Thursday, 24 March 2011

Release of the movie "The Eagle"

It's not often a war film set in Scotland gets released and a big budget Hollywood one at that. Tomorrow is the release date for "The Eagle". It's based on Rosemary Sutcliffe's 1954 book "Eagle of the Ninth".

I haven't seen the film so can't possibly comment on how good or bad it is but it was filmed in Plockton and used locals as extras so I hope it has an authentically Scottish (well Pictish / Celtic) feel.

It is known that the Roman Ninth, or IX Hispana Legion was based in the North of England in the second century A.D. from an inscription in York in 108 A.D. By 162 A.D. a list of all the Roman Legions around their Empire doesn't list the Ninth, so between 108 and 162 it ceased to exist. Unfortunately records from that time are too patchy to know whether it was or wasn't destroyed in what is now Scotland, and all the evidence either way seems to be pretty circumstantial

By tracing evidence of a campaign from Roman marching camps, local historians from Roman Scotland have put forward a theory that the legion was marching along the Tweed valley in 117 A.D. when it disappeared around what is now Cardrona near Peebles. They have put a lot of effort into this investigation so I'd be interested to see if their theory turns out to be right.

Anyway enough about the real history; we're talking about Hollywood history (and one based on a children's novel from the 1950s). So forget about the facts and enjoy the trailer we've posted.

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