Bernard , Alpis Poenina Great St. Bernard , the Brenner Pass, and others leading into Rhaetia and Noricum. There were other roads in Italy, most notable among them the Postumian Way, leading from Genua across the Po valley to Aquileia at the head of the Adriatic.
Tolls abounded, especially at bridges. Often they were collected at the city gate. Freight costs were made heavier still by import and export taxes. These were only the charges for using the roads. Costs of services on the journey went up from there. Financing road building was a Roman government responsibility.
Maintenance, however, was generally left to the province. The officials tasked with fund-raising were the curatores viarum. They had a number of methods available to them. Private citizens with an interest in the road could be asked to contribute to its repair. High officials might distribute largesse to be used for roads. Beyond those means, taxes were required. A via connected two cities. Viae were generally centrally placed in the countryside.
This is clearly shown by the fact that the censors, in some respects the most venerable of Roman magistrates, had the earliest paramount authority to construct and repair all roads and streets. Indeed, all the various functionaries, not excluding the emperors themselves, who succeeded the censors in this portion of their duties, may be said to have exercised a devolved censorial jurisdiction.
The devolution to the censorial jurisdictions soon became a practical necessity, resulting from the growth of the Roman dominions and the diverse labors which detained the censors in the capital city. Certain ad hoc official bodies successively acted as constructing and repairing authorities. In Italy, the censorial responsibility passed to the commanders of the Roman armies, and later to special commissioners — and in some cases perhaps to the local magistrates.
In the provinces, the consul or praetor and his legates received authority to deal directly with the contractor. The care of the streets and roads within the Roman territory was committed in the earliest times to the censors. They eventually made contracts for paving the street inside Rome, including the Clivus Capitolinus , with lava, and for laying down the roads outside the city with gravel.
Sidewalks were also provided. The aediles , probably by virtue of their responsibility for the freedom of traffic and policing the streets, co-operated with the censors and the bodies that succeeded them. It would seem that in the reign of Claudius AD 41—54 the quaestors had become responsible for the paving of the streets of Rome, or at least shared that responsibility with the quattuorviri viarum. There was certainly no lack of precedents for this enforced liberality, and the change made by Claudius may have been a mere change in the nature of the expenditure imposed on the quaestors.
The official bodies which first succeeded the censors in the care of the streets and roads were two in number. They were: .
Both these bodies were probably of ancient origin, but the true year of their institution is unknown. The quattuorviri were afterwards called Quattuorviri viarum curandarum. The extent of jurisdiction of the Duoviri is derived from their full title as Duoviri viis extra propiusve urbem Romam passus mille purgandis.
In case of an emergency in the condition of a particular road, men of influence and liberality were appointed, or voluntarily acted, as curatores or temporary commissioners to superintend the work of repair. Among those who performed this duty in connection with particular roads was Julius Caesar , who became curator 67 BC of the Via Appia, and spent his own money liberally upon it. Certain persons appear also to have acted alone and taken responsibility for certain roads. In the country districts, as has been stated, the magistri pagorum had authority to maintain the viae vicinales.
The portion of any street which passed a temple or public building was repaired by the aediles at the public expense.
When a street passed between a public building or temple and a private house, the public treasury and the private owner shared the expense equally.
No doubt [ speculation? The governing structure was changed by Augustus , who in the course of his reconstitution of the urban administration, both abolished and created new offices in connection with the maintenance of public works, streets and aqueducts in and around Rome.
The task of maintaining the roads had previously been administered by two groups of minor magistrates, the quattuorviri a board of four magistrates to oversee the roads inside the city and the duoviri a board of two to oversee the roads outside the city proper who were both part of the collegia known as the vigintisexviri literally meaning "Twenty-Six Men".
Augustus, finding the collegia ineffective, especially the boards dealing with road maintenance, reduced the number of magistrates from 26 to Completely abolishing the duoviri and later being granted the position as superintendent according to Dio Cassius of the road system connecting Rome to the rest of Italy and provinces beyond. In this capacity he had effectively given himself and any following Emperors a paramount authority which had originally belonged to the city censors.
The quattuorviri board was kept as it was until at least the reign of Hadrian between — AD. Also making the office of curator of each of the great public roads a perpetual magistracy rather than a temporary commission.
The persons appointed under the new system were of senatorial or equestrian rank, depending on the relative importance of the roads assigned to them.
It was the duty of each curator to issue contracts for the maintenance of his road and to see that the contractor who undertook said work performed it faithfully, as to both quantity and quality. Augustus also authorized the construction of sewers and removed obstructions to traffic, as the aediles did in Rome. It was in the character of an imperial curator though probably armed with extraordinary powers that Corbulo denounced the magistratus and mancipes of the Italian roads to Tiberius.
It is worth noting that under the rule of Claudius , Corbulo was brought to justice and forced to repay the money which had been extorted from his victims. Special curatores for a term seem to have been appointed on occasion, even after the institution of the permanent magistrates bearing that title. Their names occur frequently in the inscriptions to restorers of roads and bridges. Ancient Rome boasted impressive technological feats, using many advances that would be lost in the Middle Ages.
France continues the tradition to this day with its "bornes" milliaires that mark the kilometer distances between towns.
Another "modern" feature was raised pavements, or sidewalks, for use by pedestrians and for mounting blocks. Close View Full Product. Item added to your cart. Create Gift Voucher Add to Cart. CD copy of the album Released: September 6, In stock, shipping now. USD 8. USD Negative: 0 out of 5. Blurt Magazine. All this publication's reviews Read full review.
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