Hadrian's Wall ( Latin : Vallum Aelium ), also called the Roman Wall , Picts' Wall , or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia , begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian .  It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea , and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire , immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons , including the Picts .
Hadrian’s Wall was built mainly by soldiers of the three legions of Britain, but it was manned by the second-line auxiliary troops. Its purpose was to control movement across the frontier and to counter low-intensity threats. There was no intention of fighting from the wall top; the units based on the wall were trained and equipped to encounter the enemy in the open.