An easy trap when looking at Roman Scotland, or indeed the history of any single part of the Roman empire, is to see history as vertical rather than horizontal. Here, by that I mean that a direct line is often drawn from Mons Graupius and the Antonine Wall, to Braveheart and the Battle of Bannockburn, all the way along to Alex Salmond. It is easy to forget that while the Romans were in Scotland, they were pursuing similar aims in the rest of Europe.
This was brought home to me 10 days ago by this memorial to Quintus Carminius Ingenuus in the Saalburg Roman Fort near Bad Homburg in Germany (the original is in Worms). A signifer in the Ala 1 Hispanorum, Quintus served for 25 years.
What brought me up short was that the image of the cavalryman trampling barbarians is the same as the much-lauded cavalry imagery on the Bridgeness Slab, the distance marker stone on the Antonine Wall, found in Bo'ness and erected by the Legio II Augusta. Art doesn't exist in a vacuum.