Aquädukt, Tarragona, Spanien

Aquädukt, Tarragona, Spanien, source:

This research group deals with infrastructures that were created in view of strategic military and political objectives as well as natural spatial requirements and local conditions, infrastructures that were subsequently used and transformed by the heirs of the Roman Empire. The research takes as its point of departure the stunningly uniform, seemingly almost systematic character of this infrastructure within the Roman empire. However, closer examination reveals a subtly differentiated view of local characteristics. Alongside the infrastructure installations themselves (roads, bridges, canals, aqueducts, etc.), the group will also examine the corresponding functional contexts (resource management, governance and administration), as well as mobility, communication and knowledge transfer accomplished through and by means of these installations. Knowledge transfer is dependent, among other things, on the land surveyor’s art and on legal conditions. The research is supported by the editorial projects for the Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum and the Miliaria provinciarum Hispanarum. The research focuses on the centrally controlled division between, on the one hand, infrastructures created centrally and functionalized to meet the needs of the empire as a whole and of its foreign relations – “global” infrastructures, for lack of a better term – and, on the other hand, regional infrastructures, i.e. structures that are local in scope and operationalized for the benefit of local groups. This comparison should prove fruitful for the research group. A region of particular significance for several sub-projects is the Iberian Peninsula. The time frame extends from the Roman Republic to the western Early Middle Ages. And the inclusion of a broad spectrum not only of themes, but also and especially of methodologies – from ancient and early medieval history, classical philology and editorial philology to epigraphy, historical geography and Roman and European legal history – promises to offer new insights into this topic.


Research Projects