Klaus Belke

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Reception
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The Romans were not the first road builders in history, but they were the first to attempt to cover the whole empire up its frontiers with a systematic and dense network of carefully engineered and well-maintained roads. As the Byzantine Empire is the Roman Empire of the east, Byzantine roads are in effect the Roman roads of the eastern provinces, which the Byzantines in the course of their history little by little adapted to changing circumstances, needs, and means. This article focuses on the central regions of the Byzantine Empire, the Balkan peninsula, and Asia Minor. The article discusses the main routes of the Byzantine Empire; the purposes of road-building, their users, the means of travel; road administration, Byzantine road-building and repairing activities; different levels of roads and their Byzantine designations; the archaeological aspect of roads, bridges, and staging posts.

Keywords: Byzantine Empire; Roman Empire; Balkan peninsula; Asia Minor; road-building; travel; roads; bridges; staging posts; road administration

Article.  5712 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Historical Archaeology

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