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Running Water: Advances In Urban Water Supply During The Roman Empire

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Chapter Summary

Roman systems for water supply have always been considered some of the most remarkable achievements of the ancient world and have been closely tied to the idea of Roman civilization itself. Although the Greeks and Romans shared the same theoretical knowledge of hydraulics, Roman civil engineers paid distinctive attention to controlling the regulation of water flow and to perfecting water supply installations. The amount of water supplied daily to the urban population of Rome was already remarkable during the Roman Republic, and it increased significantly from Augustus on. The construction of aqueducts indubitably not only produced an easily reachable and potentially unlimited amount of running water for an enlarged number of dwellers, but also supplied water of high quality. The most conspicuous expression of Roman hydraulic engineering is represented by the Imperial public baths or thermae, which went on to become an emblem of Roman civilization.

Keywords: aqueduct; Roman Empire; urban water supply



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