model of an ancient water mill

The Romans built deep water ports, arsenals, barracks, public buildings and forts. Roman engineering advances include water mills, windmills, rotary mills, water-carrying aqueducts, sewer systems and cement that hardened under water. The dome and the arch were improved and large baths, theaters and apartment houses were built. Roman roads (some of which still exist) stretched for 53,000 miles and passed through tunnels as long as 3.5 miles. Dams were built to irrigate farm land. [Source: World Almanac]

The Senate ordered public works and called in magistrates to administer their construction. Strabo wrote: "The Romans take great care of three things above any other, which the Greeks neglected. That is: opening roads, building aqueducts, and sending the residue underground into sewers."

Gordon Gora wrote in Listverse: “The early Romans went to great lengths to build the perfect city. They were forced to level hills, fill in water-logged sites, even divert the original waterways of the city as constructions spread ever further outward. They knew that to build the city and allow for future growth, they would need to change the natural landscape to fit their needs. The sophistication and engineering talent needed to pull of such efforts remains impressive today.” [Source: Gordon Gora, Listverse. September 16, 2016]

Rome in many ways was more advanced than Europe in the Middle Ages. Among the things the ancient Romans had that medieval Europeans didn't were plumbing, sewers and trash collection. Even so, many towns, including Pompeii, did not have sewers. Cambridge Classics Professor Mary Beard wrote that in the ditches that served as sewers in many places one could probably find “a smelly mixture of animal dung . . . rotting vegetables and human excrement — which was, just to complete the picture, no doubt covered in flies."

See Roman Technology Under Science

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity ; Forum Romanum ; “Outlines of Roman History”; “The Private Life of the Romans”|; BBC Ancient Rome; Perseus Project - Tufts University; ; Lacus Curtius; The Roman Empire in the 1st Century; The Internet Classics Archive ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; British Museum; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive ; Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Internet Classics Archive ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame / ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History

Public Improvements Under Augustus

Augustus also ushered in a period of civic improvement. He created fire departments, police departments and established a civil service, staffed by members of the political class, capable of running the Roman empire. Roads, bridges, aqueducts, protective walls and temples were built all over the empire. After his death in A.D. 14, he left behind a report to the Roman people called Res Gestae ("What Was Accomplished") that proclaimed, "I was born in a city of brick and left a city of marble."


Suetonius wrote: “He built many public works, in particular the following: his forum with the temple of Mars the Avenger [24 B.C.], the temple of Apollo on the Palatine [28 B.C.], and the fane of Jupiter the Thunderer on the Capitol [22 B.C.]. His reason for building the forum was the increase in the number of the people and of cases at law, which seemed to call for a third forum, since two were no longer adequate. Therefore it was opened to the public with some haste, before the temple of Mars was finished, and it was provided that the public prosecutions be held there apart from the rest, as well as the selection of jurors by lot. He had made a vow to build the temple of Mars in the war of Philippi, which he undertook to avenge his father; accordingly he decreed that in it the Senate should consider wars and claims for triumphs, from it those who were on their way to the provinces with military commands should be escorted, and to it victors on their return should bear the tokens of their triumphs. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum--Divus Augustus” (“The Lives of the Caesars--The Deified Augustus”), written A.D. c. 110, “Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum,” 2 Vols., trans. J. C. Rolfe (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920), pp. 123-287]

“He reared the temple of Apollo in that part of his house on the Palatine for which the soothsayers declared that the god had shown his desire by striking it with lightning. He joined to it colonnades with Latin and Greek libraries, and when he was getting to be an old man he often held meetings of the Senate there as well, and revised the lists of jurors. He dedicated the shrine to Jupiter the Thunderer because of a narrow escape; for on his Cantabrian expedition during a march by night, a flash of lightning grazed his litter and struck the slave dead who was carrying a torch before him. He constructed some works too in the name of others, his grandsons and nephew to wit, his wife and his sister, such as the colonnade and basilica of Gaius and Lucius [12 B.C.], also the colonnades of Livia and Octavia [33 & 15 B.C.], and the theatre of Marcellus [13 B.C.]. More than that, he often urged other prominent men to adorn the city with new monuments or to restore and embellish old ones, each according to his means. And many such works were built at that time by many men; for example, the temple of Hercules and the Muses by Marcius Philippus, the temple of Diana by Lucius Cornificius, the Hall of Liberty by Asinius Pollio, the temple of Saturn by Munatius Plancus, a theatre by Cornelius Balbus, an amphitheatre by Statilius Taurus, and by Marcus Agrippa in particular many magnificent structures.

“He divided the area of the city into regions and wards, arranging that the former should be under the charge of magistrates selected each year by lot, and the latter under magistri elected by the inhabitants of the respective neighbourhoods. To guard against fires he devised a system of stations of night watchmen, and to control the floods he widened and cleared out the channel of the Tiber, which had for some time been filled with rubbish and narrowed by jutting buildings. Further, to make the approach to the city easier from every direction, he personally undertook to rebuild the Flaminian Road all the way to Ariminum, and assigned the rest of the high-ways to others who had been honoured with triumphs, asking them to use their prize-money in paving them. He restored sacred edifices which had gone to ruin through lapse of time or had been destroyed by fire, and adorned both these and the other temples with most lavish gifts, depositing in the shrine of Jupiter Capitolinus as a single offering sixteen thousand pounds of gold, besides pearls and other precious stones to the value of fifty million sesterces.

Claudius's Public Works

Claudius followed the example of Augustus in the execution of works of public utility. He constructed the Claudian aqueduct, which brought water to the city from a distance of forty-five miles. For the purpose of giving Rome a good harbor where the grain supplies from Egypt might be landed, he built the Portus Romanus at the mouth of the Tiber near Ostia. To improve the agriculture of the Marsians, he constructed a great tunnel to drain the Fucine Lake, a work which required the labor of thirty thousand men for eleven years. He celebrated the completion of this work by a mimic naval battle on the waters of the lake. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), \~\]

Claudian aqueduct

Suetonius wrote: “The public works which he completed were great and essential rather than numerous; they were in particular the following: an aqueduct begun by Gaius; also the outlet of Lake Fucinus and the harbor at Ostia, although in the case of the last two he knew that Augustus had refused the former to the Marsyans in spite of their frequent requests, and that the latter had often been thought of by the Deified Julius, but given up because of its difficulty. He brought to the city on stone arches the cool and abundant founts of the Claudian aqueduct, one of which is called Caeruleus and the other Curtius and Albudignus, and at the same time the spring of the new Anio, distributing them into many beautifully ornamented pools. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.) : “De Vita Caesarum:Claudius” (“The Lives of the Caesars: Claudius”), written in A.D. 110, 2 Vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 405-497, modernized by J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton]

“He made the attempt on the Fucine Lake as much in the hope of gain as of glory, inasmuch as there were some who agreed to drain it at their own cost, provided the land that was uncovered be given to them. He finished the outlet, which was three miles in length, partly by leveling and partly by tunneling a mountain, a work of great difficulty and requiring eleven years, although he had thirty thousand men at work all the time without interruption. He constructed the harbor at Ostia by building curving breakwaters on the right and left, while before the entrance he placed a mole in deep water. To give this mole a firmer foundation, he first sank the ship in which the great obelisk had been brought from Egypt [This had been brought by Caligula from Heliopolis and set up in the spina of his circus, near the Vatican Hill. It now stands before St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The great ship in which it was transported to Rome from Alexandria is described by Pliny, Nat. Hist. 16.201], and then securing it by piles, built upon it a very lofty tower after the model of the Pharos at Alexandria, to be lighted at night and guide the course of ships.

Hadrian, the Master Builder

Tom Dyckoff wrote in The Times: “And then there were his monuments: the Pantheon, that Temple of the Divine Trajan, the vast Temple of Venus and Roma, the only building for certain designed by Hadrian, his country estate at Tivoli and, to cap it all, his mausoleum – its ruins now assimilated into Rome’s Castel Sant’ Angelo. His wall in northern England was no exception, either. In the provinces, Hadrian bolstered defences, improved cities and built temples, along the way revolutionising the construction industry and securing jobs and prosperity for the plebs. Hail Hadrian, patron saint of hod-carriers. [Source: Tom Dyckoff, the Times, July 2008 ==]

part of Hardrian's Villa at Tivoli

“Hadrian’s architectural passions were the high point of the “Roman Architectural Revolution”, 200 years during which a genuinely Roman language of architecture emerged after several centuries of slavish copying of the Ancient Greek originals. At first the use of such novel materials as concrete and a newly rigid lime mortar was driven by the empire’s expansion, and the consequent demand for new large, practical structures – warehouses, record offices, proto-shopping arcades – easily and quickly put up by unskilled labour. But these new building types and materials also provoked experimentation – new shapes, such as the barrel vault and the arch – acquired from Rome’s expansion to the Middle East. ==

“Hadrian was, in architectural matters, both conservative and audacious. He was infamously respectful of Ancient Greece – comically so to some: he wore a Greek-style beard, and was nicknamed Graeculus. Many of the structures he put up, not least his own Temple of Venus and Roma, were faithful to the past. Yet the ruins of his estate at Tivoli, with its technical feats, its pumpkin domes, its space, curves and colour reveal a theme park of experimental structures that are still inspirational.” ==

Aelius Spartianus wrote: “In almost every city he built some building and gave public games. At Athens he exhibited in the stadium a hunt of a thousand wild beasts, but he never called away from Rome a single wild-beast-hunter or actor. In Rome, in addition to popular entertainments of unbounded extravagance, he gave spices to the people in honour of his mother-in-law, and in honour of Trajan he caused essences of balsam and saffron to be poured over the seats of the theatre. And in the theatre he presented plays of all kinds in the ancient manner and had the court-players appear before the public. In the Circus he had many wild beasts killed and often a whole hundred of lions. He often gave the people exhibitions of military Pyrrhic dances, and he frequently attended gladiatorial shows. He built public buildings in all places and without number, but he inscribed his own name on none of them except the temple of his father Trajan. [Source: Aelius Spartianus: Life of Hadrian,” (r. 117-138 CE.),William Stearns Davis, ed., “Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts from the Sources,” 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West]

“At Rome he restored the Pantheon, the Voting-enclosure, the Basilica of Neptune, very many temples, the Forum of Augustus, the Baths of Agrippa, and dedicated all of them in the names of their original builders. Also he constructed the bridge named after himself, a tomb on the bank of the Tiber, and the temple of the Bona Dea. With the aid of the architect Decrianus he raised the Colossus and, keeping it in an upright position, moved it away from the place in which the Temple of Rome is now, though its weight was so vast that he had to furnish for the work as many as twenty-four elephants. This statue he then consecrated to the Sun, after removing the features of Nero, to whom it had previously been dedicated, and he also planned, with the assistance of the architect Apollodorus, to make a similar one for the Moon.

“Most democratic in his conversations, even with the very humble, he denounced all who, in the belief that they were thereby maintaining the imperial dignity, begrudged him the pleasure of such friendliness. In the Museum at Alexandria he propounded many questions to the teachers and answered himself what he had propounded. Marius Maximus says that he was naturally cruel and performed so many kindnesses only because he feared that he might meet the fate which had befallen Domitian.

“Though he cared nothing for inscriptions on his public works, he gave the name of Hadrianopolis to many cities, as, for example, even to Carthage and a section of Athens; and he also gave his name to aqueducts without number. He was the first to appoint a pleader for the privy-purse.

Roman Frontiers, Fortifications and Walls

Hadrian border stone in Bulgaria

Rome depended on a network of forts, walls and natural barriers to separate the empire from outsiders. Walls, military outposts and frontier cities were all types of fortifications that were employed. Seventy-three-mile-long Hadrian’s Wall’s in northern Britain is the most well-known of these fortification. The Antonine Wall, built of stone, turf and wood, was used to extend the frontier beyond Hadrian’s Wall in A.D. 142. Lambaesis was established as military fort in 81. It later served as army headquartered in North Africa. Dura-Europos was built where the Romans seized a city on a cliff above the Euphrates from Parthians in the second century A.D. [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

Major barriers included Hadrian’s Wall in Britain, the Germanic Lines (walls in Germany that extended 342 miles), Limes Transalutanus (60 miles of walls in Romania) and Fossatum Africae (152 miles in Algeria.) >|<

Diplomacy, trade and violence — and the fortifications — were all used maintain borders and keep the frontiers intact. Of the thousands of kilometers of frontier, only a small portion was protected by walls. They were mainly built to seal gaps between natural barriers such as mountains, deserts, rivers and sea. Troops were concentrated in fortresses, ultimately making the territory beyond them in the interior vulnerable. Over time, the barriers were breached and barbarian incursions led to the fall of the western part of the empire in the 5th century. >|<

Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “A stunning network of walls, rivers, desert forts, and mountain watchtowers marks Rome’s limits. At its peak in the second century A.D., the empire sent soldiers to patrol a front that stretched from the Irish Sea to the Black Sea as well as across North Africa.The question isn’t just academic. Defining and defending borders is a modern obsession too. As politicians have debated building a wall between the United States and Mexico and troops face off across the land-mine-strewn strip of ground between the two Koreas, the realities the Roman emperors faced are still with us. Understanding why the Romans were obsessed with their borders—and the role their obsession played in the decline of the empire—might help us better understand ourselves. >|<

Purpose of the Walls

Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “If the walls weren’t under constant threat, what were they for? Ever since British antiquarians organized the first scientific excavations along Hadrian’s Wall in the 1890s, historians and archaeologists have assumed Rome’s walls were military fortifications, designed to fend off barbarian armies and hostile invaders. [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

“For decades arguments focused on tactical details: Did soldiers stand along the wall to rain spears and arrows down on invaders or sally forth to engage the enemy in the field? The trenches of WWI—and the deadly back-and-forth battling of WWII—did little to change the prevailing view of the ancient frontier as a fixed barrier separating Rome from hordes of hostile barbarians. >|<

“Archaeologists studying the frontiers in the 1970s and ’80s later found that the Iron Curtain dividing Europe had shadowed their view of the distant past. “We had in Germany this massive border, which seemed impenetrable,” says C. Sebastian Sommer, chief archaeologist at the Bavarian State Preservation Office. “The idea was here and there, friend and foe.” >|<

“Today a new generation of archaeologists is taking another look. The dramatic, unbroken line of Hadrian’s Wall may be a red herring, a 73-mile exception that proves an entirely different rule. In Europe the Romans took advantage of the natural barriers created by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, patrolling their waters with a strong river navy. In North Africa and the eastern provinces of Syria, Judaea, and Arabia, the desert itself created a natural frontier. >|<

Hadrian's Wall west of Housesteads

Roman Fortifications: Border Stations Rather Than Invasion Stoppers?

Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “Military bases were often ad hoc installations set up to watch rivers and other key supply routes. The Latin word for frontier, limes (LEE-mess), originally meant a patrolled road or path. We still use the term: Our “limits” comes from limites, the plural of limes. [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

“Outposts on rivers like the Rhine and Danube or in the deserts on Rome’s eastern and southern flanks often resemble police or border patrol stations. They would have been useless against an invading army but highly effective for soldiers nabbing smugglers, chasing small groups of bandits, or perhaps collecting customs fees. The thinly manned walls in England and Germany were similar. “The lines were there for practical purposes,” says Benjamin Isaac, a historian at Tel Aviv University. “They were the equivalent of modern barbed wire—to keep individuals or small groups out.” >|<

“Isaac argues that the frontiers resembled certain modern installations more than thick-walled medieval fortresses: “Look at what Israel’s building to wall off the West Bank. It’s not meant to keep out the Iranian army, it’s made to stop people from exploding themselves on buses in Tel Aviv.” Warding off terrorists may not have motivated the Romans, but there were plenty of other factors— as there are today. “What the United States is planning between itself and Mexico is substantial,” says Isaac, “and that’s just to keep out people who want to sweep the streets in New York.” >|<

“More archaeologists are endorsing that view. “Isaac’s analysis has come to dominate the field,” says David Breeze, author of the recent Frontiers of Imperial Rome. “Built frontiers aren’t necessarily about stopping armies but about controlling the movement of people.” The Roman frontier, in other words, is better seen not as an impervious barrier sealing Fortress Rome off from the world but as one tool the Romans used to extend influence deep into barbaricum, their term for everything outside the empire, through trade and occasional raids. >|<

Hadrian's Wall

Emperor Hadrain (A.D. 76-138) ordered and oversaw the building of Hadrian’s Wall near the present-day border between Scotland and England to protect the unstable British provinces from fierce tribes such as the Caledonians, Picts and "Raiding Scots" in present-day Scotland. Hadrian's Wall was a Roman frontier built between A.D. 122 and 130. Running for 117 kilometers (73 miles) between Wallsend-on-Tyne in the east to Bowness on the Solway Firth in the west, it makes use of ridges and crags, particularly Whin Sill, and offers goods view to the north. A deep ditch reinforced some parts of it. Other parts were built on the top of cliffs.

Hadrian's Wall near Greenhead

Probably largely built by Roman troops and slaves, Hadrian’s Wall is the most lasting and famous monument left behind by the Romans in Britain and remains a powerful symbol of Roman rule. Stretching from the North Sea near the east coast town of Newcastle to the Irish Sea near Carlisle in the west, the 2000-year-old wall snakes through treeless valleys and over bluffs in a land as big as the sky. The 12 best preserved miles of the wall are located in Northumberland National Park where hills gently rise and fall like waves in a calm sea.

Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “That “outermost island” was where Hadrian built the monument that bears his name, a rampart of stone and turf that cut Britain in half. Today Hadrian’s Wall is one of the best preserved, well-documented sections of Rome’s frontier. Remnants of the 73-mile barrier run through salt marshes, across green sheep pastures, and for one bleak stretch not far from downtown Newcastle, alongside a four-lane highway. Miles of it are preserved aboveground, lining crags that rise high above the rain-swept countryside. [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

“More than a century of study has given archaeologists an unparalleled understanding of Hadrian’s Wall. The wall, perhaps designed by Hadrian himself on a visit to Britain in 122, was the ultimate expression of his attempt to define the empire’s limits. In most places the stone wall was an intimidating 14 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Traces of a 9-foot-deep ditch running the length of the wall are still visible today. In the past few decades excavations have uncovered pits filled with stakes between ditch and wall, one more obstacle for intruders. A dedicated road helped soldiers respond to threats. Regularly spaced gates were supported by watchtowers every third of a mile.” >|<

Composition of Hadrian's Wall

Hadirian's wall

During Roman times Hadrian’s Wall was 10 feet wide and 13 and 15 feet high— high enough so that a man standing on the shoulders of another man still couldn't reach the top. Signal stations were set up every mile and every five miles or so there was a castle. As a testimony of how much the Scots were feared 13,000 soldiers and 5,500 horsemen were positioned along the wall. To put these numbers in perspective William the Conqueror captured England with a force of only 7,000 men.

During Roman Times, a traditional fighting ditch stood on the north side of the wall. On the south side was a 10-foot-deep, 20-foot-wide ditch intended to keep smugglers and local inhabitants at bay. Causeways were built across these ditches at the forts. The largest fort enclosed nine acres and housed 1000 men. Each fort had a central headquarters, a chapel for storing sacred weapons, rows of slate-roofed barracks, storage granaries, cookhouses and latrines with running water large enough to accommodate 20 men at one time.

Hadrian's wall was made from 25 million lunch-box-size stones. In the interior of the wall was poured mortar, and tons of rubble, dirt and gravel. The wall was built at a rate of five wall miles and one fort a year per legion. Although the wall wasn't finished until A.D. 122 most of the work was complete in three years.

“Hadrian's Wall makes use of locally-available materials. Running for forty-five miles from the east, the Wall was built of stone. The stone wall had two outer faces of dressed stone, containing a centre of rubble. The remaining thirty-one miles of the Wall in the west was built of turf. The turf wall, constructed from turf blocks, was built either from the prepared ground or upon a bed of cobbles.” On “locally-quarried stone. Roman stone-masons have left inscriptions in the stones which describe the location of these quarries. |::|

Purpose of Hadrian's Wall

Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “Scholars today ask a key question that must have crossed the minds of Roman soldiers shivering through long watches in the English rain: What were they doing there in the first place? The scale of the wall and its system of ditches, ramparts, and roads suggest that the enemy could be deadly. Yet reports from Vindolanda hardly portray a garrison under pressure. Aside from a few scattered clues—like the tombstone of luckless centurion Titus Annius, who was “killed in the war”—there are no direct references to fighting anywhere on the British frontier. The big building project to the north isn’t even mentioned. “You get a sense something’s up. Colossal amounts of supplies are being ordered,” says Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda and Hadrian biographer Anthony Birley’s nephew. “But they don’t refer to the wall itself.” “ [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

assault on a Roman fort from Trajan's Column

Hadrian’s Wall, it was long thought, was built to keep the tribes northern tribes from invading Roman Britain. It was not formidable enough to keep determined individuals out, but it was obstructive enough to halt an invading army, with its requisite supply wagons and horses. The wall also signified the limit of Roman expansion. By building it from sea to sea, the Romans admitted they did not have the resources to pacify the tribes in Scotland. The goal was to keep them at bay. In the A.D. 2nd century, the Roman Empire reached its limit and one of Hadrian’s major contributions was saying enough was enough: lets focus on keeping the existing empire together rather being compelled to constantly expand it.

According to the BBC: “The Wall was not designed to prevent movement, but rather to control it, as can be seen in the numerous gateways or milecastles which, as their names suggests, were placed at regular mile intervals along the length of the Wall. Although the Wall had a military function, and enabled watching and patrolling, over time it attracted wider settlement and trade to its forts and garrisons. [Source: BBC |::|]

Dr Mike Ibeji wrote for the BBC: “The Roman army at this time was in a period of retrenchment. In A.D. 84, Agricola had defeated the Caledonii of south-eastern Scotland at Mons Graupius, and was (according to his somewhat partisan biographer Tacitus) poised to conquer the rest of Britain when his army was recalled by the emperor Domitian, who needed it for his Chattan wars on the Rhine. Large detachments of troops were withdrawn from the province, and those that were left established a frontier zone called a limes [pronounced leem-ays] along the military road of the Stanegate which ran from Carlisle to Corbridge (approx.). | [Source: Dr Mike Ibeji, BBC, November 16, 2012 |::|]

“The fact that the limes was not fixed at the narrower neck of land between Edinburgh and Glasgow suggests strongly that the Scottish tribes had not been quite as comprehensively trounced as Tacitus would like us to believe, as do tombstones and snippets of official correspondence which hint at troubles in the north during this time. |::|

“However, it would be a mistake to view the limes as a static defensive line. Even when Hadrian's Wall was erected some thirty years later, it was never that. It was a permeable frontier, designed to control the movements of the tribes within the border zone and to regulate commerce between Roman Britain and its barbarian neighbours. As such, the troops within it fulfilled a similar sort of police function as those British troops who used to guard Hong Kong. Pivotal to this system was the fort of Vindolanda, which sat at the approximate centre of the frontier.” |::|

Vindolanda and Roman Forts Near Hadrian’s Wall

Situated a few miles behind Hadrian’s Wall was a string of forts, evenly spaced a half a day’s march apart. Each fort could house between 500 and 1,000 men, capable of responding quickly to any attacks. Housesteads Roman Fort is one the best preserved forts in the country. Located on a high ridge. It covers an area of five acres. Within its walls are a number of buildings including the fort's headquarters and commander's house, granaries, barracks, a hospital, and latrines. |::|

reconstruction of a Vindolanda fort tower

Vindolanda was a Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian's Wall in northern England. Archaeological excavations of the site show it was occupied by the Romans roughly from A.D. 85 to 370. Artifacts found b archaeologists have included Roman boots, shoes, armour, jewelry and coins. Perhaps the most interesting discovery has been the Vindolanda tablets, which contains letters and notes by soldiers stationed there, found in a waterlogged trash pile.

Vindolanda fort embraced a wall and gatehouse. Located south of Hadrian's Wall, it was surrounded by a settlement. As well as providing protect Roman forts near the wall attracted settlement and some local trade. According to to the BBC: “Sixteen forts were built on or near the Wall: each was different, with no standard interior plan. Archaeological evidence suggests that the forts were built after the Wall had been laid out and constructed. The forts were designed to house the soldiers that patrolled the Wall, although historians disagree about the numbers who were stationed there.” [Source: BBC |::|]

The Vindolanda Praetorium was the official residence of the Roman governors stationed at Vindolanda. Along the main street at Vindolanda there was a bath house with a raised floor. The fort and settlment also embraced temples, granaries, hospitals, and latrines. Among the 2000 or so ink tablets found at Vindolanda, one reads: 'I have sent you...pairs of socks, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants.' Another says: ' ought to decide, my lord, what quantity of wagons you are going to send to carry stone...I ask you to write back what you want me to do. I pray that you are in good health.' |::|

Dr Mike Ibeji wrote for the BBC: “For a Roman military historian like me, Vindolanda is one of the most fascinating and exciting sites in the Roman world. It ranks alongside my old third-century hunting ground of Dura-Europos as a site of major importance, in which a snapshot of Roman life has been preserved for posterity. As such, it transcends the basic military significance of the find and, like so much else of the Roman army (around which the Roman system revolved), sheds light upon the everyday lives of those who lived and worked in and around the camp. The Vindolanda tablets provide a unique insight into what it must have been like to be a Roman representative in a foreign land.” [Source: Dr Mike Ibeji, BBC, November 16, 2012 |::|]

One tablet reads: “The Britons are unprotected by armour. There are very many cavalry. The cavalry do not use swords, nor do the wretched Britons [Brittunculi] mount in order to throw javelins.” (Tab. Vindol. II.164) This memorandum “was probably written by one of the commanders at Vindolanda as informative notes to his successor. It graphically portrays the frustrations of the regular soldier when faced with a guerrilla army that will not stand and fight, rather like the experience of American soldiers in Vietnam.” |::|


Andrew Curry wrote in National Geographic: “Just as Hadrian’s Wall shows the Roman frontier at its strongest, an abandoned fortress on the Euphrates River vividly captures the moment the borders began to collapse. Dura-Europos was a fortified city on the frontier between Rome and Persia, its greatest rival. Today Dura sits about 25 miles from the Syrian border with Iraq, an eight-hour bus ride through the desert from Damascus. It first came to light in 1920, when British troops fighting Arab insurgents accidentally uncovered the painted wall of a Roman temple. A team from Yale University and the French Academy put hundreds of Bedouin tribesmen to work with shovels and picks, moving tens of thousands of tons of sand with the help of railcars and mine carts. “At times it was like the Well of Souls scene from Indiana Jones,” says University of Leicester archaeologist Simon James. [Source: Andrew Curry, National Geographic, September 2012 >|<]

Vindolanda granary and stores

“Ten years of frenzied digging uncovered a third-century Roman city frozen in time. Fragments of plaster still cling to mud-brick and stone walls, and the rooms of palaces and temples—including the world’s oldest known Christian church—are tall enough to walk through and imagine what they looked like when they had roofs. >|<

“Founded by Greeks around 300 B.C., Dura was conquered by the Romans nearly 500 years later. Its tall, thick walls and perch above the Euphrates made it a perfect frontier outpost. The northern end was walled off and turned into a Roman-era “green zone” with barracks, an imposing headquarters for the garrison commander, a redbrick bathhouse big enough to wash the dust off a thousand soldiers, the empire’s easternmost known amphitheater, and a 60-room palace suitable for dignitaries “roughing it” in the hinterlands. >|<

“Duty rosters show at least seven outposts reported to Dura. One of the outposts was staffed by just three soldiers; another lay nearly a hundred miles downstream. “This was not a city under constant threat,” James told me when I visited, before the political situation in Syria deteriorated and made excavation impossible. We sat amid the ruins and watched orange gas flares from Iraqi oil wells flicker on the horizon. “Soldiers here were probably busier policing the locals than defending against raids and attacks.” >|<

“The quiet didn’t last. Persia emerged as a major threat along the empire’s eastern border a half century after the Romans seized Dura. Beginning in 230, war between the rivals raged across Mesopotamia. It was soon clear the frontier strategy that had served Rome for more than a century was no match for a determined, sizable foe. >|<

“Dura’s turn came in 256. Working with a Franco-Syrian team of archaeologists interested in the site’s pre-Roman history, James has spent ten years unraveling the walled city’s final moments. He says the Romans must have known an attack was imminent. They had time to reinforce the massive western wall, burying part of the city—including the church and a magnificently decorated synagogue—to form a sloping rampart. >|<

“The Persian army set up camp in the city cemetery, a few hundred yards from Dura’s main gate. As catapults lobbed stones at the Romans, the Persians built an assault ramp and dug beneath the city, hoping to collapse its defenses. Dura’s garrison struck back with tunnels of their own. >|<

“As fighting raged on the surface, James says, a squad of 19 Romans broke through into a Persian tunnel. A cloud of poison gas, pumped into the underground chamber, suffocated them almost instantly. Their remains are some of the oldest archaeological evidence of chemical warfare. James believes the bodies, found 1,700 years later, stacked in a tight tunnel, were used to block the tunnel while the Persians set it on fire. >|<

“The Persians failed to topple Dura’s wall but eventually succeeded in taking the city, which was later abandoned to the desert. Surviving defenders were slain or enslaved. Persian armies pushed deep into what had been Rome’s eastern provinces, sacked dozens of cities, and overpowered two emperors before capturing a third, the hapless Valerian, in 260. The Persian king, Shapur, reportedly used Valerian as a footstool for a while, then had him flayed and nailed his skin to a wall. >|<

“The crisis was a turning point. Around the time Dura fell, the careful balance of offense, defense, and sheer intimidation along the frontier fell apart.For nearly 150 years the border had helped Rome ignore a painful reality: The world beyond the walls was catching up, in part thanks to the Romans themselves. Barbarians who served in the Roman army brought back Roman knowledge, weapons, and military strategy, says Michael Meyer, an archaeologist at Berlin’s Free University.” >|<

Roads in the Roman Empire

The Romans built over 53,000 miles of paved roads, stretching from Scotland to East Europe to Mesopotamia in present-day Iraq to North Africa. It was the greatest system of highways that the world has ever seen until recent times. Roman roads were built primarily to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies. Roman legionnaires would not have been nearly as effective in their conquests if getting them supplies was difficult. The system was so well set up that commanders could accurately calculate how long it would take to get their armies from one place to another: from Cologne to Rome was 67 days, Rome to Brindisis, 57 days, and Rome to Syria (including two days at sea), 124 days. [Source: "History of Warfare" by John Keegan, Vintage Books]

The route the German Blitzkrieg used to move into France in 1940 through the Ardennes forests and over the River Meuse more or less followed Route Nationale 43 , which in turn followed the old Roman road laid out not long after Caesar's conquest of Gaul in the first century B.C.The Romans didn't make the first paved roads. The Assyrians built the first aqueducts and paved roads. [Source: "History of Warfare" by John Keegan, Vintage Books]

Roman roads radiated out from a golden milestone in the Forum in Rome. The first road, the Appian Way (Via Appian), was built from Rome to Capua in 312 B.C. to connect Rome with its colonies on the Adriatic. Other roads crossed the Alps, linked Europe to Asia and traversed sections of the Sahara. Major routes were linked to ports. In A.D. 21, under the orders of Augustus, a map of the world based on the empire's road system was produced and displayed near the Forum in Rome.

Harold Whetstone Johnston wrote in “The Private Life of the Romans”: “The engineering skill of the Romans and the lavish outlay of money made their roads the best that the world has known until very recent times. They were strictly military works, built for strategic purposes, intended to facilitate the dispatching of supplies to the frontier and the massing of troops in the shortest possible time. Beginning with the first important acquisition of territory in Italy (the Via Appia was built in 312 B.C.) they kept pace with the expansion of the Republic and the Empire, so that a great network of roads covered the Roman world, all indeed leading to Rome, as the proverb has it. In Britain, for instance, the roads, some of which are still in use, converged at Londinium (London). [Source: “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) |+|]

“They ran as far north as the wall of Antoninus Pius, and out to points on the coast. After crossing the Channel one found the highway again as it may still be traced, running down through Gaul and on to Rome. In the fourth century of our era nineteen great roads, it is said, went out from Rome through the fifteen gates of the Wall of Aurelian. In Italy roads were built at the cost of the State; in the provinces the conquered communities bore the expense of construction and maintenance, but the work was done under the direction of Roman engineers, and often by the legions between campaigns. Roads ran in lines as straight as possible between the towns they were to connect, with frequent crossroads and branch roads only less carefully constructed. The grade was always easy, because hills were cut through, gorges and rivers were crossed on arches of solid stone, and valleys and marshes were spanned by viaducts of the same material. |+|

“The surface of the roads was rounded, and there were gutters at the sides to carry off rain and melted snow. Milestones showed the distance from the starting-point of the road and often that to important places in the opposite direction, as well as the names of the consuls or emperors under whom the roads were built or repaired. The roadbed was wide enough to permit the meeting and passing, without trouble, of the largest wagons. For the pedestrian there was a footpath on either side, sometimes paved, and seats for him to rest upon were often built by the milestones. The horseman found blocks of stone set here and there for his convenience in mounting and dismounting. Where springs were discovered, wayside fountains for men and watering-troughs for cattle were constructed. Such roads often went a hundred years without repairs, and some portions of them have endured the traffic of centuries and are still in good condition today.

Construction of Roads

Roman all-weather roads were built with a great degree of sophistication. There were three levels of substructure under the roads, which bulged slightly at the center to allow rainwater to run off them. On steep hills grooves were notched in the road so that people and horses could descend without slipping.

Harold Whetstone Johnston wrote in “The Private Life of the Romans”: “Our knowledge of the construction of the military roads is derived from a treatise of Vitruvius on pavements and from existing remains of the roads themselves. The Latin phrase for building a road, munire viam, epitomizes the process exactly, for munire means “to build a wall” (moenia); and throughout its full length, whether carried above the level of the surrounding country or in a cut below it, the road was a solid wall averaging fifteen feet in width and perhaps three feet in height. A cut (fossa) was first made of the width of the intended road and of a depth sufficient to hold the filling, which varied with the nature of the soil. The earth at the bottom of the cut (E) was leveled and made solid with heavy rammers. Upon this was spread the statumen (D), a foundation course of stones not too large to be held in the hand; the thickness of the layer varied with the porosity of the soil. Over this came the rudus (C), a nine inch layer of coarse concrete or rubble made of broken stones and lime. Over this was laid the nucleus (B), a six-inch bedding of fine concrete made of broken potsherds and lime, in which was set the final course (A) of blocks of lava or of other hard stone furnished by the adjacent country. This last course (dorsum) made the roadway (agger viae) and was laid with the greatest care so as to leave no seams or fissures to admit water or to jar the wheels of vehicles. In the diagram the stones are represented with the lower surface flat, but they were commonly cut to a point or edge in order to be held more firmly by the nucleus. The agger was bounded on the sides by umbones (G, G), curbstones beyond which lay the footpaths (F, F), semitae or margines. On a subsoil of rocky character the foundation course or even the first and second courses might be unnecessary. On the less traveled branch roads the agger seems to have consisted of a thick course of gravel (glarea), well rounded and compacted, instead of the blocks of stone, and the crossroads may have been of still cheaper materials.” [Source: “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) |+|]

Adam Hart-Davis wrote for the BBC: “In order to move the army quickly across the country, the Romans built tremendous roads. I had always been told that Roman roads are straight, but I really had this rubbed in on the A68 north of Corbridge, where the road goes in a dead straight line for miles over the rolling hills. In fact it's rather dangerous for driving; because it is so straight you are tempted to drive fast. Nothing in the Roman world did more than say 20 m.p.h. (a galloping horse) and they built their roads up and down steep hills - sometimes as much as 1 in 6. The result is that not only are there some fierce hills to climb, but often there are blind summits, where you can't see oncoming traffic even 50 yards away. So if you drive too fast and try to overtake you are liable to meet someone else coming the other way. [Source: Adam Hart-Davis, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“Building roads in a straight line is not difficult - you merely have to plant two canes in the ground, walk ahead and plant a third in line with the first two, and so on. Sighting along canes gives good straight lines for miles. However, what really impressed me was how they managed to set off in the right direction. For example, when the Romans wanted to build a road from London to Chichester, they knew exactly where to head for, even though the distance is 65 miles, there are several hills in the way and they had neither maps nor compasses. |::|

“There's an old saying 'I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.' Roman road surveying was just like this for me. I learned and understood how to do it by surveying a route over high sand dunes from one flag to another that I could not see. I knew roughly which way to go; so I went to the high point on a sand dune not far from the route and put a beacon there. Then I walked on and planted another beacon at the next high point, from where I could see the goal. I went back to the first beacon and moved it to the straight line between the first flag and the second beacon by using a groma. |::|

“The groma was the standard Roman surveyor's instrument. It's an upright stick with a couple of bits of wood fixed to the top to make a cross. From each end of the cross hangs a little weight on a string. When the groma is stuck in the ground you stand behind it and twist it until you can sight along two of the strings to the starting point. Then you walk around the groma and sight the other way, to the second beacon. If the strings do not line up with the beacon then you move the beacon beside you in order to get more in line. Plant the beacon, plant the groma, and try again, until the strings line up with the start point in one direction and with the second beacon in the other. Then you know that the start point and the first two beacons are all in one line. |::|

“Repeat the whole process with the second beacon, then with the first again, and the second again, until the start point, the finish point, and both beacons are in the same line. This process would be much more efficient if one surveyor were standing at each beacon, ready to move it - and even better if they all had mobile phones! |::|

Appian Way

Appain Way

The Appian Way is one of ancient Rome's most famous roads. It extends for ten miles within the city limits of Rome beginning at the Colosseum and heads southeast. Begun in 312 B.C. under orders of the Republican magistrate Appius Clauduius, it once extended 370 miles Brindisi and was the major transport route to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. Along the way you can still find patches of huge, green-gray volcanic stones, called selces , that the Romans paved with, and kiln-shaped Roman tombs with classical entrances. Rich Romans had their tombs placed here in the belief that exposure to the thousand of people that traveled the Appian Way wound grant them immortality.

To the north of Terracina (about 50 miles southeast of Rome) the Romans built the Appian Way on a bed of rubble through a 30 mile section of marsh, an incredible engineering feat for its the time. Few other ancient people knew how to build road beds let alone in swamp. In another incredible undertaking Romans cut through 121 foot rock outcrop with only chisels and picks at Trojan's Cut. If you visit the sight you can still see Roman numerals that were used to mark the depth of the passageway.

Minturnae (about 100 miles southwest of Rome) boasts one of the more complete sets of Roman ruins along the Appian Way. The section of the Roman road here which consists of coffee table-sized cobblestones is in very good condition as are the remains of the forum, aqueduct, theater, and temple. In the ancient Roman bath there is a mosaic that shows a bunch of winged cupids stomping grapes into wine. Not too far from Minturnae is a massive 21 arch viaduct-Ponte degli Aurunci-that withstood the weight of tanks in World War and still supports traffic today.

Other Interesting Appian Towns include Alberobello (about 50 miles southeast of Bari), whose houses have stone beehive roofs, used to direct infrequent rains into underground cisterns; Gravina di Puglia (about 60 miles northwest of Taranto), a rugged little village built among rocky hills chilled by forested canyons; Ordona (between Bari and Benevento) which boasts the foundations of a grand temple, as well as an ancient bath and shops; and Egnazia (between Bari and Brindisi), an ancient resort on the Adriatic Sea, where a section of the Appia still contains the grooves of chariot wheels; and the port town of Bari.

Roman Military Infrastructure and Roads

The Roman armies built pontoon bridges and used horses to scout out the enemy on reconnaissance missions. During military campaigns officers stayed in tents outfit with floor and even couches and soldiers slept in tents called papiliones that opened from a cocoon-like roll into a tent with flaps that resembled a butterfly. [Source: Timothy Foote, Smithsonian, April 1985]

Flavius Vegetius Renatus (died A.D. 450) wrote in “De Re Militari”: “The legion carries with it a number of small boats, each hollowed out of a single piece of timber, with long cables and sometimes iron chains to fasten them together. These boats, joined and covered with planks, serve as bridges over unfordable rivers, on which both cavalry and infantry pass without danger. The legion is provided with iron hooks, called wolves, and iron scythes fixed to the ends of long poles; and with forks, spades, shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows and baskets for digging and transporting earth; together with hatchets, axes and saws for cutting wood. Besides which, a train of workmen attend on it furnished with all instruments necessary for the construction of tortoises, musculi, rams, vines, moving towers and other machines for the attack of places. As the enumeration of all the particulars of this sort would be too tedious, I shall only observe that the legion should carry with it wherever it moves, whatever is necessary for every kind of service so that the encampments may have all the strength and conveniences of a fortified city. [Source: De Re Militari (Military Institutions of the Romans) by Flavius Vegetius Renatus (died A.D. 450), written around A.D. 390. translated from the Latin by Lieutenant John Clarke Text British translation published in 1767. Etext version by Mads Brevik (2001)]

Arms factories positioned along the roads kept the Roman armies supplied with iron armor, helmets, swords and javelins. The production of weapons was considered so important that arms factory workers were branded "as a deterrent against desertion. " [Keegan, Op. cit."

Roads were crucial to the movement of troops and supplies. The legionnaires would not have been nearly as effective in their conquest if getting them supplies was difficult. The system was so well set up that commanders could accurately calculate how long it would take to get their armies from one place to another: from Cologne to Rome was 67 days, Rome to Brindisis, 57 days, and Rome to Syria (including two days at sea), 124 days. [Keegan]

Using its network of military roads, armies and munitions of war could be sent into almost very part of the Roman Empire. The first military road was the Appian Way (via Appia), built by Appius Claudius during the Samnite wars. It connected Rome with Capua, and was afterward extended to Beneventum and Venusia, and finally as far as Brundisium. This furnished a model for the roads which were subsequently laid out to other points in Italy. The Latin Way (via Latina) ran south into the Samnite country and connected with the Appian Way near Capua and at Beneventum. The Flaminian Way (via Flaminia) ran north through eastern Etruria and Umbria to Ariminum. From this last-mentioned place, the Aemilian Way (via Aemilia) extended into Cisalpine Gaul as far as Placentia on the river Po. Another important road, the Cassian Way (via Cassia) ran through central Etruria to Arretium, and connected with the Aemilian Way in Cisalpine Gaul. Along the western coast of Etruria ran the Aurelian Way (via Aurelia). These were the chief military roads constructed during the time of the republic. So durable were these highways that their remains exist to the present day. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901),]

Passages of Rivers by the Roman Military

Flavius Vegetius Renatus (died A.D. 450) wrote in “De Re Militari”: “The passages of rivers are very dangerous without great precaution. In crossing broad or rapid streams, the baggage, servants, and sometimes the most indolent soldiers are in danger of being lost. Having first sounded the ford, two lines of the best mounted cavalry are ranged at a convenient distance entirely across the river, so that the infantry and baggage may pass between them. The line above the ford breaks the violence of the stream, and the line below recovers and transports the men carried away by the current. When the river is too deep to be forded either by the cavalry or infantry, the water is drawn off, if it runs in a plain, by cutting a great number of trenches, and thus it is passed with ease. [Source: De Re Militari (Military Institutions of the Romans) by Flavius Vegetius Renatus (died A.D. 450), written around A.D. 390. translated from the Latin by Lieutenant John Clarke Text British translation published in 1767. Etext version by Mads Brevik (2001)]

“Navigable rivers are passed by means of piles driven into the bottom and floored with planks; or in a sudden emergency by fastening together a number of empty casks and covering them with boards. The cavalry, throwing off their accoutrements, make small floats of dry reeds or rushes on which they lay their rams and cuirasses to preserve them from being wet. They themselves swim their horses across the river and draw the floats after them by a leather thong.

Engineering corps at a river crossing on Trajan's Column

“But the most commodious invention is that of the small boats hollowed out of one piece of timber and very light both by their make and the quality of the wood. The army always has a number of these boats upon carriages, together with a sufficient quantity of planks and iron nails. Thus with the help of cables to lash the boats together, a bridge is instantly constructed, which for the time has the solidity of a bridge of stone.

“As the enemy generally endeavor to fall upon an army at the passage of a river either by surprise or ambuscade, it is necessary to secure both sides thereof by strong detachments so that the troops may not be attacked and defeated while separated by the channel of the river. But it is still safer to palisade both the posts, since this will enable you to sustain any attempt without much loss. If the bridge is wanted, not only for the present transportation of the troops but also for their return and for convoys, it will be proper to throw up works with large ditches to cover each head of the bridge, with a sufficient number of men to defend them as long as the circumstances of affairs require.

Energy and Petroleum in Ancient Rome

The first century B.C. historian Livy described torches wrapped in cloth and covered in sulphur, tar and quicklime that continued to burn after being drenched in water. Ancient texts also describe fire tricks that used concoctions made of sulphur, pitch, naphtha and quicklime that could be ignited by a drop of water.

The first references to oil were made on cuneiform tablets in Babylonia in 2000 B.C. It was referred to as naptu, which means "that which flares up." Naptu was used in construction, road building, waterproofing, skin ointments and cements. One cuneiform tablet from that era read: "If at a certain place in the land naptu oozes out, that country will walk in widowhood. If the water of a river bears . . . oil, want will seize on the people." Another states: "May donkey urine be your drink, naptu your ointment."

In the 5th century B.C. Herodotus described a famous spot in Persia where oil oozed from the ground. He wrote that a man with a wineskin "makes a dip with this, draws the liquid up, and then pours it over the receptacle; from there it passes into another, where it turns into three different shapes; the salt and the asphalt solidify while they collect on clay containers."

In ancient times oil came primarily from seepage. No one thought of drilling for it in the ground until the 19th century. In the 1st century B.C., the Greek historian Diodorus wrote: "of all the marvels of Babylonia the most amazing is the mass of asphalt produced there . . . Uncountable numbers of people have drawn from it, as from some vast spring, yet the supply remains intact."

In the 1st century A.D., the Greek geographer Strabo wrote: "if naphtha is brought near a flame, it catches fire, and if you smear some on the body and come near a flame, the body will catch fire. It cannot be quenched with water---it just burns harder---unless a whole lot is used, but it can be smothered and quenched with mud, vinegar, alum or birdlime."

Romans burned petroleum in the their lamps instead of olive oil. The Byzantines used naptha for their Greek Fire weapons.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity ; Forum Romanum ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) |+|; BBC Ancient Rome ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, ; Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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