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The Roman Empire skeleton
The Roman Empire Skeleton
The Roman roads
The extensive network of roads built by the Romans allowed their armies an unprecedented mobility at the time, but with only armies an empire is not built so the trade was extended using the roads, in addition to the rivers and seas, to shorten the distances the distances. Differentiating from other Mediterranean civilizations that made commercial use only from the ports, the Roman network allowed expansion to the interior of the contine.
Although the oldest roads and paving found were in UR, a city in southern Mesopotamia that were made in the fourth century before Christ;They were the Roman roads, initiated in 312 to.C those that marked a before and after how the distances were observed. At its peak on row they could have given up to three laps to planet Earth with its 120.000 km of travel, this played a positive role for Rome in its expansion but were also used by the Visigoths, Huns and Ostrogods to make the greatest empire fall.
To build them first, the route that the road should make, the excellence of the engineers and topographs of the time was reflected in the similar end of the Roman network to the current road network, observable made throughout the territory that theancient Latinos.
After planning the course that the road must follow, the deforestation of the area was deforesting, after getting rid of the trees, shrubs and rock rocks, a trench of one meter deep was excavated to be filled with different materials: first it was placedGross stone, the gaps between these and the following layers were made up of sands or gravels that decreased their size as it approached the surface, after placing each layer, it was fined in order to obtain a firm and smooth base, finally they were placedslabs with gravels if it was an urban road and in the case of roads that linked the cities only gravilla or zahorras were placed, much more practical for cars and horses.
To avoid puddles and flood. The rivers and mountains were not an obstacle to the power of Roman engineering that exceeded them with bridges and in the case of the mountains they were crossed by tunnels that allowed the Roman road to remain straight and with a minimum slope.
But not all the roads were equal, just as the circulatory system were classified as size and importance: public or praetorous roads were the arteries that linked to the most important cities, built and financed by the State, these roads of about six to twelve meterswide that carried the name of the people who initiated the construction project were maintained by the cities and owners of the nearby areas. The great arteries branched in arterioles, the vicinal roads that linked the large peoples (Vicus) that had four meters wide and were the most numerous. Finally, the capillaries of the extensive network of road,
Every ten or fifteen kilometers were a rest station (mutatio) and every three mutations a mansio, inns where the night could spend and eat, who over time reached a disastrous reputation and some travelers preferred to camp in the vicinity. For spiritual comfort along the roads, you could find places of worship in which Mercury, god of commerce and travelers, Diana, Guardiana de las Carreteras or the most local deities prayed.
In Hispania this network had to overcome the complex peninsular orography and compared to the current network of highways and highways was not radial since the center of the peninsula lacked importance for the Romans, which focused more on the mining exploitation of the area, making the road that connected León with Tarragona the most important since the gold extracted from the medulla was transported to Rome through it. The route that connected Astorga and Mérida was also subsequently known as La Vía de la Plata, although it was never flooded with cars to overflow with silver, rather the name comes like many others from a phonetic confusion since in the Andalusian era it was named al-Balat (cobbled road) and by pronunciation it was degenerating in silver.
The resemblance of the current network with the Roman reflects, in addition to the ability of engineers and topographs, the great loss of heritage due to the construction of modern roads on the Roman, making the mapping confusing and uninquer.
José Molina Rodríguez