How is it possible that the Roman roads are still standing? This is how they were built

One of the elements that contributed to making it great Rome they were definitely his streets. The road network of the empire was the most developed and complex that the Western world had ever seen up to that point in its history, with road layouts still in use during the Middle Ages and the modern age. Even today, many of the main European communication routes they follow the ancient roads of the empire. In some cases, sections of Roman roads still survive today, demonstrating the level ofRoman engineering. Let's find out how they were made.

How Roman roads were made and how they were built

Despite the very important commercial and civil role that roads had in the empire, we must never forget that the first purpose for which they were built was of a military. In most cases, in fact, Roman roads were built by legions themselves. A good road was needed to move them easily and quickly armies in case of necessity. Only later did the road axes become vectors commercial and of communication. Therefore, when necessary, the legionaries were workers and engineers.

To build a road, it was first of all necessary to identify the precise place where it should pass. This was the task of professionals like him engineers they land surveyors, ancestors of modern surveyors. To connect one point to another, one would normally choose the shortest and straightest route possiblebut where this is not possible, the engineering and logistical capabilities of the legions allowed to adapt the terrain or to get around any obstacles without problems, through the construction of bridges or galleries.

Once the section had been chosen, the width of the road was delimited, which occurred through the creation of a deep excavation (the pit) and two lateral embankments. The filling of the the pit of course it could vary depending on the available materials on the site, but was generally characterized by a stratification of different materials. On the bottom we tried to apply a solid baseknown as statumencomposed by large blocks of stone linked together if necessary by cement mortar. This very resistant first layer would have guaranteed durability to the structure.

Subsequently, above the statumena layer known as ruduscomposed of inert such as old broken bricks or medium-sized stones, held together by a binder. This layer, given its composition, would have allowed drain the rainwater that would have infiltrated from above. Above the rudus was affixed nucleuscomposed of gravel and sandwhich would have contributed to the drainage and to stability of the last layer, the superficial one, known as pavimentum.

The pavimentum was made with squared and specially worked stones to represent the walking surface of the road. They had to be resistant, simple to maintain and easily replaceable if necessary. Finally they were affixed milestoneswhich reported the distance in miles between the locations, and the boundary stones, which marked the limits of administrative units within the empire. The combination of these four states, each designed with a specific purpose, allowed the roads to be long-lasting and resistant.


Sections of Roman road still visible

The stretches of Roman roads that have survived to this day and are still visible throughout Europe and the Mediterranean basin are countless. Here are some of them:

A well-preserved stretch of the Via Appiawhich connected Rome to Toastsis visible in the Appia Antica Archaeological Parkin southern Rome, integrated within the Regional Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe.


To Aquileiain Friuli, it is possible to admire some stretches of the Via Geminathe road that connected the ancient metropolis of Aquileia with Emonathe ancient one Ljubljanacapital of Slovenia.

There Via Traiana together with the Via Appia, it was one of the most important in southern Italy. It allowed you to connect Benevento And Toasts.

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