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Bill Thayer

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Crossing the Tinia (the modern Topino)

Tiniaeque inglorius humor . . .
Silius Italicus, VIII.454

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We're standing on the modern bridge that carries the Flaminia across the Topino as it flows away from you northwest towards Perugia, 25 km off as the crow flies: on a very clear day that city is visible in the hills more or less above the group of large trees. The river is obviously channelled between artificially raised banks: in Roman times much of this area was swamp, and the Romans were in fact the ones who started draining it.


[image ALT: zzz, It is a view of the bed of the Topino River near Fiamenga, Umbria (central Italy).]
The modern road and the Roman road are said to coincide over the entire stretch from the Madonna della Fiamenga 5 km east of here, to downtown Bevagna 2.8 km to your left. But here I'm not so sure. First, this is one of the two places where the modern "Flaminia" swerves slightly from rectilinearity — just a few yards toward you. Then, on closer inspection, what in the photo above appear to be loose stones, clearly resolves into remains of old bridge piers: the image on the right shows the west pier. The question is: how old? My feeling is: medieval with reuse of some stray Roman blocks; but I can't say why.

(You can also zoom in for a considerably closer look, from a slightly different angle, at this same pier.)

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Page updated: 22 Sep 03