Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire

Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire

Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire

Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire

Synopsis

The remains of Roman roads are a powerful reminder of the travel and communications system that was needed to rule a vast and diverse empire. Yet few people have questioned just how the Romans - both military and civilians - travelled, or examined their geographical understanding in an era which offered a greatly increased potential for moving around, and a much bigger choice of destinations.This volume provides new perspectives on these issues, and some controversial arguments; for instance, that travel was not limited to the elite, and that maps as we know them did not exist in the empire. The military importance of transport and communication networks is also a focus, as is the imperial post system (cursus publicus), and the logistics and significance of transport in both conquest and administration.With more than forty photographs, maps and illustrations, this collection provides a new understanding of the role and importance of travel, and of the nature of geographical knowledge, in the Roman world,

Excerpt

Five of the chapters included in this volume were originally given as papers at the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies Roman Archaeology conference at Durham in April 1999. The editors would like to thank Martin Millet and Simon James for their assistance in organising the panel on transport.

The editors would like to thank the following for their advice: Richard Alston, Kai Brodersen, Jon Coulston, Thomas Harrison and Greg Woolf. The support and patient encouragement of Richard Stoneman and Catherine Bousfield at Routledge launched the project to create the volume and have eased some of the trials and dilemmas faced by the editors. Figure 3.2 was supplied by Lawrence Keppie. Figure 6.4 appears with the permission of Mike Bishop. Figure 7.1 was drawn by Debbie Miles-Williams. Figure 7.2 appears by permission from the Egypt Exploration Society. Figure 7.3 was enhanced by Lucy Farr. Figure 8.2 appears with permission of Hugh Davis. Colin Adams wishes to thank the British Academy for the award of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, which has afforded time to carry out this and other research projects. Ray Laurence wishes to thank his colleagues at the University of Reading for their support.

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