Travelling in the Roman Empire--interactive transport map

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Travelling in the Roman Empire--interactive transport map

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Nov. 4, 2013, 1:23pm

Apologies if this has already been posted, I searched all of Talk and this group and it didn't come up.

Some time ago I asked (maybe not in this group, but on LT surely) whether anyone knew of a comprehensive atlas of the Roman roads, preferably overlapping with the modern system (I pictured super-imposable transparencies--wishful thinking, of course). Question (and the wish-for) still stands, by the way, but in the meantime, this looks extremely interesting:

ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World

Nov. 4, 2013, 3:06pm

Do you perhaps mean the famous Tabula Peutingeriana? This is a nerdy confession, but I had this continuously printed on a long sheet of paper, and circumscribed my college dorm room with it. I got all the girls, to say the least.

But in all seriousness, I would love to see this super-imposed on a modern, or speculative ancient, map. It should be very difficult, however, since the longitudes and latitudes are seriously skewed.

Nov. 4, 2013, 6:22pm

Hi, Matthew--I was enquiring whether any such comparative atlas might already exist--don't know of any myself but then this is not my area at all. That link looks lovely, but not really what I'd like--a precise reconstruction (as far as possible, of course) of the ancient Roman road system with the later developments superimposed/superimposable on it.

The ORBIS looks like it might at least provide a comprehensive reconstruction of the Roman road network, but on quick skimming, which is all I had time for today, turns out to be a whale of a site and will take work especially for chronological comparisons.

Nov. 5, 2013, 12:14am

Thanks for posting that link Lola. (It's certainly closer to what you want than anything I'm aware off, but I might have missed something).

Nov. 5, 2013, 6:32am

Many thanks #1, #2 and #3 for posting such fascinating links. Although not an internet resource perhaps it's worth mentioning the Barrington Atlas . Although pretty expensive it's a wonderfully produced book.

Nov. 5, 2013, 10:11am

Thanks for the links, both look great, although I guess for such direct comparisons I'd have to provide my own modern maps etc... Basically, I'm interested in how much of the classical road system has been incorporated in the modern one, how much is still in use.


I'd love a book, actually. Hard to fiddle with multiple maps on the computer.

Nov. 5, 2013, 11:21am

The maps for each set of provinces in Atlas of the Roman World include well-drafted routes of the roads, but alas, not the overlay that you're looking for.

I haven't ever used it, but the Barrington linked by PossMan may be a better bet.

Nov. 5, 2013, 12:03pm

The harvard link uses the Barrington map as a source:
"We have drawn on the cartographic achievements of our predecessors, most notably from Richard J. A. Talbert’s magnificent Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (2000)"

Bearbeitet: Nov. 5, 2013, 12:30pm

I just uploaded the Roman Roads shapefile from McCormick's site along with the modern European roads from NASA's Open Access Data site(big file) and threw them up in ArcMap. You should be able to do the same in a free data viewer such as Mr Sid or ArcExplorer.

Pretty cool. Looks like many of the major Roman Roads were used but not so much with the minor ones (I know, no surprise there).

The NASA data is here: