The Walls of Rome

The Walls of Rome


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Having defeated a Germanic invasion of northern Italy, the Emperor Aurelian surrounded Rome with a powerful circuit of walls. This great fortification is one of the best preserved of all city walls in the Roman Empire and remains a dramatic feature of Rome today, representing the most emblematic and the most enduring monument of Aurelian's age. Nothing else so eloquently demonstrates that, by Aurelian's day, the empire was on the defensive. Although embellished, strengthened and restored many times down the ages, Aurelian's original structure remained the basis of the city's defences through to the mid-19th century, when the Republican forces under Giuseppe Garibaldi managed for some time to withstand the French, and is still discernible today along much of the walls' circuit.

This title describes Aurelian's Wall in detail with cut-away cross sections, and investigates its historical purpose and military effectiveness within the general context of late Roman fortifications. A final section follows the history of the Wall's continued use beyond the Romano-Byzantine period, and provides an invaluable tourist aid.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846031984
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/18/2008
Series: Fortress Series
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 7.24(w) x 9.76(h) x 0.28(d)

About the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines for seven years. Having left the Navy he went back to university and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School of Archaeology, Athens, and is now a lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. The author lives in France, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction     4
Chronology     5
Rome's Early Defences     6
The seven hills
First defences
The Servian wall
The Age of Aurelian     11
The eastern front
The battle for the west
Restoration and the defence of Rome
The man who built the wall
Aurelian's army
Aurelian's Wall     23
Aurelian's Rome
Tracing the circuit
Design of the wall
The method of construction
The anatomy of the wall
The function of the wall
After Aurelian
The Maxentian Improvements     40
The Maxentian curtains
The Maxentian towers
The Maxentian gateways
From Honorius to Belisarius     45
The Honorian alterations
The Belisarian alterations
Aurelian's Legacy     53
The trace italienne
Garibaldi's Rome
The Sites Today     61
Glossary and Abbreviations     62
Bibliography     63
Index     64

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