Harbours

from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages

Efficiency and Competition

Functional conditions of italic harbor cities and their facilities in the medial Roman Empire

During his reign the Roman emperor Trajan (98-117 A. D.) initiated the enlargement of several Harbor facilities near the city of Rome. This was an important step towards the increase of economic prosperity of the Roman Empire in the second century A. D. Scholars have disputed the specific advantages of the places that were chosen as ports in order to improve the shipping of grain and military transportation.

Obviously, the choice of a setting was determined by a whole range of aspects such as geological conditions, technical know-how, and connections not only to established trading routes, but also to the hinterland. Furthermore, issues of regional and international politics had to be taken into consideration. Our research project proposes a new approach to all these factors by analyzing und interpreting the evidence systematically, exploring the economic efficiency of the harbors and their significance in the regional and international trade. The archeological analysis starts with the architecture of the harbor buildings and the infrastructure of the surrounding urban fabric.

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