Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome

Front Cover
JHU Press, Mar 5, 2007 - History - 338 pages

While the remains of its massive aqueducts serve as tangible reminders of Rome’s efforts to control its supply of drinking water, there are scant physical reminders that other waters sometimes raged out of control. In fact, floods were simply a part of life in ancient Rome, where proximity to the Tiber left a substantial part of the city vulnerable to the river's occasional transgressions.

Here, in the first book-length treatment of the impact of floods on an ancient city, Gregory S. Aldrete draws upon a diverse range of scientific and cultural data to develop a rich and detailed account of flooding in Rome throughout the classical period.

Aldrete explores in detail the overflowing river’s destructive effects, drawing from ancient and modern written records and literary accounts, analyses of the topography and hydrology of the Tiber drainage basin, visible evidence on surviving structures, and the known engineering methods devised to limit the reach of rising water. He discusses the strategies the Romans employed to alleviate or prevent flooding, their social and religious attitudes toward floods, and how the threat of inundation influenced the development of the city's physical and economic landscapes.

 

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Contents

Sources and Topography
10
Geographic Extent of Floods Based on Primary Sources
33
Seasonality of Floods at Rome
66
Magnitude of Floods at Rome
81
Three
91
Injuries and Drowning
118
Food Spoilage and Famine
131
Psychological Trauma
154
Canals and Channel Modification Schemes
181
Administrative Oversight of the Tiber
198
Housing
211
Costs and Benefits
225
List of Major Floods
241
A Note on Hydrological Sources
253
Bibliography
303
Index
325

The Roman Sewers
167

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Page 310 - Settimo incontro di studio del Comitato per l'Archeologia Laziale. Quaderni del Centro di Studio per l'Archeologia Etrusco-Italico 12; Archeologia Laziale VII, 2.

About the author (2007)

Gregory S. Aldrete is a professor of history and humanistic studies at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and author of Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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