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AQUEDUCT

It is agreed that these eleven are all that were constructed. Procopius speaks of fourteen (and the Regionary catalogues mention others), but this number includes branch conduits. All the aqueducts ended in the city in huge castella or reservoirs for the purpose of distribution. Vitruvius recommends the division of these into three parts—one for the supply of fountains, &c., one for the public baths and one for private consumers. In the Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele at Rome there are still to be seen the remains of a large ornamental fountain built probably for the Aqua Julia by Domitian or Alexander Severus (Jordan-Hülsen, Topographie, i. 3350). Besides these main castella there were also many minor castella in various parts of the city for sub-distribution. To allow the water to purify itself before being distributed in the city, filtering and settling tanks (piscinae limariae) were built outside the walls. These piscinae were covered in with a vaulted roof, and were sometimes on a very large scale, as in the example still preserved at Fermo, which consists of two stories, each having three oblong basins communicating with each other; or the Piscina Mirabilis at Baiae, which is covered in by a vaulted roof, supported on forty-eight pillars and perforated to permit the escape of foul air. Two stairs lead by forty steps to the bottom of the reservoir. In the middle of the basin is a sinking to collect the deposit of the water. The walls and pillars are coated with a stucco so hard as to resist a tool.

The oversight of aqueducts was placed, in the times of the republic, under the aediles, who were not, however, the constructors of them; of the four aqueducts built during this period, three are the work of censors, one (the Marcia) of a praetor. Under the empire this task devolved on special officials styled Curatores Aquarum, instituted by Augustus, who, as he himself says, “rivos aquarum omnium refecit” (inscription on the arch by which the Aqua Marcia crossed the Via Tiburtina).  (T. As.) 

Among the aqueducts outside Italy, constructed in Roman times and existing still, the most remarkable are: (1) the aqueduct at Nîmes (Nemausus), erected probably by Vipsanius Agrippa in the time of Augustus, which rose to 160 ft. The Pont du Gard, as this aqueduct is now called, consists of three tiers of arches across the valley of the river Gardon. In the lowest tier are six arches, of which one has a span of 75 ft., the others each 60 ft. In the second tier are eleven arches, each with a span of 75 ft. In the third tier are thirty-five smaller arches which carried the specus. As a bridge, the Pont du Gard has no rival for lightness and boldness of design among the existing remains of works of this class carried out in Roman times. (2) The aqueduct bridges at Segovia (Merckel, Ingenieurtechnik, pp. 566-568), Tarragona (ibid. 565-566), and Merida in Spain, the former being 2400 ft. long, with 109 arches of fine masonry, in two tiers, and reaching the height of 102 ft. The bridge at Tarragona is 876 ft. long and 83 ft. high. (3) At Mainz are the ruins of an aqueduct 7000 yds. long, about half of which is carried on from 500 to 600 pillars (Archaeological Journal, xlvii., 1890, pp. 211-214). This aqueduct was built by the XIVth legion and was for the use of the camp, not for the townspeople. For the similar aqueduct at Luynes see Arch. Journ. xlv. (1888), pp. 235-237. Similar witnesses of Roman occupation are to be seen in Dacia, Africa (see especially under Carthage), Greece and Asia Minor. (4) The aqueduct at Jouy-aux-Arches, near Metz, which originally extended across the Moselle, here very broad, conveyed to the city an abundance of excellent water from Gorze. From a large reservoir at the source of the aqueduct the water passed along subterranean channels built of hewn stone, and sufficiently spacious for a man to walk in them upright. Similar channels received the water after it had crossed the Moselle by this bridge, at the distance of about 6 m. from Metz, and conveyed it to the city. The bridge consisted of only one row of arches nearly 60 ft. high. The middle arches have given way under the force of the water, but the others are still perfectly solid. This aqueduct is probably to be attributed to the latter half of the 4th century A.D. It is for the use of the town; hence its size. (5) One of the principal bridges of the aqueduct of Antioch in Syria is 700 ft. long, and at the deepest point 200 ft. high. The lower part consists almost entirely of solid wall, and the upper part of a series of arches with very massive pillars. The masonry and design are rude. The water supply was drawn from several springs at a place called Beit el-Ma (anc. Daphne) about 4 or 5 m. from Antioch. From these separate springs the water was conducted by channels of hewn stone into a main channel, similarly constructed, which traversed the rest of the distance, being carried across streams and valleys by means of arches or bridges. (6) At the village of Moris, about an hour’s distance north-west from the town of Mytilene, is the bridge of an aqueduct, carried by massive pillars built of large hewn blocks of grey marble, and connected by means of three rows of arches, of which the uppermost is of brick. The bridge extended about 500 ft. in length, and at the deepest point was from 70 to 80 ft. high. Judged by the masonry and the graceful design, it has been thought to be a work of the age of Augustus. Remains of this aqueduct are to be seen at Larisson Lamarousia, an hour’s distance from Moris, and at St Demetri, two hours and a half from Ayasos, on the road to Vasilika.

The whole subject of the ancient and medieval aqueducts of Asia Minor has been considered in great detail by G. Weber (“Wasserleitungen in kleinasiatischen Städten,” in the Jahrbuch des kaiserl. deutsch. archäolog. Instit. xix., 1904; see also earlier articles in Jahrbuch, 1892, Asia Minor. 1899). The aqueducts examined are those at Pergamum, Laodicea and Smyrna (in the earlier articles), and those at Metropolis (Ionia), Tralles (Aidin), Antioch-on-Maeander, Aphrodisias, Trapezopolis, Hierapolis, Apamea Cibotus and Antioch in Pisidia. In most of these cases it is difficult or even impossible to decide whether the work is Hellenistic or Roman; to the Romans Weber inclines to attribute, e.g. those at Metropolis, Tralles (perhaps), Aphrodisias; to the Greeks, e.g. those at Antioch-on-Maeander and Antioch in Pisidia. Since, therefore, a detailed description of these remains does not provide material for any satisfactory generalizations as to the distinctive features of Hellenistic and Roman work, it will be sufficient here to mention a few of the more interesting discoveries.

In the case of Metropolis, the aqueduct in the valley of the Astraeus consisted of an arcade about 13 to 16 ft. high. Nearer to the town in the hills there are distinct traces of a canal with brick walls. It is clear that the water could not have served more than the lower parts of the town, the acropolis of which is nearly 200 ft. above the level of the conduit. In the case of Tralles the water was supplied by a high pressure conduit and distributed from the acropolis, where there are the remains of a basin (13 ft. by 10) arched over with brick. The ancient aqueduct is to be distinguished from a later, probably Byzantine, canal conduit, the course of which avoids the deeper depressions, crossed by the old aqueduct. Of the Antioch-on-Maeander aqueduct only a few clay-pipes remain, and the same is true of the aqueduct which was built by Carminius in the 2nd century A.D. to supply the community when reinforced by the amalgamation of Plarasa and Tauropolis; two of its basins are still distinguishable, but the two water-towers which are still standing belong to a later Byzantine structure. Trapezopolis was supplied from Mt. Salbacus (Baba Dagh): some twenty stone-pipes have been found built into a low wall which varies from 3¼ to about 5 ft. wide. Of the pillars which carried the conduit-pipe to Antioch in Pisidia, nineteen are still standing. Each arch consists of eleven keystones; no cement was used. The conduit, which was high-pressure, ends in a distributing tower and reservoir.  (J. M. M.) 

II. Medieval.—The aqueduct near Spoleto, which now serves also as a bridge, is deserving of notice as an early instance of the use of the pointed arch, belonging as it does to the 7th or 8th