Journal of Ancient Topography

n. X 2000


JAT X (2000)


ARMANDO CHERICI, Towards a History of the Road Network in the Arezzo Area and a Note on

the.Arezzo-Florence Section of the Tabula Peutingeriana

The presence of Bituriha and Aquileia in the Tabula Peutingeriana on the road from Florence to Arezzo is problematic. A local tradition, already mentioned by Leandro Alberti, locating Biturgia at Sansepolcro is rehabilitated. It is also suggested that two adjacent parallel itineraries were mixed up in the Tabula here, as in other places. Evidence, in the form of traces of bridges and place names originating in milestones, is presented showing that Arezzo was at the centre of a complex Roman road network. Caution is necessary, however, since this network was reorganized during the radical changes in the road system during the 13th. century, many roads previously considered Roman actually dating to medieval or even modern times. 

PAOLO MARCACCINI - MARIA LUISA PETRINI, The Via Aemilia Scauri in Etruria: a possible route through the Maremma in the areas of Pisa and Piombino

The expansion of Roman power westward was accompanied by the reorganization of the Tyrrhenian coastal road system. The Via Aurelia was lengthened and rapid communication with Gaul established. The Via Aemilia Scauri was built, in this context, in 115 B.C. Despite the dec1ine following the 5th. century barbarian invasions, the Aurelia-Emilia probably maintained its status as a means of communication between different regions until the late Middle Ages. The 14th. century population decline and the beginnings of political divisions of the coastal area in the Early Modern period are the main causes of the break up of this road. A new Via Emilia (later Aurelia) was only built towards the end of the Hapsburg-Lorraine grand duchy period in Tuscany. The undeniable rationality of the original Roman project is confirmed by the fact that the modern road mostly follows the same route as the ancient one.

PAOLO CAMPAGNOLI - ENRICO GIORGI, Observations on Roman Roads in the Southern Marche Region

The Roman road network in the southern Marche region is examined, including connections with the previous situation and developments in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. In the cases of the Via Salaria and the coastal road the situation from the protohistoric period was consolidated, while the Via Flaminia was an entirely new phenomenon. Despite difficult geographical conditions, the network set up by the Romans from the 3rd. century B.C. onwards had a clear hierarchical structure. Another characteristic is close adherence to physical geographical conditions in all periods, including the Roman one. Massive Roman engineering works in difficult conditions, such as the narrow gorges of Burano and Candigliano, presented very difficult maintenance problems. This is why alternative, longer and more hazardous routes (whose close adherence to geographical contours required less maintenance) developed in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.

SILVIA AGLIETTI, The Roman Road Followed by the Via Cavona Route from Ponte Lucano to Bovillae

Topographical and archaeological analysis is carried out of the so called Via Cavona, a long lasting road, paved in the Roman period, connecting the mountainous areas around Lake Fucino with the coast of Latium, rounding the Alban HilIs on their western slopes and finishing at Anzio. It crossed the main roads radiating from Rome, the Tiburtina at Ponte Lucano, the Praenestina, Casilina, Tusculana, Anagnina, and lastly the Appia at the XI milestone (Bovillae).

ROSA MARIA CUCCO, The Route Followed by the Via Valeria from Cefalù to Termini Imerese

A hypothetical reconstruction is presented of the route followed by the Via Valeria bctween the two towns and mansiones of the cursus publicus of Cephaloedium and Thermae Himeraeae. Sicily's most important Roman road, built for strategic purposes in the 3rd. century B.C. to connect Messina to Palermo and Lilybaeum, after many centuries, will have been followed by the "Messina Marine" road and subsequently by the moderm 113 main road. This situation can be explained by the geography of the northern coast and the fact that a road route must come to terms with the geo-hydrographical features of the territory to be crossed (four rivers between Cefalù and Termini Imerese requiring bridges in winter for safe crossing). Between Cefalù and Termini Imerese the route followed by the Via Valeria mostly coincided with that followed by a coastal trazzera (named "della spiaggia" - "trazzera" being a term used in Sicily for tracks mostly used for sheep movement) taken up again in places by the "Messina. Marine" in the 19th. century and then by the 113 main road. On site and documentary research suggest that. between tbe River Piletto and Imera the Roman road ran closer to the foothills than its successors, corresponding to the via publica mentioned in a 1205 document and subsequently replaced by the trazzera regia named "del confine". Further proof of the antiquity of the road is supplied by a series of Ancient and Medieval sites, including a villa at Terre Bianche (probably the seat of a mutatio) in addition co two others (Settefrati and Buonfornello). Another trazzera regia connecting with the above mentioned one of Campofelice di Roccella and continuino into the hinterland follone an ancient road route dating back, on the basis of surface finds, ti Prehistoric times.

AURELIO BURGIO, Observations on the Route Fol1owed by the Via Catina-Thermae from Enna to Termini Imerese

A reconstruction is suggested of one of the possible road fo1lowed by the Roman road from the fork with the Via Valeria to the east of Termini Imerese as far as the crossing over the southern stretch  of the River Imera ot few km west of Enna. Like other Roman roads. in Sicily, this one will also have. followed pre-existing roads, crossing an area with hardly any inhabited settlements. Neither the Itinerarium Antonini nor the Tabula Peutingeriana mention a single mansio along the 52 miles separating the two towns. Surveys, research on maps a archives and dettailed geographical observation suggest that the Ancient road follone a route partially taken up again by main road 120 and partially coincided with that follone by some regie trazzere (see previous summary). Leaving the Tyrrhenian coast i twill have reached the watershed of the northen and southern stretches of the River Imera. From here two different routes can be identified, both compatible with the distances supplied by sources. The first one, along which little archaeological evidence is available, will have quickly reached the end of the valley of the southern stretch of River Imera, as shown by an important regia trazzera linking Palermo with Catania. The second follone the natural route connecting settlements from the Archaic and Classical ages (Serra di Puccio, Cozzo, Tutusino, Terravecchia di Cuti), near to which Prehistoric remains are to be found, and passed by (in Contrada Susafa) two very large rural settlements active throughout the Empire. This second route is not only important because it had been in use since Prehistoric times but also because of the close topographic tie between the road axis and Empire period settlements, and, further-more because the site in Contrada Susafa, 23 miles from Henna and 28 miles from Thermae, could have been a statio.

CRISTINA CORSI, The Roman and Late Antique Rural Settlement In the Area between Tarquinia and Vulci. Part 2. F.° 142 IV Archaeological Map

A topographical finds catalogue of square IV of F.° 142 (Montalto Marina) including parts of the urban districts of Tarquinia and Montalto di Castro (Province of Viterbo) is presented. A combination, of these data and historical sources is the basis or a chronology of settlement in this area between the end of the 4th. century B.C. and Late Antiquity, already published in JAT VIII (1998). Nearly all the data appear for the first time. lnfolmation is provided on administration and locality together with topographical observations, the extent of pot sherd finds, a short list of materials and a more detailed one of shapes. for a more precise chronology. On the basis of on site data, bibliographical information and air photography, identification is almost always attempted. In most cases productive units of different rank are involved, often revealing occupation for several centuries. Villas and farms are functionally distributed for exploitation of agricultural resources and rationally so in connection with communications. The main road is the Via Aurelia flanked by other roads following its direction and connected by a network of minor roads. Sea transport must have been an imponant alternative for the local economy, several coastal villas being present, the positiones listed in the Itinerarium Maritimum along the route to Arelatum. Martanum near the mouth of the river of the same name must now be added to the already known Quintiana and Regisvilla. Other areas yielding pot sherds probably indicate burial grounds, adjacent to rural settlements. Sporadic architectural materials and fragments of water pipes complete the catalogue. Finds connected with roads, references to sea wreckage and under water archaeological finds have been omitted.

GIOVANNI UGGERI. Adolf Holm and the Geography of Ancient Sicily

During the second half of the 19th. century two German scholars from Lübeck. Julius Schubring and Adolf Holm contributed to knowledge of the topography of Ancient Sicily. Particular attention is devoted to Holm's geographical work, highlighiting its methodological caution, linked to concrete data. thus removing many non documented place names from the reconstructed map of Ancient Sicily.

RICCARDO CHELL.INI, A New Inscription from Santa Cecilia a Decimo and the First Section of the Road from Florentia to Saena

The discovery of a new inscription in the ancient church (pieve) of Santa Cecilia in Decimo (San Casciano Val di Pesa in the Province of Florence) and the identification of a settlement at Spedaletto, active from the Late Republic, lead me to suggest the presence of the initial stage of a Roman road not present in the Itineraries: the road from Florentia to Saena. From the caput pontis on the left bank of the Arno reached by the Via Cassia and Via Quinctia the road to Siena followed the foot of the Boboli sandstone hills leaving a trace in the place name platea. Flanked by numerous tombs it proceeded to San Gaggio, passing the cemetery o the cultores .Larum Q. Terenti Lascivi, and entered the Greve Valley. On the Malavolta road it touched Massapagana, crossing the River Greve reaching Quinto, a significant place name near present day Tavarnuzze. Here travellers prepared themselves for the most difficult stretch, going up Montebuoni, down to Greve, up again to Percussina. After the river one can still follow a part of the ancient route along the western side of Poggio degli Scopeti. The small, recently identified settlement overlooking the area between Percussina and Spedaletto was probably equipped as a travellers' halt. The journey continued along the hill ridge, without further difficulty, as far as Decimo, a reminder of a milestone, then down the Val di Pesa towards Siena.

ARMANDO CHERICI, An Unpublished Drawing of the Bridge along the Via Aurelia Crossing the River Osa near Talamone

A detailed drawing of the ruins of the Roman bridge by which the Via Aurelia crossed the River Osa by an engineer, C.G. Dotti, in 1860 is published here. The bridge had at least six piers, which have now disappeared.

GIANFRANCO DE BENEDITTIS, New Epigraphic Evidence on the Roman Roads behind the Samnite Apennines

Information is given on an inscription dating from 165 A.D. found in Aesernia (Isernia) already partially noticed in somewhat precarious condition (CIL IX 2655). Its interest lies in the fact that the names of two Roman roads in the Volturnus Valley can now be read: the Via Allifana and Via Cubulterina, which reached Allifae (Alife) and Cubulteria, situated between Allifae and Caiatia. 

ARCANGELO FORNARO, On the Route Followed by the Appian Way between Benevento and Taranto

Thanks to some milestones recovered in the last two decades in Hirpinia, it is possible to give more exact information on the route followed by the Appian Way east of Benevento in the Republican period. After a section of 15,750 passus between Benevento and Eclano, the ancient road crossed the territory of Grottaminarda, crossed the River Ufita over a bridge and reached Fioccaglia di Flumeri an important settlement of the Gracchan period. From Fioccaglia the road follone the Fiumarella Valley, crossed the hill of Scampitella and descended towards the valley of the River Calaggio, proceeding up towards the hill of Lacedonia (Aquilonia) and through Serra Mezzama, Serro di Luca and Monte Martino reached the bridge of S.Venere on the River Ofanto. This section is 33 m.p. long. After Pons Aufidi the road crossed Torre della Cisterna, Monte Solorso, Madonna di Macera, Toppo d'Aguzzo, Sanzanello, reaching Venosa in 18 m.p. The Venosa-Taranto section, 91 m.p. long crossed Botromagno (Silvium), Viglione (Sublupatia) and Pagliarone (Canales). Two milestones bearing the name of M. Aemilius Lepidus (126 B.C.?) contribute to the identification of a road heading from Fioccaglia di Flumeri towards the sanctuary of S. Maria della Manna and along the sheep track (tratturo) of Camporeale towards Aecae. Continuing along the valley of the River Calaggio, changing to Carapelle after a few km, the section of the Via Minucia could be reached connecting Equo Tutico to Erdonia. A diverticulum heading for Canosa must have branched off from the Pons Aufidi-Venosa section. This will have been the road travelled along by Horace in the Iter Brundisinum of 37 B.C. In 109 A.D. Trajan, setting up a direct connection Benevento- Equo Tutico-Aecae-Erdonia in the Brindisi direction transformed the regina viarum and its diverticula into regional roads. Six milestoncs from the year 123 A.D. are evidence of the restoration of the Benevento-Eclano section by Hadrian. Antoninus Pius, according to some inscriptions, restored the Eclano-Erdonia road (44 m.p. long), though the route is marked by five much later milestones (three from the first Tetrarchy and two from the reign of Constantine). Marcus Aurelius restored the Pons Aufidi-Venosa section, though there is only one milestone dating from the first Tetrarchy. A milestone from the first Tetrarchy was found along the diverticulum to Canosa, another one dating from the reign of Constantine. The date of the 43 m.p. long Eclano-Pons Aufidi mountain route (Frigento-Guardia dci Lombardi-Monte La Trippa-Bisaccia) is unknown, the only evidence being a milestone from the reign of Valentinian, Valens and Gratian (367-375 A.D.).