Chapter

Water and Late Antique Constantinople

James Crow

in Two Romes

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400.003.0005

Series: Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

Water and Late Antique Constantinople

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This is a study of the organization and provision of the water supply of Constantinople in Late Antiquity, which also provides a comparison with the case of Rome. It integrates textual evidence with the detailed evidence provided from recent structural and hydrogeological research undertaken by the author. As the New Rome came into the ascendant throughout the fourth and fifth centuries surviving legislation reveals divergent approaches to the maintenance of the urban water supply in the two cities. The evidence further demonstrates the symbolic as well as the practical value of investment in the urban infrastructure. In particular the sources appear to suggest how the maintenance of the aqueducts came to dominate urban euergetism at Constantinople at the expense of other aspects of civic display. Finally, the comparative element of the study helps deepen our understanding of the diverging narratives of the two imperial cities.

Keywords: Aqueducts; urban infrastructure; water supply; Constantinople; Rome

Chapter.  8280 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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