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23 Jan 2021

Roman roads in Britannia were initially designed for military use, created by the Roman Army during the nearly four centuries (AD 43–410) that Britannia was a province of the Roman Empire. The portion of any street which passed a temple or public building was repaired by the aediles at the public expense. the complete reconstruction and widening of the Via Aemilia in northern Italy by the Emperor Augustus (reigned 37 BC – AD 14), two centuries after it was first built. A cloth top could be put on for weather, in which case it resembled a covered wagon. [9] Both main or secondary roads might either be paved, or left unpaved, with a gravel surface, as they were in North Africa. A legion on the march brought its own baggage train (impedimenta) and constructed its own camp (castra) every evening at the side of the road. A carrus with two horses was a biga; three horses, a triga; and four horses a quadriga. [9], The devolution to the censorial jurisdictions soon became a practical necessity, resulting from the growth of the Roman dominions and the diverse labors which detained the censors in the capital city. D.8.3.0 De servitutibus praediorum rusticorum. The modern word "mile" derives from the Latin milia passuum, "one thousand paces", which amounted to 5 Roman feet, or a modern measurement 4,841 feet (1,476 metres). The quattuorviri were afterwards called Quattuorviri viarum curandarum. The Lex Iulia Municipalis restricted commercial carts to night-time access in the city within the walls and within a mile outside the walls. The authorities could also rely on the fact that the soldiers would do the best they could for Rome – by building excellent roads. Roman law and tradition forbade the use of vehicles in urban areas, except in certain cases. Viae were generally centrally placed in the countryside. Roman Britain, area of the island of Great Britain that was under Roman rule from the conquest of Claudius in 43 CE to the withdrawal of imperial authority by Honorius in 410 CE. A third system of way stations serviced vehicles and animals: the mutationes ("changing stations"). These roads connected modern Italy and Germany, Roads built in service of the Roman Empire, "The extraordinary greatness of the Roman Empire manifests itself above all in three things: the aqueducts, the paved roads, and the construction of the drains.". The builder was a cisarius. The military used a standard wagon. Because mutationes were relatively small establishments, and their remains ambiguous, it is difficult to identify sites with certainty. Their names occur frequently in the inscriptions to restorers of roads and bridges. Non-military officials and people on official business had no legion at their service and the government maintained way stations, or mansiones ("staying places"), for their use. [9] Beyond its borders there were no paved roads; however, it can be supposed that footpaths and dirt roads allowed some transport. For instance, Wade's Causeway in North Yorkshire is taken from Wade of Germanic and Norse mythology. It could be used as the road, or additional layers could be constructed. When not in use, its wheels were removed for easier storage. Some links in the network were as long as 55 miles (89 km). Mansiones also housed detachments of troops, primarily auxiliaries, who regularly garrisoned and patrolled the roads along their whole length. [7] At least half a dozen sites have been positively identified as mansiones in Britain, e.g. An example is found in an early basalt road by the Temple of Saturn on the Clivus Capitolinus. Among those who performed this duty in connection with particular roads was Julius Caesar, who became curator (67 BC) of the Via Appia, and spent his own money liberally upon it. A road was renamed if the censor ordered major work on it, such as paving, repaving, or rerouting. From time to time, the roads would be completely resurfaced and might even be entirely rebuilt, e.g. They had a number of methods available to them. They performed the same functions but were somewhat disreputable, as they were frequented by thieves and prostitutes. [9] Furthermore, he appointed praetorians to the offices of "road-maker" and assigning each one with two lictors. Building roads that would not need frequent repair therefore became an ideological objective, as well as building them as straight as practicable to construct the shortest possible roads, and thus save on material. The Tables command Romans to build public roads and give wayfarers the right to pass over private land where the road is in disrepair. Of the carts, the main one was the plaustrum or plostrum. Private mail of the well-to-do was carried by tabellarii, an organization of slaves available for a price. A lighter version, the cisium, equivalent to a gig, was open above and in front and had a seat. Professional Papers of the Corps of Royal Engineers: Royal Engineer Institute, Occasional Papers. Road surfaces in the iron-producing areas of the Weald were made from iron slag. Generally the Roman roads in Britain have names derived from Anglo-Saxon giants and divinities. The final steps utilized lime-based concrete, which the Romans had discovered. Outside the cities, Romans were avid riders and rode on or drove quite a number of vehicle types, some of which are mentioned here. Via Traiana: Porolissum Napoca Potaissa Apulum road. [9] It was the duty of the aediles to enforce this responsibility. Using the gromae they then laid out a grid on the plan of the road. Cars were used to transport one or two individuals, coaches were used to transport parties, and carts to transport cargo. Chatham: Royal Engineer Institute, 1877. Maps and Itineraries of the Roman era, designed to aid travellers, provide useful evidence of placenames, routes and distances in Britain. In the centre a carriageway was built on a raised agger after stripping off soft topsoil, using the best local materials, often sand or sandy gravel. Construction of Roman roads. The same person often served afterwards as consul, but the road name is dated to his term as censor. The directions for making pavements given by. about 242 BC) and the Decemviri litibus iudicandis[12] (time unknown). The Cursus publicus, founded by Augustus, carried the mail of officials by relay throughout the Roman road system. They were built using many layers of masonry including concrete. Systematic construction of paved highways did not resume until the building of the first turnpikes in the early 18th century. The beauty and grandeur of the roads might tempt us to believe that any Roman citizen could use them for free, but this was not the case. Milestones permitted distances and locations to be known and recorded exactly. [9] Most of these date from the later part of the Roman period (AD250 onwards), since it was the practice to replace a road's milestones when a major repair was carried out. During the Empire, the emperor's name was included. Completely abolishing the duoviri and later being granted the position as superintendent (according to Dio Cassius) of the road system connecting Rome to the rest of Italy and provinces beyond. Thus, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Trajan, and Septimius Severus were commemorated in this capacity at Emérita. The Romans had a preference for standardization wherever possible, so Augustus, after becoming permanent commissioner of roads in 20 BC, set up the miliarium aureum ("golden milestone") near the Temple of Saturn. Beyond the secondary roads were the viae terrenae, "dirt roads". Stretham means "homestead or village on a Roman road" and likewise Stretford means "ford on a Roman road". Siculus Flaccus, who lived under Trajan (98–117), calls them viae publicae regalesque,[9] and describes their characteristics as follows: Roman roads were named after the censor who had ordered their construction or reconstruction. [9] With the term viae militariae compare the Icknield Way (e.g., Icen-hilde-weg, or "War-way of the Iceni").[9]. The crusta was crowned for drainage. The cursus was primarily concerned with the carriage of government or military officers, government payload such as monies from tax collection and for military wages, and official despatches, but it could be made available to private individuals with special permission and for a fee. The road was constructed by filling the ditch. They eventually made contracts for paving the street inside Rome, including the Clivus Capitolinus, with lava, and for laying down the roads outside the city with gravel. Into or onto the nucleus went a course of polygonal or square paving stones, called the summa crusta. Combined topographical and road-maps may have existed as specialty items in some Roman libraries, but they were expensive, hard to copy and not in general use. This was done by layering rock over other stones. Frequented houses no doubt became the first tabernae, which were hostels, rather than the "taverns" we know today. Although most routes were unpaved tracks, some British tribes had begun engineering roads during the first century BC.[2]. A more luxurious version, the carpentum, transported women and officials. D.43.11 De via publica et itinere publico reficiendo. Special curatores for a term seem to have been appointed on occasion, even after the institution of the permanent magistrates bearing that title. Of the coaches, the mainstay was the raeda or reda, which had four wheels. All the roads of the Roman Empire were built by the Roman military. The postman wore a characteristic leather hat, the petanus. Mansiones may also have housed the agents of the imperial procurator (the chief financial officer in the province) who collected the portorium, an imperial toll on goods in transit on public roads that was charged at 2 to ​2.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px;white-space:nowrap} 1⁄2 per cent of the value. At the base was inscribed the number of the mile relative to the road it was on. "Designing Roman roads. It transported the impedimenta (baggage) of a military column. The public road system of the Romans was thoroughly military in its aims and spirit. Again, Gaius Scribonius Curio, when Tribune (50 BC), sought popularity by introducing a Lex Viaria, under which he was to be chief inspector or commissioner for five years. The earliest roads, built in the first phase of Roman occupation (the Julio-Claudian period, AD 43–68), connected London with the ports used in the invasion (Chichester and Richborough), and with the earlier legionary bases at Colchester, Lincoln (Lindum), Wroxeter (Viroconium), Gloucester and Exeter. There is hardly a district to which we might expect a Roman official to be sent, on service either civil or military, where we do not find roads. Several unnamed roads were wider than Watling Street, such as the Silchester to Chichester road at 11.2 m (37 ft).[5]. These were probably the minimum widths for a via; in the later Republic, widths of around 12 Roman feet were common for public roads in rural regions, permitting the passing of two carts of standard (4 foot) width without interference to pedestrian traffic. A via connected two cities. The agger was sometimes, but not always, bordered by deep ditches to take rainwater and keep the road structure as dry as possible. In the provinces, the consul or praetor and his legates received authority to deal directly with the contractor. English place names continue to reflect the settlement of Britain by the Anglo-Saxons. ], if only to secure uniformity, the personal liability of householders to execute repairs of the streets was commuted for a paving rate payable to the public authorities who were responsible from time to time. In the Itinerary of Antoninus, the description of the road system, after the death of Julius Caesar and during the tenure of Augustus, is as follows: With the exception of some outlying portions, such as Britain north of the Wall, Dacia, and certain provinces east of the Euphrates, the whole Empire was penetrated by these itinera (plural of iter). For example, the Anglo-Saxons called the entire route from Dover/Portus Ritupis to Wroxeter, via Londinium (London): Watlingestrate (it is one of four former Roman roads (Latin: cammini) named as public rights of way under the Laws of Edward the Confessor in the early 11th century.[14][15]). ", This page was last edited on 18 January 2021, at 12:34. This was simply a platform of boards attached to wheels and a cross-tree. In the country districts, as has been stated, the magistri pagorum had authority to maintain the viae vicinales. For purposes of description, Roman vehicles can be divided into the car, the coach, and the cart. [9], Viae were distinguished not only according to their public or private character, but according to the materials employed and the methods followed in their construction. From this master list, parts could be copied and sold on the streets. Drawn by one or two mules or horses, it was used for cab work, the cab drivers being called cisiani. 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