Water Distribution in Ancient Rome

The Evidence of Frontinus
Harry B. Evans
Explores the water system that made ancient Rome possible


Water Distribution in Ancient Rome examines the nature and effects of Rome's system of aqueducts, drawing on the difficult but important work of the Roman engineer Frontinus. Among other questions, the volume considers how water traveled to the many neighborhoods of hilly Rome, which neighborhoods were connected to the water system, and how those connections were made. A consideration of Frontinus' writing reveals comprehensive planning by city officials over long periods of time and the difficulties these engineering feats posed. Water Distribution in Ancient Rome is essential reading for students and scholars of Frontinus, of Roman engineering and imperial policy, and of Roman topography and archaeology.

This book was published with the assistance of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Harry B. Evans is Professor of Classics, Fordham University. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize and is past Secretary-Treasurer of the American Philological Association.

Praise / Awards

  • "Clear style, good maps and photographs, notes, and bibliography make this work accessible and valuable for students at every level. An admirable contribution to knowledge of the Roman Empire."
  • ". . . make[s] important contributions to our understanding of Frontinus the man and his treatise. Classical archaeologists need to be conversant with the mathematical thinking and interpretation of Roman measurements laid out by the editors. Blackman and Hodge also provide a worthwhile service by outlining the 'cultural disconnects' between the Roman world and our own in matters of public administration and the construction of large-scale projects We need to follow the editors' own advice, offered with regard to Frontinus, and read their book with 'questions that lie between the lines.' If we do so, it becomes another valuable tool for grappling with the history of water technology and its role in ancient Roman society."
    —Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Brandeis University, Technology and Culture, July 2002

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 192pp.
  • 3 maps, 15 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08446-3

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  • $31.95 U.S.



  • archaeology, history, classics, classical studies, classical history, social science, ancient history, antiquity, topography, water, water distribution, frontius, aqueducts, ancient Rome, Roman history, Roman engineering, urban planning