Roman engineering

The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced engineering accomplishments, although some of their own inventions were improvements on older ideas, concepts and inventions. Technology for bringing running water into cities was developed in the east, but transformed by the Romans into a technology inconceivable in Greece. The architecture used in Rome was strongly influenced by Greek and Etruscan sources.

Roads were common at that time, but the Romans improved their design and perfected the construction to the extent that many of their roads are still in use today. Their accomplishments surpassed most other civilizations of their time, and after their time, and many of their structures have withstood the test of time to inspire others, especially during the Renaissance. Moreover, their contributions were described in some detail by authors such as Vitruvius, Frontinus and Pliny the Elder, so there is a printed record of their many inventions and achievements.

Reconstruction of a 10,4m high Roman Polyspastos in Germany


1,000 cubic metres (260,000 US gal) of water were brought into Rome by 14 different aqueducts each day. Per capita water usage in ancient Rome matched that of modern-day cities like New York City or modern Rome. Most water was for public use, such as baths and sewers. De aquaeductu is the definitive two volume treatise on 1st century aqueducts of Rome, written by Frontinus.

The aqueducts could stretch from 10–100 km (10–60 mi) long, and typically descended from an elevation of 300 m (1,000 ft) above sea level at the source, to 100 m (330 ft) when they reached the reservoirs around the city. Roman engineers used inverted siphons to move water across a valley if they judged it impractical to build a raised aqueduct. The Roman legions were largely responsible for building the aqueducts. Maintenance was often done by slaves.[1]

The Romans were among the first civilizations to harness the power of water. They built some of the first watermills outside of Greece for grinding flour and spread the technology for constructing watermills throughout the Mediterranean region. A famous example occurs at Barbegal in southern France, where no fewer than 16 overshot mills built into the side of a hill were worked by a single aqueduct, the outlet from one feeding the mill below in a cascade.

They were also skilled in mining, building aqueducts needed to supply equipment used in extracting metal ores, e.g. hydraulic mining, and the building of reservoirs to hold the water needed at the minehead. It is known that they were also capable of building and operating mining equipment such as crushing mills and dewatering machines. Large diameter vertical wheels of Roman vintage, for raising water, have been excavated from the Rio Tinto mines in Southwestern Spain. They were closely involved in exploiting gold resources such as those at Dolaucothi in south west Wales and in north-west Spain, a country where gold mining developed on a very large scale in the early part of the first century AD, such as at Las Medulas.


Roman bridges were among the first large and lasting bridges ever built. They were built with stone, employing the arch as basic structure. Most utilized concrete as well. Built in 142 BC, the Pons Aemilius, later named Ponte Rotto (broken bridge) is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy.

The biggest Roman bridge was Trajan's bridge over the lower Danube, constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus, which remained for over a millennium; the longest bridge to have been built both in terms of overall and span length. They were normally at least 18 meters above the body of water.

An example of temporary military bridge construction is the two Caesar's Rhine bridges.


The Romans built many dams for water collection, such as the Subiaco dams, two of which fed Anio Novus, the largest aqueduct supplying Rome. One of the Subiaco dams was reputedly the highest ever found or inferred. They built 72 dams in Spain, such as those at Mérida, and many more are known across the empire. At one site, Montefurado in Galicia, they appear to have built a dam across the river Sil to expose alluvial gold deposits in the bed of the river. The site is near the spectacular Roman gold mine of Las Medulas.

Several earthen dams are known from Britain, including a well-preserved example from Roman Lanchester, Longovicium, where it may have been used in industrial-scale smithing or smelting, judging by the piles of slag found at this site in northern England. Tanks for holding water are also common along aqueduct systems, and numerous examples are known from just one site, the gold mines at Dolaucothi in west Wales. Masonry dams were common in North Africa for providing a reliable water supply from the wadis behind many settlements.


Colosseum in Rome, Italy - April 2007
The Colosseum in Rome.

The buildings and architecture of Ancient Rome was impressive even by modern standards. The Circus Maximus, for example, was large enough to be used as a stadium. The Colosseum also provides an example of Roman architecture at its finest. One of many stadiums built by the Romans, the Colosseum exhibits the arches and curves commonly associated with Roman buildings.

The Pantheon in Rome still stands a monument and tomb, and the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla are remarkable for their state of preservation, the former still possessing intact domes. Such massive public buildings were copied in numerous provincial capitals and towns across the empire, and the general principles behind their design and construction are described by Vitruvius writing at the turn of millennium in his monumental work De architectura.

The technology developed for the baths was especially impressive, especially the widespread use of the hypocaust for one of the first types of central heating developed anywhere. That invention was used not just in the large public buildings, but spread to domestic buildings such as the many villas which were built across the Empire.


The most common materials used were brick, stone or masonry, cement, concrete and marble. Brick came in many different shapes. Curved bricks were used to build columns, and triangular bricks were used to build walls.

Marble was mainly a decorative material. Augustus Caesar once boasted that he had turned Rome from a city of bricks to a city of marble. The Romans had originally brought marble over from Greece, but later found their own quarries in northern Italy.

Cement was made of hydrated lime (calcium oxide) mixed with sand and water. The Romans discovered that substituting or supplementing the sand with a pozzolanic additive, such as volcanic ash, would produce a very hard cement, known as hydraulic mortar or hydraulic cement. They used it widely in structures such as buildings, public baths and aqueducts, ensuring their survival into the modern era.


Diagram of Roman road construction [2]

Roman roads were constructed to be immune to floods and other environmental hazards. Some roads built by the Romans are still in use today.

There were several variations on a standard Roman road. Most of the higher quality roads were composed of five layers. The bottom layer, called pavimentum, was one inch thick and made of mortar. Above this were four strata of masonry. The layer directly above the pavimentum was called the statumen. It was one foot thick, and was made of stones bound together by cement or clay.

Above that, there were the rudens, which were made of ten inches of rammed concrete. The next layer, the nucleus, was made of twelve to eighteen inches of successively laid and rolled layers of concrete. Summa crusta of silex or lava polygonal slabs, one to three feet in diameter and eight to twelve inches thick, were laid on top of the rudens. The final upper surface was made of concrete or well smoothed and fitted flint.

Generally, when a road encountered an obstacle, the Romans preferred to engineer a solution to the obstacle rather than redirecting the road around it: Bridges were constructed over all sizes of waterway; marshy ground was handled by the construction of raised causeways with firm foundations; hills and outcroppings were frequently cut or tunneled through rather than avoided (the tunnels were made with square hard rock block).


Drainage wheel from Rio Tinto mines.

The Romans were the first to exploit mineral deposits using advanced technology, especially the use of aqueducts to bring water from great distances to help operations at the pithead. Their technology is most visible at sites in Britain such as Dolaucothi where they exploited gold deposits with at least 5 long aqueducts tapping adjacent rivers and streams. They used the water to prospect for ore by unleashing a wave of water from a tank to scour away the soil and so reveal the bedrock with any veins exposed to sight. They used the same method (known as hushing) to remove waste rock, and then to quench hot rocks weakened by fire-setting.

Such methods could be very effective in opencast mining, but fire-setting was very dangerous when used in underground workings. They were made redundant with the introduction of explosives, although hydraulic mining is still used on alluvial tin ores. They were also used to produce a controlled supply to wash the crushed ore. It is highly likely that they also developed water-powered stamp mills to crush hard ore, which could be washed to collect the heavy gold dust.

At alluvial mines, they applied their hydraulic mining methods on a vast scale, such as Las Medulas in north-west Spain. Traces of tanks and aqueducts can be found at many other early Roman mines. The methods are described in great detail by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia.

He also described deep mining underground, and mentions the need to dewater the workings using reverse overshot water-wheels, and actual examples have been found in many Roman mines exposed during later mining attempts. The copper mines at Rio Tinto were one source of such artifacts, where a set of 16 was found in the 1920s. They also used Archimedean screws to remove water in a similar way.

Military engineering

Engineering was also institutionally ingrained in the Roman military, who constructed forts, camps, bridges, roads, ramps, palisades, and siege equipment amongst others. One of the most notable examples of military bridge-building in the Roman Empire was Julius Caesar's bridge over the Rhine River. This bridge was completed in only ten days by a dedicated team of engineers. Their exploits in the Dacian wars under Trajan in the early 2nd century AD are recorded on Trajan's column in Rome.

The army was also closely involved in gold mining and probably built the extensive complex of leats and cisterns at the Roman gold mine of Dolaucothi in Wales shortly after conquest of the region in 75 AD.

Power technology

Barbegal aqueduct 01
Arles Aqueduct
Barbegal mill 06
Mills below aqueduct

Water wheel technology was developed to a high level during the Roman period, a fact attested both by Vitruvius (in De Architectura) and by Pliny the Elder (in Naturalis Historia). The largest complex of water wheels existed at Barbegal near Arles, where the site was fed by a channel from the main aqueduct feeding the town. It is estimated that the site comprised 16 separate overshot water wheels arranged in two parallel lines down the hillside. The outflow from one wheel became the input to the next one down in the sequence.

Twelve kilometers north of Arles, at Barbegal, near Fontvieille, where the aqueduct arrived at a steep hill, the aqueduct fed a series of parallel water wheels to power a flourmill. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[3] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for the 12,500 inhabitants occupying the town of Arelate at that time.[4]

The Hierapolis sawmill was a Roman water-powered stone saw mill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Dating to the second half of the 3rd century AD,[5] the sawmill is the earliest known machine to combine a crank with a connecting rod.[6]

The watermill is shown on a raised relief on the sarcophagus of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos, a local miller. A waterwheel fed by a mill race is shown powering two frame saws via a gear train cutting rectangular blocks.[7]

Further crank and connecting rod mechanisms, without gear train, are archaeologically attested for the 6th century AD water-powered stone sawmills at Gerasa, Jordan, and Ephesus, Turkey.[8] Literary references to water-powered marble saws in Trier, now Germany, can be found in Ausonius' late 4th century AD poem Mosella. They attest a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire.[9]

A complex of mills also existed on the Janiculum in Rome fed by the Aqua Traiana. The Aurelian Walls were carried up the hill apparently to include the water mills used to grind grain towards providing bread flour for the city. The mill was thus probably built at the same time as or before the walls were built by the emperor Aurelian (reigned 270-275 AD). The mills were supplied from an aqueduct, where it plunged down a steep hill.[10]

The site thus resembles Barbegal, although excavations in the late 1990s suggest that they may have been undershot rather than overshot in design. The mills were in use in 537 AD when the Goths besieging the city cut off their water supply. However they were subsequently restored and may have remained in operation until at least the time of Pope Gregory IV (827-44).[11]

Many other sites are reported from across the Roman Empire, although many remain unexcavated.

See also


  1. ^ Vinati, Simona and Piaggi, Marco de. “Roman Aqueducts, Aqueducts in Rome.” Web. 5/1/2012
  2. ^ Duruy, Victor, and J. P. Mahaffy. History of Rome and the Roman People: From Its Origin to the Establishment of the Christian Empire. London: K. Paul, Trench & Co, 1883. Page 17
  3. ^ Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimonie Archived 2013-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ La meunerie de Barbegal
  5. ^ Ritti, Grewe & Kessener 2007, p. 140
  6. ^ Ritti, Grewe & Kessener 2007, p. 161
  7. ^ Ritti, Grewe & Kessener 2007, pp. 139–141
  8. ^ Ritti, Grewe & Kessener 2007, pp. 149–153
  9. ^ Wilson 2002, p. 16
  10. ^ Örjan Wikander, 'Water-mills in Ancient Rome' Opuscula Romana XII (1979), 13-36.
  11. ^ Örjan Wikander, 'Water-mills in Ancient Rome' Opuscula Romana XII (1979), 13-36.


  • Davies, Oliver (1935). Roman Mines in Europe. Oxford.
  • Healy, A.F. (1999). Pliny the Elder on Science and Technology. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • Hodge, T. (2001). Roman aqueducts and Water supply (2nd ed.). Duckworth.
  • Ritti, Tullia; Grewe, Klaus; Kessener, Paul (2007), "A Relief of a Water-powered Stone Saw Mill on a Sarcophagus at Hierapolis and its Implications", Journal of Roman Archaeology, 20: 138–163
  • Smith, Norman (1972). A History of Dams. Citadel Press.

Further reading

  • Cuomo, Serafina. 2008. "Ancient written sources for engineering and technology." In The Oxford handbook of engineering and technology in the classical world. Edited by John P. Oleson, 15–34. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Greene, Kevin. 2003. "Archaeology and technology." In A companion to archaeology. Edited by John L. Bintliff, 155–173. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Humphrey, John W. 2006. Ancient technology. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
  • McNeil, Ian, ed. 1990. An encyclopedia of the history of technology. London: Routledge.
  • Oleson, John P., ed. 2008. The Oxford handbook of engineering and technology in the classical world. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Rihll, Tracey E. 2013. Technology and society in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Washington, DC: American Historical Society.
  • White, Kenneth D. 1984. Greek and Roman technology. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.
Arapsu Bridge

The Arapsu Bridge is a Roman bridge in Antalya, Turkey. The well-preserved footbridge lies in the Arapsuyu district, 5–6 km west to the city center, at the foot of an ancient mound which is associated with the Greek colony of Olbia.Partly submerged by a modern weir about 100 m downstream, the exact form of its masonry arch is difficult to determine. According to George Bean, the slightly pointed arch indicates a post-ancient construction date. Colin O'Connor, however, classifies the bridge as a Roman segmental arch bridge, examples of which have survived in the neighbouring province Lycia (such as the Limyra Bridge).

Constantine's Bridge (Mysia)

Constantine's Bridge was a late antique bridge in Mysia, modern-day Turkey.

The structure, built some time after 258 AD, crossed the river Rhyndacus (modern Adırnas Çayı) at Lopadium (modern Uluabat). It was crowned in Byzantine times by a chapel dedicated by Saint Helena to emperor Constantine I (r. 324–337 AD). Only few remains have survived: at the beginning of the 20th century, the English archaeologist Frederick William Hasluck reported no arch as complete, and only a few ruined piers on the north bank. The masonry consisted of ashlar-faced rubble.Apart from Constantine's Bridge, other remarkably well preserved Roman bridges have survived in Mysia, known by the rivers they cross as the Makestos Bridge, the Aesepus Bridge and the White Bridge over the Granicus.


A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability. Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. The earliest known dam is the Jawa Dam in Jordan, dating to 3,000 BC.

The word dam can be traced back to Middle English, and before that, from Middle Dutch, as seen in the names of many old cities. The first known appearance of dam occurs in 1165. However, there is one village, Obdam, that is already mentioned in 1120. The word seems to be related to the Greek word taphos, meaning "grave" or "grave hill". So the word should be understood as "dike from dug out earth". The names of more than 40 places (with minor changes) from the Middle Dutch era (1150–1500 CE) such as Amsterdam (founded as 'Amstelredam' in the late 12th century) and Rotterdam, also bear testimony to the use of the word in Middle Dutch at that time.

De aquaeductu

De aquaeductu (English: On aqueducts) is a two-book official report given to the emperor Nerva or Trajan on the state of the aqueducts of Rome, and was written by Julius Sextus Frontinus at the end of the 1st century AD. It is also known as De Aquis or De Aqueductibus Urbis Romae. It is the earliest official report of an investigation made by a distinguished citizen on Roman engineering works to have survived. Frontinus had been appointed Water Commissioner by the emperor Nerva in AD 96.

With the recovery of Frontinus' manuscript from the library at Monte Cassino in 1425, effected by the tireless humanist Poggio Bracciolini, details of the construction and maintenance of the Roman aqueduct system became available once more, just as Renaissance Rome began to revive and require a dependable source of pure water.

Gemarrin Bridge

The Bridge of Gemarrin is a Roman bridge in the village of Jemarrin near the ancient city of Bosra in southern Syria. The bridge belonged to the Roman road to Soada Dionysias (As-Suwayda), crossing the Wadi Zeidi some kilometers north of Bostra.Today, the structure presents itself essentially as an arch skeleton: while the three semi-circular arches, made from local basalt, are still extant, the roadway and the fill have been removed to expose the top of the arch vaults. Obliquely running embankments on both sides of the wadi force the water in the river bed under the bridge.At least two other Roman bridges over the Wadi Zeidi, the Kharaba Bridge and the one At-Tayyibeh, have survived to this day.

Kharaba Bridge

The Kharaba Bridge is a Roman bridge in the village of Kharaba in the fertile Hauran region of Syria, close to the city of Bosra (ancient Bostra).

The bridge crosses the Wadi Zeidi, a tributary of the Yarmuk, 3.5 km northwest of Bosra. It has three semi-circular arches, each 3.8 m clear, that rest on 2.4 m wide piers with a height of 2.5 m to the springing level. The bridge width is 4.52 m. At the eastern side exists a small squarish floodway which is supported by a column with capital. The vaults and the covering are predominantly built with black greenish basalt ashlar; overall, the ancient structure is still in a fairly good condition.There are at least two more Roman bridges crossing the Wadi Zeidi: the Gemarrin Bridge and one at At-Tayyibeh.

List of Roman dams and reservoirs

This is a list of Roman dams and reservoirs. The study of Roman dam-building has received little scholarly attention in comparison to their other civil engineering activities, even though their contributions in this field have been ranked alongside their expertise in constructing the well-known Roman aqueducts, bridges, and roads.Roman dam construction began in earnest in the early imperial period. For the most part, it concentrated on the semi-arid fringe of the empire, namely the provinces of North Africa, the Near East, and Hispania. The relative abundance of Spanish dams below is due partly to more intensive field work there; for Italy only the Subiaco Dams, created by emperor Nero (54–68 AD) for recreational purposes, are attested. These dams are noteworthy, though, for their extraordinary height, which remained unsurpassed anywhere in the world until the Late Middle Ages.The most frequent dam types were earth- or rock-filled embankment dams and masonry gravity dams. These served a wide array of purposes, such as irrigation, flood control, river diversion, soil-retention, or a combination of these functions. In this, Roman engineering did not differ fundamentally from the practices of older hydraulic societies.

"The Romans' ability to plan and organise engineering construction on a grand scale" gave their dam construction special distinction. Their engineering prowess, therefore, facilitated the construction of large and novel reservoir dams, which secured a permanent water supply for urban settlements even during the dry season, a common concept today, but little-understood and -employed in ancient times.The impermeability of Roman dams was increased by the introduction of waterproof hydraulic mortar and especially opus caementicium in the Concrete Revolution. These materials also allowed for bigger structures to be built, like the Lake Homs Dam, possibly the largest water barrier to date, and the sturdy Harbaqa Dam, both of which consist of a concrete core.

On the whole, Roman dam engineering displayed a high degree of completeness and innovativeness. While hitherto dams relied solely on their heavy weight to resist the thrust of water, Roman builders were the first to realize the stabilizing effect of arches and buttresses, which they integrated into their dam designs. Previously unknown dam types introduced by the Romans include:

arch-gravity dams

arch dams

buttress dams

multiple-arch buttress dams The origin of the so-called weir bridges, which were to become a popular design in Iran thereafter, can also be traced to the forced labour of Roman prisoners of war (see Band-e Kaisar).

List of Roman triumphal arches

For the history of triumphal arches, see Triumphal arch.

For post-Roman triumphal arches, see List of post-Roman triumphal arches.This is a list of Roman triumphal arches. All currently surviving Roman arches date from the imperial period (1st century BC onwards). They were preceded by honorific arches

set up under the Roman Republic, none of which survive. Triumphal arches were constructed across the Roman Empire and remain one of the most iconic examples of Roman architecture.

Nysa Bridge

The Nysa Bridge is a late imperial Roman bridge over the Cakircak stream in Nysa (modern Sultanhisar) in the ancient region of Caria, modern-day Turkey. The 100 m (328 ft) long substructure was the second largest of its kind in antiquity, after the Pergamon Bridge.

Penkalas Bridge

The Penkalas Bridge is a Roman bridge over the Penkalas (today Kocaçay), a small tributary of the Rhyndakos (Adırnas Çayı), in Aezani, Asia Minor (Çavdarhisar in present-day Turkey).

The 2nd-century AD structure was once one of four ancient bridges in Aezani and is assumed to have been the most important crossing-point due to its central location in the vicinity of the Zeus temple and the direct access it provided to the Roman road to Cotyaeum (Kütahya). According to reports by European travellers, the ancient parapet remained in use as late as 1829, having been replaced today by an unsightly iron railing.Around 290 m upstream, another well-preserved, almost identical five-arched Roman bridge leads across the Penkalas.

Pont Serme

The Pont Serme or Pons Selinus, later called the Pons Septimus, was a Roman bridge of the Via Domitia in Hérault, southern France. The approximately 1500 m long viaduct crossed the wide marshes of the Orb and the Etang de Capestang west of Béziers, surpassing in length even the Trajan's Bridge over the Danube. Today, very little traces are left at the site, save the name proper which passed over to a village nearby.

Ponte Molino (Padua)

The Ponte Molino is a Roman segmental arch bridge across the Bacchiglione in Padua, Italy. The span-to-rise ratio of the Late Republican bridge varies between 3.5–4.5 and 1, the ratio of clear span and pier thickness between 4–6.5 and 1.Apart from the Ponte Molino, there are other extant Roman bridges in Padua: Ponte San Lorenzo, Ponte Altinate and Ponte Corbo, all three also featuring segmented arches, as well as Ponte S. Matteo.

Ponte del Gran Caso

The Ponte del Gran Caso is a Roman bridge across the Torrente Gran Caso 2 km south of Ascoli Piceno, central Italy.Today, the structure is surrounded by thick vegetation, and serves only to carry a wood shed. The bridge has a span of 6 m, a width of 3.3 m and is built of travertine. The walls of one ramp feature two flood arches, one of which has a segmental shape and runs from the ground to the quarter point of the main arch rib. A similar segmental relieving arch can be found at another Roman bridge in central Italy, the Ponte di Pioraco.

Roman Bridge (Saint-Thibéry)

The Roman Bridge at Saint-Thibéry (French: Pont romain de Saint-Thibéry) was a Roman segmental arch bridge on the Via Domitia in southern France. The partly surviving structure crossed the river Hérault in Saint-Thibéry, 17 km east of Béziers.

Roman Bridge (Vaison-la-Romaine)

The Roman Bridge at Vaison-la-Romaine (French: Pont romain de Vaison-la-Romaine) is a Roman bridge over the river Ouvèze in the southern French town of Vaison-la-Romaine. The bridge was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, with a single arch spanning 17.20 m. It is still in use, and has survived severe flooding that swept away some more recent bridges.

Science and technology in Italy

Science and technology in Italy has a long presence, from the Roman era and the Renaissance. Through the centuries, Italy has advanced the scientific community which produced many significant inventions and discoveries in biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy and the other sciences.

Via Cassia

The Via Cassia was an important Roman road striking out of the Via Flaminia near the Milvian Bridge in the immediate vicinity of Rome and, passing not far from Veii, traversed Etruria. The Via Cassia passed through Baccanae, Sutrium, Volsinii, Clusium, Arretium, Florentia, Pistoria, and Luca, joining the Via Aurelia at Luna.The Via Cassia intersected other important roads. At mile 11 the Via Clodia diverged north-north-west. At Sette Vene, another road, probably the Via Annia, branched off to Falerii. In Sutrium, the Via Ciminia split off and later rejoined.The date of its construction is uncertain: it cannot have been earlier than 187 BC, when the consul Gaius Flaminius constructed a road from Bononia to Arretium, which must have coincided with a portion of the later Via Cassia. It is not mentioned by any ancient authorities before the time of Cicero, who in 45 BC speaks of the existence of three roads from Rome to Mutina: the Flaminia, the Aurelia and the Cassia. A milestone of AD 124 mentions repairs to the road made by Hadrian from the boundary of the territory of Clusium to Florentia, a distance of 86 miles (138 km).

Via Traiana

For Arabian road, see Via Traiana NovaThe Via Traiana was an ancient Roman road. It was built by the emperor Trajan as an extension of the Via Appia from Beneventum, reaching Brundisium (Brindisi) by a shorter route (i.e. via Canusium, Butuntum and Barium rather than via Tarentum). This was commemorated by an arch at Beneventum.

White Bridge (Mysia)

The White Bridge (Turkish: Akköprü) was a Roman bridge across the river Granicus in Mysia in the north west of modern-day Turkey. Presumably constructed in the 4th century AD, it belonged in Ottoman times to the important road to Gallipoli on the Dardanelles. The structure was praised by early European travellers for its fine construction and marble facing, but was plundered for building material during the 19th century.

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