Journal of Ancient Topography

n. V 1995


]AT V (1995)


RAYMOND CHEVALLIER, Roads in Greek and Latin writers.

Outline of a collection of texts by Greek and Latin writers classified according to genre: geographers, historians, technical writers, letter writers, novelists and poets. These texts are a rich source of information on road building and management, on the route followed, roadworks, building and repair dates, milestones, landscape, the life story of the road, military and civilian use, travellers and merchandise, baggage, cursus publicus and news communication, stations, journey times, customs and annona, relationship between land, river and sea traffic.

ANNAPAOLA MOSCA, The Roman bridges in the VII Regio (Etruria).

This article aims to be a starting point for further investigation. It provides a catalogue of all the (supposedly) Roman bridges in Etruria, the seventh Augustan region. They are ordered according to road axis, from west to east, from south to north. Even bridges of which no visible traces are induded. Often the ooly remaining section is the lower one, built with the opus quadratum technique used over a long span of time, while the elevation, panelling and parapets have disappeared, their decoration being a valuable aid to dating. Wooden bridges are also known to have existed, though there is no exact typology and thus no chronology. It is unclear whether crossings already used in the Etruscan period were chosen. Some items appear to date from the Republic, i.e. from a period close to road building, while others appear to date from the Augustan period or first century of the Empire. The bridges sited along the route followed by the Via Traiana Nova should date back to the time of the building of the road, but at the moment it is not possible to establish a date or investigate possible repairs, which the milestones connected with the road appear to indicate. Certain items appear to date from late antiquity, or at least were extensively repaired then, while others were certainJy reused in MedievaI, or even modern times.

DANIELA MONACCHI - ELEONORA PELLEGRINI, Ameria, The cistem in Piazza G. Matteotti

To the north of Amelia there lies a large underground cistern, built with an unclear technique, split up into ten vaulted interconnected rooms, paved and covered with terracotta fragment cement, complete with the necessary shafts and dating from the mid 1st. century A.D. The cistern was part of the substructure of the overlying forum area. It collected rain water, piped in the first phase by a lead fistula aquaria, and later (from the end of the 1st. century to the beginning of the 2nd. century A.D.) by a conduit, which was later blocked up, in connection with which the corner of the floor of the first room was reinforced by a brick platform with seals bearing the name of C. Atilius Fortunatus, which are the terminus ante quem for the dating of the cistern. The excellent state of conservation allows identification of the overflow mechanism and draining system by means of a shutter emptying the water into a duct behind.

MICHELE CARROCCIA, Methodological problems in reading the Tabula Peutingeriana and problems concerning Roman Roads in the Abruzzo and Molise regions.

Beginning with the study of the Roman road network in the Abruzzo-Molise area, through a new criticallook at the Tabula Peutingeriana, the author proposes a method for the identification of halting places (mansiones or mutationes). It is important to consider the difficulties encountered by the Roman map maker in transfer ring to very limited spaces with no scale relationships the numerous road segments, which he, nevertheless, does not mix up. Caution is therefore necessary, before manipulating this map, in trying to discover the reason behind the true or presumed errors, especially in distances between the halting places, which cannot be considered convincing, for a metrical reconstruction of the road routes. It should also be remembered that the modern Italian road system is not so different from the ancient one in many areas. In the area examined here, the presence of tabernae maintained the function of halting places. Comparative study of modem and ancient maps, the former conserving many ancient place names, needs to be supported by ground investigation, which often confirms and adds to, thought not infrequently rules out, previously formulated hypotheses.

GIOVANNI DI STEFANO, Champlieu (Oise -  France). Preliminary results of the ltalian archaeological expedition (1993·1994).

After a brief location of the site, the author gives the history of excavation of the rural GalloRoman sanctuary at Champlieu from Viollet le Due onwards. A description follows of the sanctuary with its 1st century temple and elaborate rebuilding in the 2nd. century A.D. and the other buildings, baths, theatre, post scaenam porticus and forum.

CRISTINA BIANCHI, Ancient settlement of the Valdinievole.

The Valdinievole, situated in the Province of Pistoia, is bordered to the east by Montalbano and by Montecarlo to the west, by tbe south west slopes of the Pistoia Apennines to the north and by the hills of Vinci and Cerreto Guidi and the southern corner of the Fucecchio marshes to the south. Owing to poor documentation of an area that has never been systematically surveyed and finds that are difficult to organize chronologically, all the information contributing to an initial organic study of settlement from mid Palaeolithic times to late antiquity has been examined. After a hydrogeological analysis of the area, settlement has been studied in stages on the basis of bibliographical and archive sources, archaeological finds, personal survey and map analysis. Analytical dossiers, with bibliographical and topographical references, provide a detailed examination of each site where finds have been made.

GIOVANNI UGGERI, Luigi Canina (1795-1856) - E. Gerhard (1795-1867).

On the occasion of the 200th. anniversary of the birth of L. Canina the architect and E. Gerhard the archaeologist, their contribution to topography is recalled and the systematic publication of corpora of ancien artefacts, monuments and buildings, especially in Rome and Latium.

CARLA AMICI, Rome, Circumiecta tecta.

A chance discovery in 1990 in Rome, between Piazza S. Andrea della Valle and Corso Rinascimento, brought to light a 7 m. stretch of Roman arch which appears to be part of the porticus on brick pilasters seen by A. Colini in 1938 (possibly the Porticus Boni Eventi mentioned in Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX 6, 17).

DONATO COLLI, Rome. Two unpublished drawings by Edoardo Gatti increase our knowledge of the Palatium Sessorianum.

This article proposes a new, more detailed hypothetical reconstruction of the Palatium Sessorianum, inhabited by the Empress Helen at the beginning of the 4th. century A.D. It is now part of the archaeological area near the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Leaving aside controversy over tbe palace, attention is directed here to better understanding of the plan of a hall with apse surveyed by Pirro Ligorio in the mid 16th. century, on the basis of two drawings by Edoardo Gatti, dated May 8 1922, documenting remains of rooms unearthed when laying the foundations for the Granatieri regimental museum. Both R. Lanciani (Forma Urbis Romae, tav. XXXII) and A.M. Colini (Horti Spei Veteris Palatium Sessorianum, an article published in 1955) believed that Ligorio's plan documented the great civil basilica of the Palatium whose apse can still be seen in the grounds of the Infantry museum. The author's study showed that both the plan and Gatti's drawings document the same hall, which was not the basilica, but an adjoining side room. Placing Ligorio's plan on Gatti's drawings, we can see, in greater detail the characteristics and north-western limit of the palace, thus answering a problem left unsolved by Colini. Tbe author argues that the façade of tbe palace was preceded by a colonnade, as can be seen in Ligorio's plan. This architectural feature, common to other late Imperial palaces (Tbessalonica, Trier, Constantinople) is confirmed by written evidence from Fauno and Albertini, by Bufalini's topographical maps of Rome, and other mentions of columns from tbe Sessorianum.