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Bill Thayer

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Roman Aqueducts


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A very small stretch of the Aqua Claudia east of Rome.

First put online in June 2001, this page is for now merely a systematic orientation to material scattered thruout my site. Like the rest of LacusCurtius, it will gain cohesion over time.

Link to the homepage of the Smith's Dictionary subsite

[6/1/01: 7 pages, 7 woodcuts, 2 photos not elsewhere onsite ]

Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, long a standard reference work, remains a good place to start. The article Aquaeductus contains a fair amount of basic information on aqueducts and related water systems: not only some of the engineering, but also the officials and workers involved as well as the law governing them; several smaller articles provide some coverage of sewers, pipe, reservoirs, etc.


[image ALT: Arches of a ruined Roman aqueduct on a lawn. They are the Arcus Neroniani, or Arches of Nero, in Rome.]

[6/1/01: 13 pages ]

The best-known water system of the Roman world remains that of the capital, fed by about 20 aqueducts. For these, one of the standard resources is onsite: Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome has articles on each of them, as well as on various springs and watercourses in the City, the Euripus, the naumachiae, and so forth. All the major articles are online, the others are on their way.

Link to the homepage of the Latin Texts section

Aqueducts are of course found in particular places and in some cases are even intimately connected with them: so — especially if you've landed here out of the blue via a search engine — you may want to look at Topographia Antiqua, which collects several hundred pages of various kinds of ancient geography resources.

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Finally as I said, though my site is large and contains lots of information, it isn't as systematic as it could be. You can always use the search engine in the navigation bar below, but many of the results will be chaff; the more useful items not easily reachable otherwise are therefore grouped here for now:

Rome, S. Tommaso in Formis: photo and brief commentary
Rome, Porta Tiburtina: very interesting photo by a 19c editor of Frontinus
Rome, branch of the Aqua Julia: photo
Hispellum, church of S. Silvestro di Collepino: aqueduct inscription
Hispellum: photos of the interior of the channel of the same aqueduct a mile apart — 1 2

Site updated: 2 Oct 01