Article

Land Transport, Part 1: Roads and Bridges

Lorenzo Quilici

in The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199734856
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199734856.013.0023

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Land Transport, Part 1: Roads and Bridges

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This article concentrates on the roads and bridges of the Italian peninsula. The Via Appia represented the affirmation of a rational design. Its design can be compared to that of modern Italian autostradas. The major Roman roads in Italy and their design and layout are discussed. Also, the construction and paving of Via Ostiense, Via Salaria, Via Domitiana, and gravel roads are reported. It is noted that a real technical revolution started with the construction of bridges in mixed materials, beginning with Domitian's bridge over the Volturno, which inaugurated the use of arcades with brick arches. Out of the many routes that made up the Roman road system, three can be pointed out as well-known, diverse examples of the technology: the Via Domitia in Gaul, the Via Egnatia that crosses the Balkans, and the caravan road from Aleppo to the Euphrates.

Keywords: Via Appia; Via Ostiense; Via Salaria; Via Domitiana; Via Egnatia; bridges; caravan road; gravel roads; Italy

Article.  13615 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology ; Classical Art and Architecture

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