Modern Leiden, Netherlands is an old city formed in the early Middle Ages within a fork between two rivers. But long before then, this area housed an impressive Roman fort called Matilo.
The first Romans there arrived in this area around the year 47 to help reinforce the Germanic border. They began with digging a canal between the Maas and the Rijn Rivers, creating a small, strategically strong enclave that was surrounded by water on all sides. The fort they constructed played an important role in remaining order and peace in the region until the third century, when it was abandoned.
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