The meaning of roads: a reinterpretation of the Roman Empire

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This chapter is concerned with economics and focuses on travel as an experience that brought individuals into contact with the agency of the Roman state. It also focuses on how the road, as a linear structure, connected the local to the global. Roads are described as old in more than 200 inscriptions from across the Roman Empire, sometimes these inscriptions specify that it was the road and the bridges that had become old. Augustus, initially, established a relay system of men stationed at intervals along the roads that proved in some way unsatisfactory and was replaced by a network of roadside stations to make provisions for travellers. The intersection between the boundaries of the territory of communities with long-distance roads elucidates the relationship between state and local power structures within the geographical conception of space in the Roman Empire. Rivers gave shape to the Roman Empire and the conception of space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTravel, pilgrimage and social interaction from antiquity to the middle ages
EditorsJenni Kuuliala, Jussi Rantala
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780429028458
ISBN (Print)9780367137564
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Medieval History and Culture


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