

Britain: Scotland and The Scottish Highlands

At several times in the history, all of southern Scotland was part of the Roman Empire with campaigns going much further north. The Romans didn't just build Hadrian's Wall across Britain – they built the Antonine Wall (twice) deep in Scotland.

The Romans built a number of supply forts, roads, and fortlets constructed around the routes up to the new frontier type of the Forth – Clyde isthmus in Scotland. They even campaigned as far north as Moray Firth within the Highlands (the Highlands of Scotland are very much worth visiting) along with a Roman fleet even reached the ultimate northern Orkney Islands from the northern Scottish coast.

But a couple of times they abandoned this northern frontier in support of Hadrian's Wall in England. Scotland was likely a mix of being too unruly, too far, and not valuable enough for that Romans to actually make use of.

Without a doubt, the Antonine Wall is an essential and substantial Roman ruin in Scotland today (but still there isn't that much to see).

The Antonine Wall:

  • Built: AD 140
  • Length: 30 Miles
  • Where: Central Scotland

The Caucasus: Armenia

The ancient kingdom of Greater Armenia what food was in different times a client state or buffer state. It had been mixed with the age-old rivalry between the Romans and the powerful Parthians (dedicated to the Iranian plateau).

Today Armenia includes a spectacular Roman temple to visit – the Temple of Garni which was probably focused on the sun's rays god Mihr. However this temple was more gifted towards the Armenians with Roman architects etc. dispatched to build it.

  • Temple of Garni: An Impressive Roman Temple Waiting in Armenia Today

Between 114 and 117 AD, the Parthian Empire finally collapsed as well as in this brief period, it would appear that areas of what's today Armenia were incorporated into the Roman Empire.

Recently, (in 2022) archeologists discovered the easternmost Roman aqueduct. The aqueduct is unfinished and in all likelihood dates from the second century once the Romans briefly conquered Armenia and had control of the town of Artaxata (the old Armenian capital).

The aqueduct is located near Khor Virap near to the border with Turkey. Following the region fell outside Roman control construction ceased and it was abandoned.

  • Built: Between 114 and 117 AD
  • Easternmost: It Is The Farthest Roman Aqueduct in this area
  • Roman Rule: Only around Three years

Iraq Down To Kuwait & Iran

While for most of history, the Roman border to the east ran roughly where the border between Iraq and Turkey today when the Parthians collapsed that all changed. The Roman province of Mesopotamia was a short-lived province created by Emperor Trajan in 116-117.

In Trajan's campaign, he conquered Armenia and rolled up the Parthian Empire. He were able to march completely and capture the truly amazing Persian city of Susa deposing the Parthian King Osroes I. They sailed on the river all the way to the Persian Gulf.

  • Persian Gulf: The Romans Reached The Persian Gulf

But after his death in 117, the new Emperor, Hadrian (ruled 117 to 138) chose to relinquish these conquests east of the Euphrates River. They were just too far to be feasible or defensible. No more would the Romans reach the Persian Gulf.

Additionally, the Romans expanded deep into Germany and parts of southern, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and much more. But those are stories for another day.

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