Single Status Update
Apparently the Roman emperor Hadrian was an architect before he became emperor.
As it turns out, however, he may not have been a very good one.
Hadrian's Wall, for instance, had a gate every mile or so: the problem is that this didn't account for terrain at all (since it was mostly just Hadrian drawing on a piece of wood).
The result is there are places where the gates of the wall are positioned over rather stupid areas, like on the top of a cliff face, while the nearby valley (aka the most logical spot to place a gate) has a wall instead.
So we get a gate that is completely inaccessible, a superfluous wall, and soldiers that have to sleep on a slanted surface. No wonder they got drunk all the time.
It also turns out that he had a bit of an inferiority complex about his deficiencies as an architect.
"Once, before he succeeded Trajan, Hadrian is supposed to have tried to tell the celebrity architect Apollodorus how to improve a design. "Go and draw your pumpkins," the prickly builder reputedly replied. Those "pumpkins" were not squash but Hadrian's beloved domes.
According to this story, Hadrian waited many years and then found an excuse to execute the architect – even if untrue, a sign of his reputation for a long, grudge-bearing memory."
Location: currently in Oxford, but traveling to London tonight