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Roman Roamin

Roman Roamin > Using later sources to describe early building projects

Using later sources to describe early building projects

Most historians agree that Servius Tullius did not build the walls around Roma that carry his name. Most date those walls to the fourth century, BCE. This may be an attempt by historians to explain why the Gauls were able to take the city so easily in 387. They sacked the city, but were thwarted from taking the fortress on the Capitoline when honking geese gave away their sneak attack. (To illustrate the divide between history and tradition: history dates the sack of Rome by the Gauls to the year 387, but tradition dates that event to 390.)

However, archeological evidence allows a redoubt made of dirt to the time of Servius, a dirt wall that follows the same course as the later walls of tufa stone. I decided to attribute those stone walls to Servius himself, as tradition holds. It seems logical to me that they would not have been content with dirt walls, when they were used to working with tufa (the Forum and the Cloaca Maxima) and they had they had their own quarry nearby, northeast of the city.

The description of building a wooden bridge across a river came from Julius Caesar, who may well have based his design upon the work of Lucumo, and in homage to the great Caesar I have used the general's own words when describing the construction of the Pons Sublicius, the bridge of pilings.

Roman concrete using pozzolana is first mentioned in historical documents dating to the second century, BCE, but I feel there is no reason to assume it had not been discovered centuries earlier, and so I use this remarkable form of concrete in my construction of the Cloaca Maxima, the Great Sewer.

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