Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome

Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome

Hardback Ancient Society and History

By (author) Gregory S. Aldrete

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  • Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 221mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 20 March 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0801884055
  • ISBN 13: 9780801884054
  • Illustrations note: 23 black & white halftones, 14 black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 1,639,127

Product description

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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Author information

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.

Review quote

A comprehensive, insightful and lucid book-length study on a topic of great importance. -- Eric Kondratieff Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2007 Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome is that rare thing in scholarship, a work that genuinely fills a gap in the scholarly literature. Professor Aldrete has brilliantly illuminated an aspect of ancient Rome that was ever present to the city's inhabitants but almost invisible to modern historians. -- Stanley Burstein History Teacher 2007 Thoughtful study. -- Dennis E. Trout American Historical Review 2007 A noble attempt to bring interdisciplinary evidence from outside classical sources to bear on a long-standing problem of Roman history and archaeology. -- James C. Anderson, Jr. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2008 A meticulously researched, well-written, and thoroughly referenced study of a little known aspect of Rome's history. -- Brian Fagan Historian 2009