A brief history of roman water technology

Larry Mays

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Rome's power extended only to northern Italy in 265 B.C., where the Celt's were a major barrier to further expansion. They had no navy so that further expansion seemed unlikely; however in the next 120 years Rome became a major Mediterranean power with interests reaching west to Spain and east to Asia and Aegean. In consolidating their empire, the Romans engaged in extensive building of cities. Rome resulted from centuries of irregular growth with particular temple and public districts that were highly planned. The Roman military and colonial towns were laid out in a variation of the grid. The layout of London, Paris and many other European cities resulted from these origins. Cities and towns need a healthy and adequate water supply, so the Romans located along rivers and streams and/or locations with access to springs, which were always favored. When cities were small, obtaining clean water and disposing of wastes was not a major problem, however, as cities grew the large populations and higher densities required public infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAncient Water Technologies
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9789048186310
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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