1,700-year-old map of Roman roads used for online journey planner


1,700-year-old map of Roman roads used for online journey planner

Bruno Waterfield

Source -http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/8742884/1700-year-old-map-of-Roman-roads-used-for-online-journey-planner.html 


A Dutch historian has used a unique 1,700 year old map of Roman roads to create an online journey planner giving the destinations, distances and timings of routes used by ancient travellers in the days of empire.


The Tabula Peutingeriana was last updated in the third or fourth century Photo: ALAMY

Routes are based on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a one of a kind chart, which shows an imperial Roman road network, or curses public's, that stretches from Britain to the river Ganges that flows through India and Bangladesh.

The huge map, last updated in the third or fourth century, shows 2,760 towns with lists of distances and destinations on the Roman roads connecting them, all set out on a scroll of parchment almost 23 feet long.

The original version of the Roman route tables was prepared two thousand years ago under the direction of Marcus Agrippa, the statesman, general and son-in-law of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.

Placed on the Unesco World Heritage List in 2007, the tabula is kept in the collection of the Austrian National Library in Vienna but cannot be viewed by the public.

René Voorburg, a Dutch historian, has used recent research, including by British academics, to bring the tabula back to life on a website, omnesviae.org.

"Scientists have recently mapped all locations mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana," he said. "So I went and took a look which towns I would pass on a trip from A to B in the Roman Empire."

According to the planner, a journey to Rome from ancient Britain, perhaps via the Kent port of Dubra or Dover, would take 56 days to cover 828 miles of Roman roads from Gesogiaco qvod nvnc Bononia (Boulogne) to the capital at the heart of the Roman Empire.