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All Things Roman (History)
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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The Romans are supposed to have attained their prowess at managing water supply from the Etruscans but the Etruscans are mysterious fellows.

The last person known to have been able to read Etruscan was according to ortho the Roman emperor Claudius (10 BC – AD 54), who interviewed a few locals (still speaking their dying language) and created a dictionary and a 20 volume "history"....both now unfortunately lost.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Of course De Aquaeductu might have been written by a Charles Bertram in which case this a false trail.

Good spot. Hatty will be following this up if I've got anything to do with it. While you're at it (you not Hatty) you might see who was responsible for Vitruvius. The Etruscans are also supposed to be responsible for straight roads, at least in their towns. If you can find one.

PS It's a pity Claudius didn't give us a British dictionary while he was about it. It was a long wait for Doctor Johnson.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Third Part of the trilogy...Understanding Hadrian's Wall is up....!

http://structuralarchaeology.blogspot.com/
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Blimey, it doesn't get any easier, does it? The big point I got is the same one we make about hill forts. It's simply a military nonsense trying to man a fifty-mile wall as it is to man half a mile of hill fort circumference. As Carter points out, you end up with one soldier guarding fifty feet of wall. He also points out that if you build good communication systems eg a parapet so other solders can rush along to help, you also build a way for the attackers to rush along once they gain access to a single point (which they can inevitably do just by concentrating at that point).

He definitely hasn't cracked it -- his version is way too complicated. But his habit of systematising should be a lesson to historians and archaeologists in general. How much wheat does a garrison need, how much limestone to build a section of wall, where do you get it, how do you move it etc. Fascinatingly boring.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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It sounds like the wall had a similar function to dykes, 'Grim's ditches' and so forth, i.e. barriers to stop people from circumventing toll posts. He notes the two weak spots at either end where people could feasibly go round the wall by sea, not applicable to drovers of course, so it's probably worth looking again at the coastal archaeology for signs of, as it were, wall extensions.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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This is a natural conclusion for the likes of us, and I suppose we would assume that was its original purpose -- even Carter makes a big thing about it being turf-covered at first -- it does not explain the obvious military regularity of the whole thing. It is true animals (and people) can get through at any point, and therefore the barrier has to be continuous, but why build forts at regular intervals when a) it doesn't take a garrison to stop toll avoidance and b) drovers' routes are few and far between.

However, one idea occurs. If your chief security concern is armed groups on horseback cf reivers then all this makes a bit more sense. The antidote to such organised hostile enterprises is not stopping them, just making them unworthwhile.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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It seems likely that Roman communication routes were a) mainly for trade purposes, and b) re-used/ refurbished versions of pre-existing (trade) routes. You find major Roman towns such as London, Colchester and York all on or near Ermine (Hermes) Street, the great north-south road.

Romanisation of ancient trade routes clearly occurred across the board and wasn't confined to Britain. Take the longest long-distance route, the 'Chad Meridian' or Tin Way, which we tracked from the North Pole down to the island of Tarifa, Spain's southernmost point, though obviously the putative meridian isn't marked by a continuous 'road'. The most important town in Roman Spain was Mérida, which is still the capital city of Extremadura. It's not slap bang on the imaginary line though very close, not quite as close as Medellin, or Metellinum as it was called in Latin.

The Vía de La Plata (Silver Way) or Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route) is an ancient commercial and pilgrimage path that crosses the west of Spain from north to south, connecting Mérida to Astorga. An extended form begins further south in Seville and reaches north to the Bay of Biscay at Gijón.

The historical origins of this route are uncertain. It is believed, based on diverse archaeological findings, that the route was used for commercial purposes involving tin. Tin was present in many regions of the Iberian Peninsula including Tartessos.

Perhaps Mérida, Meridia in Latin, references the meridian though the official, slightly peculiar, explanation is the name derives from Emerita Augusta, Augustus being the city's founder. Either way it's on the Via Plata which croses Spain from Cadiz, the most southerly port after Tarifa, to the Pyrenees. It's used by pilgrims to Santiago as an alternative to the more northerly 'French' route.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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We have never established much connectivity between Megalithic geography and place names apart from the various Leons. I discount lans and saints' names for the moment. Merida and meridian is not very persuasive if it's both a one-off and only near the meridian. But we might as well take the weirdo's at their word and assume that Emerita is a meridian word and see if that turns up anything.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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So rather mysteriously Pontius Pilate builds a great Roman monumental stepped street that led to the foot of the Temple Mount.

https://on.natgeo.com/2o2AzE2

the lead author of the study, speculates that Pilate’s construction of the street “may have been to appease the residents of Jerusalem,” as well as to “aggrandize his name through major building projects.”


Yep Pontius hates the Jews so much he engages in massive construction projects like the road, and the aqueduct, no wonder the Jews revolted.

So again what was previously thought as being built by Herod the Great turns out to be Roman.........Wiki unintentionally gives the game away.



Herodian architecture is a style of classical architecture characteristic of the numerous building projects undertaken during the reign (37–4 BC) of Herod the Great, the Roman client king of Judea. Herod undertook many colossal building projects, most famously his reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (c. 19 BC). Many of his structures were built upon comparable, previous Hasmonean buildings and most of his have, in their turn, vanished as well.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Didn't this get mentioned earlier/elsewhere?
i.e.
Pontius (as a puppet King under Roman direction) was doing the bidding of Emperor Hadrian (he of Hadrian's Wall fame), diverting the excess of Roman troops' military engineering skills into grandiose civil engineering projects.
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