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3 June, 2017

Roman Roads

If you think this would make a cool poster, follow this link and send me a few bucks. I’ll email you a crisp PDF for printing!

It’s finally done. A subway-style diagram of the major Roman roads, based on the Empire of ca. 125 AD.

Creating this required far more research than I had expected—there is not a single consistent source that was particularly good for this. Huge shoutout to: Stanford’s ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary (found a full PDF online but lost the url).

The lines are a combination of actual, named roads (like the Via Appia or Via Militaris) as well as roads that do not have a known historic name (in which case I creatively invented some names). Skip to the “Creative liberties taken” section for specifics.

How long would it actually take to travel this network? That depends a lot on what method of transport you are using, which depends on how much money you have. Another big factor is the season – each time of year poses its own challenges. In the summer, it would take you about two months to walk on foot from Rome to Byzantium. If you had a horse, it would only take you a month.

However, no sane Roman would use only roads where sea travel is available. Sailing was much cheaper and faster – a combination of horse and sailboat would get you from Rome to Byzantium in about 25 days, Rome to Carthage in 4-5 days. Check out ORBIS if you want to play around with a “Google Maps” for Ancient Rome. I decided not to include maritime routes on the map for simplicity’s sake.

Creative liberties taken

The biggest creative element was choosing which roads and cities to include, and which to exclude. There is no way I could include every Roman road, these are only the main ones. I tried to include cities with larger populations, or cities that were provincial capitals around the 2nd century.

Obviously to travel from Petra to Gaza you would take a more or less direct road, rather than going to Damascus and “transferring” to the Via Maris. The way we travel on roads is very different from rail, which is a slight flaw in the concept of the map. But I think it’s still aesthetically pleasing and informative.

Here’s a list of the roads that have authentic names and paths:

  • Via Appia
  • Via Augusta
  • Via Aurelia
  • Via Delapidata
  • Via Domitia
  • Via Egnatia
  • Via Flaminia
  • Via Flavia (I, II, III)
  • Via Julia Augusta
  • Via Lusitanorum
  • Via Militaris
  • Via Popilia
  • Via Portumia
  • Via Salaria
  • Via Tiburtina
  • Via Traiana
  • Via Traiana Nova

Some roads have real names but were modified somewhat:

  • The Via Latina I combined with the Via Popilia. In reality the Popilia ended at Capua, and the Latina went from Capua to Rome.
  • Via Aquitania only referred to the road from Burdigala (Bordeaux) to Narbo (Narbonne).
  • Via Asturica Burdigalam similarly only refers to the Astrurica-Burdigala section.
  • “Via Claudia” is not a real name, but refers to a real continuous road built by Claudius.
  • Via Hadriana was a real road in Egypt, but it refers to a slightly different section than the green route.
  • The name “Via Maris” is considered to be a modern creation, referring to real ancient trade road whose real name has been lost to history.
  • Via Valeria only referred to a section of the yellow Sicilian loop.
  • The roads around Pisae, Luna and Genua had several names for different sections, including Via Aemilia Scauri. Sometimes “Via Aurelia” referred to the entire road from Rome to Arelate.
  • Via Sucinaria is the Latin name for the Amber Road, a trade route from the Baltic region to Italy that carried amber as a valuable good. It probably was not used to refer to a single literal road.
  • Via Gemina and Via Claudia Augusta are real names that referred to small parts of the routes marked on the map.

The other roads have relatively uncreative names that I invented, usually based on a place that they pass through. I have never formally studied Latin and I’ll admit that I am somewhat confused by the distinction between -a and -ensis endings, so there’s a chance I may have messed that up.

As questions come up I will update this section.

164 Comments on “Roman Roads

Luciano Capasso
6 June, 2017 at 11:48 am

I live in Tivoli (Tibur), the way from Rome to Tivoli has the name Tiburtina, right, but after Tivoli to Pescara the name change in Valeria (console Valerio), the correct name of this road is Tiburtina-Valeria (in modern era is the n. 5, SS 5 Tiburtina Valeria). After the railway station in Tivoli there is a marble signal with the name Via Valeria. Ciao, great work

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for the information! That area has many roads that I could not include, I had to simplify a little bit.

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Ann Maclean
8 June, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Thank you for making note of this!

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Casus Belli
6 June, 2017 at 4:06 pm

So, you put Luguvalium, the present day Carlisle on the border between Scotland and England., at the northern top of the map of the island of Britain when in reality it should be about 2/3rds of the way up. As you know, the Romans never really conquered the island of Britain due to resistance in what is now Scotland.

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 10:26 pm

True — though tube maps are not big on cartographical precision to begin with, it’s the connections that are most important. That’s why Britain is allowed to be misshapen, among other things.

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La Salita Historica
8 June, 2017 at 2:22 pm

No se puede cambiar la historia. No es que se resistieran los escoceses.., es que no habia nada(mineral, ruta comercial..)que les interesara.
Si conquistaron Egipto, cree usted que esa resistencia hubiera sido suficiente? No.
En España, tampoco les intereso el norte.

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Xurde
11 June, 2017 at 3:31 pm

¿Que no les interesaba el norte de Hispania? ¿O que no eran capaces de conquistarlo? ¿No conoce usted las guerras cántabras? Esto es un articulito de la Wikipedia, pero está muy bien para comenzar a investigar. Fíjese si les costó la conquista que incluso hoy en día permanecen algunos restos de adn astur, siendo el segundo más antiguo de la península.
https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerras_cántabras

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Jon Baker
6 June, 2017 at 4:48 pm

One small issue. Jerusalem was not renamed Aelia Capitolina until 135, when the Bar Kochba revolt was put down. That was also when the region was renamed from Judaea to Palestine, after the long-dead coastal tribe (old Sea Peoples) of the Philistines.

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Ah, I knew there would be small things. I think it’s fair to say that this map is anachronistic in general, so it’s not a huge worry for me. Very interesting stuff!

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John Muccigrosso
6 June, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Regarding the names: typically the roads were named after the men who were responsible for getting them built. So the Via Flaminia was named after the censor C. Flaminius. The men’s last names (cognomina) are used adjectivally for themselves – in which case they are masculine in gender and end in -us – and for the roads – which are feminine and so end in -a.

The adjectival ending -ensis was often used to turn place names into adjectives. So the Via Cappadociensis would be the Road of Cappadocia.

Other names are related to where the roads ran or what they were like. So the Via Latina connected Rome to the rest of Latium.

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Thank you for the clarification — that is approximately what I had gathered based on my own research, but I wasn’t crystal clear. If anything I should have chosen to name more of my “fake roads” after people, but I think it’s okay as it is. I appreciate you taking the time to explain!

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JB Piggin
6 June, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Hi Sasha,
This is a brilliant piece of work!
I’ve tweeted about it, replying to the @onlmaps syndication: https://twitter.com/JBPiggin/status/872001537689649152
Watch my researchgate.net page for updates on the Roman main highways of Africa.
(follow the website link).
Keep being creative!

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Always great to hear from researchers in the field! Before making this map, I had assumed that the Roman roads were quite literally a dead issue. Little did I know that we aren’t actually so sure about the locations/names of many roads, as I would painfully find out for myself. Thanks for the support!

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Lindsay Hoyer Millar
14 June, 2017 at 5:34 am

Hi Sasha. Your map is impressive and cleverly done…congratulations on all your hard work. I’ve just returned to England after eight years in Southwest France where my hobby was ‘tracking down’ Roman roads with a group of likeminded archeology buffs. It was a wonderful pastime and, as you say, quite complicated at times. In our fairly minor part of the world Romans often reused Celtic roads which weren’t necessarily strwightforward. Have you read Graham Robb’s book The Hidden Paths? Some of his wilder theories need a pinch of salt, but the main gist is fascinating. Finally, are you related to a man I took dancing lessons with in NY circa 1968? I think he was Alex. We were both being prepared for the deb season and neither of us were enthusiastic participants!!

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Sasha
14 June, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Lindsay, thank you so much. Sounds like a fascinating pastime! I haven’t read the book, but it looks intriguing. I did not have any direct family in the United States in 1968, so most likely it’s just a coincidence–there are many branches of Trubetskoys!

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Sharon Meyer
6 June, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Fabulous idea!
Please let me know how I can get a copy on which I can feast my eyes and mind!

Thank you for all your work!

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Sasha
6 June, 2017 at 10:30 pm

You’re very welcome! If you haven’t already, please follow the PayPal link at the top of the page, at which point I will receive your email and send you a high-resolution PDF. Then you can go to any Staples, Office Depot or the like, and just ask them to print the file at 18×24 inches on 24 lb. bond paper. Voila, you have a poster!

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[…] it would take you about two months to walk on foot from Rome to Byzantium,” Trubetskoy writes in the project notes. “If you had a horse, it would only take you a month.” He notes […]

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Rene
7 June, 2017 at 1:10 am

Nice! Counterpart of OmnesViae.org

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Antonio Sanchez
7 June, 2017 at 1:56 am

I am not an expert on the topic, but should it be Ulpia Traina located more or less around Dacia better than Germania ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulpia_Traiana_Sarmizegetusa

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Sasha
7 June, 2017 at 7:59 am

There were multiple places with that name, I am referring to modern-day Xanten, “Colonia Ulpia Traiana”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanten

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Art
16 June, 2017 at 4:45 am

I thought the same thing. I live in the Netherlands and was excited to see there was something here, but not really. I also thought Ulpia Traiana was in Romania. Anyway, excellent idea and work! Well done.

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Lorenzo Luisi
7 June, 2017 at 2:38 am

Ottimo lavoro! Un semplice approfondimento può essere effettuato a partire dalla Tabula Peutingeriana, latino per “The Peutinger Map” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_Peutingeriana)

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Jim Chevallier
13 June, 2017 at 12:33 pm

The Tabula is very interesting, but a little confusing itself. It notes the Parisii for instance but not Lutetia.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tabula_Peutingeriana

I’m bemused to see Lutetia here as only as one stop on a line. I realize it was relatively minor under the Romans, but supposedly the rue Mouffetard was the start of the road to Lyons and it seems natural that the northern route would have come up that way (which also corresponds to what Roger Dion calls the “Gap Route”, a series of openings in mountains which facilitated northern travel.

It’s a cool idea overall. It would be helpful to know more about which sources you did and didn’t use.

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 2:37 pm

I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be releasing an updated version at some point in the near future. People have been nitpicking about the exclusion of their particular regions (Ireland, Britain, Netherlands, Corsica) as well as more substantive notes by scholars regarding the locations/veracity of certain roads’ paths.

Northern France was one of the more complicated regions to do, because it was very hard to distill the crazy criss-cross of roads into a few simple major routes. In retrospect I really should have drawn the route the way you propose, which would involve shuffling around the other routes as well. When I have time I will do my best and see what I can come up with, given all this new feedback.

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Christian Koefoed-Nielsen
7 June, 2017 at 2:42 am

Really great idea and execution! Well done!

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Michael Everson
7 June, 2017 at 8:21 am

Would you mind putting Ireland on the map? I know there were no Roman roads there, but you have no roads on Corsica and Cyprus either.

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Sasha
7 June, 2017 at 8:31 am

As much as I love Ireland, I must respectfully decline. Because while Corsica and Cyprus were part of the Empire, Ireland never was, and I have to keep the map as minimal as possible.

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Roguish
8 June, 2017 at 9:40 am

Also, this is yet another map that leaves New Zealand out entirely. You can hardly claim the Romans never made it to New Zealand. Oh, wait…
http://worldmapswithout.nz/

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 10:06 am

Nice meme! (lol)

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Michael Everson
11 June, 2017 at 8:29 am

Dude. It’s an ISLAND. And the Romans had a name for it, and visited it, whether they owned it or not. So it’s up to you. Give two fingers to us, or draw in a little rectangular blob.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-Roman_relations

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Mario
7 June, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Hi Sasha, this is a magnificient job. I’m trying to find a special map to make an enormous poster for home and i finally found this. This is amazing and i definetely want it. Problem is that i don’t use paypal.

Any chance to send you the money via bank transfer? Please reply to my email

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Sasha
7 June, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Thank you Mario, I really appreciate the support. We can work it out. I’ll start going through emails as soon as I get off work.

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Stephen
7 June, 2017 at 11:39 pm

This is so thorough. Great idea. Great execution.

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Sasha
7 June, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Thanks!

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Paolo
8 June, 2017 at 12:23 am

Via Emilia starts from Milan (Mediolanum) today but maybe that happened after the date of your map http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0064%3Aentry%3Dvia-aemilia-geoVia

Aurelia goes all the way to the French border today. I don’t know if it keeps the same name in France.

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ComSubVie
8 June, 2017 at 12:34 am

Shouldn’t Carnuntum be placed south-west of Vindobona?

Otherwise great work!

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 12:38 am

Thanks! Vindobona is modern-day Vienna, while Carnuntum is closer to Bratislava.

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Giuliano
8 June, 2017 at 1:00 am

Hi, Sasha. I think the main highway in Sardinia was the Turris (actually Porto Torres) – Caralis. Turris Libissonis was a colony founded by Julius Caesar.
In many parts we use today the same way and it’s still the main highway.

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Gojkov
8 June, 2017 at 1:11 am

In my country, Serbia, Pay Pal do not exist.

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 1:15 am

Please use itch.io, they have credit card options: https://sashat.itch.io/roman-roads

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dan
8 June, 2017 at 2:37 am

This is really brilliant! I wonder what do the colours signify?

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Randall Mathews
8 June, 2017 at 2:45 am

Hi Sasha. Great work. I love the simplifying.
You would be very interested in Graham Robb’s book, ‘The Ancient Paths’, in which he details how the Celts already had straight long roads which were used against them by the Romans… Please let me know what you think.

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Marion
8 June, 2017 at 3:37 am

Fantastic work – I sent you a donation and look forward to seeing what it will look like on my wall 🙂 I was glad to see Luguvalium (Carlisle) made it on the map as the frozen furthest outpost of civilization as that is where I come from.

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 5:59 am

Thank you very much! I really appreciate your support, and I promise I’m sifting through those emails, I will get to yours soon!

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margaret
8 June, 2017 at 3:51 am

much admiration and appreciation of your hard work

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 5:58 am

Thanks!

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Séamus Miller
8 June, 2017 at 6:56 am

Considering you have included smaller Mediterranean islands such as Corsica, the omission of the island of Ireland is a disappointing inaccuracy.

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 7:29 am

At this point I do regret not putting it in. But at the time it was a sensible decision, considering how Ireland was never part of the Empire and was of little importance to the Romans, not to mention that topographical accuracy is not a priority with transit maps.

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Jim Kennedy
13 June, 2017 at 3:18 am

Good job leaving Ireland off the map. We weren’t conquered by that particular empire so your logic is good, as far as I’m concerned.

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 10:51 am

If I ever update the map, I will include it, if only to appease the Irish nationalists.

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Chris
8 June, 2017 at 7:23 am

Awesome work! One minor suggestion – please mark on the map itself which road names are invented. Otherwise someone will inevitably find a copy of this map divorced from this page and take it as a reference without knowing that some of the names are not historically accurate.

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 7:32 am

Very good point, it’s like that Wikipedia article that cited a source that used Wikipedia. I thought about putting the invented names in italics, or something like that. But I think it’s too late in the game for me to be making those changes.

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Diego
8 June, 2017 at 8:19 am

Fantastic job I’m very grateful! Also because I’m reading right now the book “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan, ad this map does complete the story with a visual impact!.

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Moritz Moeller
8 June, 2017 at 8:56 am

Is there a vector version of this? I want to print a poster for my brother who’s an archeologist. It’s the perfect birthday present I’ve been looking for!

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 9:00 am

There totally is! Simply follow this link and I’ll email you! https://www.paypal.me/SashaTrubetskoy/9

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Terkel Christensen
9 June, 2017 at 2:40 am

That’s awesome work, you’ve done Sasha. Highly entertaining, enlightening and everything! Maybe not “the whole truth”, as people has pointed out, but darn close. And artistic freedom is OK by me – especially, when it comes close to factual events/places. Thumbs up from me – and as Moritz, I’d like the vector version too. I wrote that in my Pay Pal transfer too, just repeating myself here 😉 Kind regards, Terkel Christensen from Denmark

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate all your support. I’ve been sending out mass emails lately because it is impossible for me to individually respond to everyone, but I will try to send you an SVG or something that is more of a pure vector file if that’s what you prefer.

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Brian Fitzgerald
8 June, 2017 at 10:38 am

Poor Tiberius! No public transport to Villa Jovis, Capri.

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[…] по воде, а не по суше. На своем сайте Трубецкой перечислил названия дорог, отмеченных на карте. Более подробно рассмотреть […]

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Dean Wampler
8 June, 2017 at 12:40 pm

You should submit your design to Threadless, https://www.threadless.com/how-it-works/ It would make an awesome t-shirt, phone case, etc.

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laura
8 June, 2017 at 2:51 pm

yes, tee shirt, placemat, mug, poster, purse, umbrellas, book cover, the options are ENDLESS. i live in rome and i LOVE this so MUCHHHH. you should market it, every store here would carry, esp the ones at the museums and monuments

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Clodovica Burnhamiensis
14 June, 2017 at 2:02 pm

I would absolutely buy a mug.

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Raymond D. Nalewajek
8 June, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Greetings, Salutations and Congratulations for this modern, beautifully executed graphic presentation of this historical information.

Like others, I do not utilize PayPal but would definitely like to have a framed version. I see from comments above that you have a vector version as well as the PDF. I would definitely like to purchase both forms, please let me know when you have an alternate vehicle for payment. I would like to plot out a larger version for my son who has a collections of maps.

Are there any plans to expand this project?

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Hello and thank you! I have an alternative to PayPal here: https://sashat.itch.io/roman-roads

The PDF is the vector file, but if you would like some other file format please reach out to me, trub@uchicago.edu

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Terkel Christensen
9 June, 2017 at 2:55 am

PDF and vector format are two VERY different formats, Sasha. PDFs are fixed pixels, whereas vector graphics can be stretched to the end of the Universe and back without losing printing quality! Please don’t confuse these formats, as PDFs has very limited “printability”, if one wants a bigger version than the original! That’s why Moritz, Raymond and I want a REAL vector version of your map …

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:33 pm

I think you misunderstand how PDFs work. PDF only incorporates “fixed pixels” if there are raster graphics included, but my map is entirely vector-based and the paths are coded into the PDF. That’s why I can zoom in endlessly without any loss of quality, like this: http://i.imgur.com/t2wlZ3m.png

If you are more comfortable with a different file type, just email me and I will send you whatever you like.

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Bashar Tabbah
8 June, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Hi there, Just wanted to give some notes on the VNT;Via Nova Traiana

1. Aleiana was called Ayla and Aelana but 90% of sources refer to it as Ayla- modern day Aqaba
2. Petra wasn’t a station on it but it was quite close by,
3. The highway ended a little after Bostra and did not connect to Damascus.

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Markus W
8 June, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Dear Sasha,

this is such a great idea!

One little inaccuracy as far as I can see: on the map Geneva (Genava) is east of Vienna, when in reality it is significantly west of it. Is this on purpose? Or are they referring to different cities?

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Markus W
8 June, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Ah I’m such an idiot: Vienna refers to Vienne (France), not Vienna (Austria)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienne,_Is%C3%A8re

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Steve D
8 June, 2017 at 4:36 pm

One more “ask” for future versions — Vicetia (the current Vicenza, home of the architect Palladio and Campagnolo bike parts), on the road between Verona and Aquileia. If it fits.

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Mark Hoffman
8 June, 2017 at 4:51 pm

What fun! I can only imagine all the work it took to get all the places and then to imagine them in this map style. Thanks for sharing this great map. (I blogged about it on my Bible and Tech blog with some quibbles that in no way detract from your accomplishment!)

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Sasha
8 June, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Hi Mark! You make very good points, I tried to acknowledge some of them in my writeup but a few things slipped through the cracks. One small thing though, most people refer to me as “he”, since I am a guy! (No worries, I’m used to it)

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Mark Hoffman
8 June, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Oops! Sorry about that. I fixed my post. Again, thanks for your innovative map!

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Ramiro Miranda
8 June, 2017 at 8:15 pm

It’ll be interesting to do the same with South America ‘s ancient Inca Road system. There are plenty of good maps and research about it. Inca Road System is extensive and well preserved and represents an strikingly similar feat to Roma’s

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:39 pm

This is something I had not heard about! I may look into it for the future

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Jon Claerbout
8 June, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Too blurry to read. Disappointing.

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Prof Claerbout, have you tried clicking on the smaller image to view a larger version?

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Ives
9 June, 2017 at 2:31 am

Hi,
I really love your idea, but I don’t see our local “Via Annia”. I haven’t read all your article nor your comments yet so you might already have answered my doubts. I understand you may have combined it, though I’m not sure as to the reason since it was a major connection for the north and east branches. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_Annia

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Yes, I definitely came across the Via Annia and I combined it into the Via Sucinaria for stylistic reasons. Since it was a crucial part of the Amber Way (Via Sucinaria) it’s not unreasonable to put it under that umbrella.

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Zidders Roofurry
9 June, 2017 at 4:23 am

This is great. It inspired me to write a silly song parody.

Take the Last Roads to Britain
(a Monkees parody by Zid)

Take the last roads to Britain.
In Emperor’s name we’ll found a nation.
We’ll build a new road system
and along it signal stations.
In the name of Rome
we’ll roam, roam, roam.
We’ll roam, roam, roam.

Our troops march in the morning
and we’ll make no tribal friends.
With swords sharp and with tactics
all resistancez will end.
Before us blood will flow.
Flow, oh, oh, oh
and we do it for the glory that is Rome.

Take the last roads to Britain
In Emperor’s name we’ll found a nation.
Despite our Empires cruelty,
inspire governments and education.
Still, down we’ll go.
Go, go, go, go.

Take the last roads to Britain.
Now we must return to Rome.
The Empire is on fire.
Seems there’s chaos back at home.
It falls but slow. So slow, so slow.
Down, down, it goes
but as empires go it impresses with its roads.

Take the last roads to Britain.
Take the last roads to Britain.

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Zidders Roofurry
9 June, 2017 at 4:24 am

Misspelled ‘resitances’. Ah, well.

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Jonas
9 June, 2017 at 5:20 am

There was a major city of Egitania – with a major road connection between Conimbriga, Bracara Augusta and Mérito.

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:28 pm

I did not see a major connection on Pelagios so I did not include it in the map.
http://pelagios.org/maps/greco-roman/

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Steve
9 June, 2017 at 5:52 am

wow great ! I notice you forgot to put the sea crossing between Gythium and Gortnya .

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:27 pm

It’s not that I “forgot”, it just wouldn’t look as neat

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They Built The Roads | Broadsheet.ie
9 June, 2017 at 6:13 am

[…] EXPLORE: Roman Roads […]

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Eduardo T.
9 June, 2017 at 6:42 am

Hi, vía delapidata is known as Vía de la Plata o Rita de la Plata, Silver Road. Today, there is a highway called that way; it is the A-66 that joins Seville (Hispalis) in the south with the province of Leon in the north of Spain (Hispania)

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Yes, it’s known as Via de la Plata now, but in Roman times the name was Via Delapidata which means “Paved Road”

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[…] eraikitako galtzadek esaterako, zutik diraute askok Euskal Herrian eta Europa osoan barna. Alexandr ‘Sasha’ Trubetskoy  Kanadako Huffington Post orainkarian lanean dabilen geografo gazte bat da, eta mapa infogramak […]

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Nonnie Balcer
9 June, 2017 at 6:58 am

Great map, Sasha! Are you related to Helen and Eugene Troubetzkoy (my wonderful next-door neighbours here in Hastings on Hudson NY??)

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Thank you! Although we are not personally in touch with that branch of the family, they are certainly distant (likely 4th or 5th) cousins!

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Nicola
9 June, 2017 at 7:37 am

Hi there! The via Flaminia was arriving to the Adriatic Coast in Fanum Fortunæ (nowadays Fano) wich was higly considered by the Romans due to its strategic importance (on the closest river, during the Second Punic War was fought the so called Metauro Battle in wich Annibal’s brother Hasdrubal was defeated and beaheaded) infact the Flaminia from this tourning point it is heading Northward to Ariminium (Rimini). Ciao!

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Alessandro
13 June, 2017 at 12:46 am

+1 this. Fanum Fortunae should be there!

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Armand Simonis
9 June, 2017 at 8:20 am

Hi,

Great work, great map. However, you could extend the map significantly beyond Ulpia Traiana (Xanten) into the north and west into Germania Inferior, nowadays called the Netherlands.

See for example: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeinse_wegen_in_Nederland#/media/File:Germania_inferior_roads_towns.png

This map is from a Dutch wikipedia page, called “Roman roads in the Netherlands”. There is a lot of info available.

A lot of (small) Roman towns were in the Netherlands, mostly around Roman fords and camps to protect the northern border of the empire (“Limes”) that followed the river Rhine until it flowed in the North Sea around modern Leiden. The Romans build even canals to transport goods and soldiers, like the Canal of Corbulo, approx from modern city Leiden to west of modern Rotterdam.

Email me if you need to know more.

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Hi Armand, very interesting information. I actually came across the image you linked to while researching for the map. In hindsight I really should have extended maybe one more stop after the Colonia. The reason I chose not to at the time was because these villages were very small compared to the other cities and towns I included on the map. It’s amazing how far the Romans reached!

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Armand Simonis
12 June, 2017 at 6:20 am

Hi Sasha,

Any change you will make a v2 of your Roman map in the near future? I am sure if you would extend the map further north and west into Germania Inferior (nowadays the Netherlands) a lot of people I know in the Netherlands would be very interested in your map and probably want to purchase the PDF in that case. I am a member of a club of archeology/history buffs in that (my) country.

BTW: interesting also your maps about Ukraine. Like you I have an interest in that country too – not by blood but by friends, familly and other connections.

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Tudor
9 June, 2017 at 8:45 am

Hi, awesome project. I want to make it a poster. I just transfered you 9$ via Paypal. Can you send me the high res pdf?

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Thanks so much for your support! I received your payment, and I will be sending an email today.

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Rich Klein
9 June, 2017 at 11:20 am

Sasha – Brilliant work! I *love* ORBIS. I took the liberty of linking this page on a Facebook group called “Roman Empire History”. It’s been well received and you are probably getting some traffic from that, but let me know if I should take it down.

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for sharing, no worries!

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Ulf
10 June, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Hi Sasha,

great work!

Maybe it’s possible to get the map as a scalable vector graphic file (e.g. ai, cdr, eps, etc.) to print a large poster (DIN A0)?

Thanks and regards

Ulf

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Sasha
10 June, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Hello Ulf, thank you for the kind words. Can you please email me at trub@uchicago.edu? I can send you the file and I’m interested in hearing your plans for such a large poster.

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Dimitrios Dimitrakopoulos
11 June, 2017 at 2:47 am

I believe that Philippi was most important town than Amphipolis of Egnatia str. (ex:Saint Paul stopped at Philippi.) Egnatia street still exists in the area I live.

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 11:10 am

Yes, this area had many wealthy and prosperous towns that were all quite important, it was difficult for me to choose which one. In a future update of this map, I would include Philippi for sure.

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Stuart
11 June, 2017 at 2:55 am

Almost totally disrelated Sasha, but a friend of mine has made a map of existing and planned rail lines for South East Asia – link at
http://www.nomadicnotes.com/

Just ‘another professional job’ from amateur mapmakers –

All the best from Thailand,
Stuart.

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 11:09 am

Beautiful and fascinating map, thanks for sharing! It I were making it, I would focus a little less on cartographic precision and a little more on making the network as easy to understand as possible. Great stuff! And hopefully I won’t be an amateur for long!

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Menahem Larionov
11 June, 2017 at 2:57 am

Hi where is Way of the Patriarchs from Hebron to Jerusalem ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Patriarchs

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 11:06 am

I did not give it its own road, it was sort of rolled into the Via Asiana, the section from Tyrus to Jerusalem (which I anachronistically labelled as Aelia Capitolina by mistake).

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Pyers
11 June, 2017 at 3:48 am

Harry Beck would have been most impressed 🙂

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 11:02 am

That would be a supreme compliment!

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Silvio
11 June, 2017 at 10:39 am

It seems pretty complete. I would say Vindonissa, a major troop deployment hub is missing. Information is a little scarce online.From 110AD it may have held a civil status (civil government). It had stone fortifications and wall (which means it was absolute key) and later an added castle. Estimated troops encamped there were on average 10,000+ (of which 6,000 preparing for deployment) with a local amphitheater, aquaduct, thermal baths, cavalry stables, etc.

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 11:02 am

Hi Silvo, you’re right about Vindonissa, actually I believe I put it in earlier versions of the map. Can’t remember why I excluded it. If I ever make an updated version of this map, I will put it in. Interesting stuff, thanks for the info!

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[…] Romano a mediados del segundo siglo de nuestra era, quizá su punto culminante. Y ahora hablamos de Roman Roads, un proyecto realizado por Sasha Trubetskoy y publicado el pasado 3 de junio en el que se […]

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Karin Welss
11 June, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Sasha, this map is awesome! I’m currently writing a novel set in the Roman Empire ca AD 192, and this was very handy in figuring out travel routes. Great job, and thank you for sharing this!

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Sasha
11 June, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Thanks — sounds awesome, glad I could help!

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Carla
11 June, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Wonderful artwork!

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Carla
11 June, 2017 at 5:19 pm

How about making a game out of it?

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[…] [Image Source: Sasha Trubetskoy] […]

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Habib Battah
12 June, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Cool idea! But why not include Berytus (Beirut), one of the empire’s most important cities and one of a handful to contain a law school. Or Heliopolis (Baalbeck), site of one of the largest temples in the empire?

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Thank you, both very valid points, I will include both in the updated version. Berytus I seemed to have accidentally missed, Heliopolis was difficult to fit in physically due to the constraints of the paper.

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Pablo
12 June, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Hello, wonderfull poster, im a great fan of the empire, i pay $9 from paypal but i no recive the poster, my transaction numer is 57586723P1081145N, check it, thank you!

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Hello Pablo, thank you so much for your support. Please check your spam folder, I did actually send you the map. Please email me at trub@uchicago.edu if you can’t find it.

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Ofek Birnholtz
12 June, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Hi,
In 125ADA Jerusalem was still called Jerusalem…

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 10:52 am

Yes, this has been pointed out. There are a few anachronisms on the map besides that, but I don’t think it’s a huge issue because the time period is only approximate.

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Luca
12 June, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Via Julia Augusta originally started from Aquileia and went towards Carnuntum (Pannoniae), instead it was wrongly identified to some way toward Gallia Narbonensis.

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Martin
13 June, 2017 at 6:41 am

I’m a Teacher of Latin and History and want to congratulate you on that wonderful piece of artwork! I use it in every of my lessons!

Thanks for Sharing

Martin

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 10:51 am

Thank you so much! I put great care into making sure the Latin was a legitimate as possible. Very glad I could help with your teaching!

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Vincent Fava
13 June, 2017 at 9:12 am

This will make a great addition to my map room! Thank you for putting in the work, it really shows.
I have sent you the money via PayPal and await the PDF. Is there a poster size that suits this file best?

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 10:50 am

Thanks so much Vincent! I designed it with 24 x 18 inches (or A2) in mind, but any size works!

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Haus
13 June, 2017 at 11:58 am

The pdf scales nicely to 40″ x 30″

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Mike Whitty
13 June, 2017 at 11:04 am

Excellent work, I have contributed to your cause.

Next edition, consider adding a “ferry” connection between Brundisium and Phoenice, like you have at the Straits of Dover and Gibraltar.

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Thank you! I did consider adding maritime routes as dotted lines, similar to how bus lines or ferries are represented on modern transit maps. The result, unfortunately, ended up looking cluttered and overwrought. I think I’ve struck a good compromise between aesthetics and comprehensiveness/accuracy.

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Haus
13 June, 2017 at 11:56 am

There is a nice little bridge now from near Patrae north. You don’t have to take the subway all the way around anymore. : )

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[…] can see the map in a bit more detail on his website, and if you donate a few bucks he’ll send you a hi-res PDF fit for printing. (via […]

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Vanessa FitzGerald
13 June, 2017 at 6:07 pm

I’ve paid my $9 via PayPal but haven’t received my PDF 😢

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Sasha
13 June, 2017 at 10:50 pm

Check your spam, I sent you an email 7 hours ago

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Vanessa
14 June, 2017 at 12:39 am

Thanks – safely arrived now.

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[…] Sasha Trubetskoyという人がつくって公表ている。 くわしくはこちらを↓ Roman Roads […]

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Alessandro Giust
14 June, 2017 at 2:39 am

Goodmorning, why Via Emilia is not in the listo the roads that have authentic names and paths: ?
Via Emilia does not end in Piacenza but it ends in Milano , the first part of this roman road Rimini – Piacenza is since 187bC but Piacenza – Milano is just since the following century it is still now and should be always Piacenza – Milano SS9 via Emilia.

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Petros Josephides
14 June, 2017 at 4:43 am

Dear Sasha great work.

However, If I may make an addition that might up great your great work. Paphos which was capital of Cyprus had established routes with Alexandria, Tyre and Greece. Your map almost dismisses Cyprus which for Romans back then was a senatorial province worth mentioned on its own. Augustus appointed ten consular governments in Europe and in the adjacent islands. The ninth is CYPRUS. STRABO geography also mentions it on its own merit. Strabo, book 17.3.25 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0239%3Abook%3D17%3Achapter%3D3%3Asection%3D25

Hope it helps.
Its like mapping the London Tube map and skipping Docklands Light Railway (DLR) ( not the most important route but still there 🙂 Bytheway 🙂 DLR has a station called Cyprus http://londonmap360.com/carte/image/en/dlr-map.jpg 😉

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Sasha
14 June, 2017 at 8:28 am

Cyprus will absolutely be included in the future update.

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Kathleen Ralf
14 June, 2017 at 6:10 am

Thanks Sasha for sharing this with us. My middle school history teachers and I are excited to make posters of your wonderful map. The ancient world comes alive here and it even pinpoints our location on the Limes.

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Amir
15 June, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Great work. A perfect gift for the right person. Any chance I can pay you in some way other than Paypal? A check? Google Wallet?

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Sasha
16 June, 2017 at 10:33 am

Thanks! You could mail a check to 5336 S Greenwood Ave Apt. 313 Chicago, IL 60615

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Louis E.
16 June, 2017 at 10:39 am

OK,the plan is in gear.
Now when do you hop on board the time machine and convince Emperor Hadrian to fund the conversion of his road system to subways?

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[…] much research, University of Chicago sophomore Sasha Trubetskoy has completed a subway-style map of the road system of the Roman Empire. From about 300 BC, the Romans built or improved over 250,000 miles of roads (50,000 miles were […]

Reply
All Subways Lead to Rome | [d]online
16 June, 2017 at 1:44 pm

[…] much research, University of Chicago sophomore Sasha Trubetskoy has completed a subway-style map of the road system of the Roman Empire. From about 300 BC, the Romans built or improved over 250,000 miles of roads (50,000 miles were […]

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soph
16 June, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Hi, very nice map!
I found a typo while going through the various northern routes and not being able to find one city. Boulogne-sur-mer was Gesoriacum, in your map the i is misplaced.

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Sasha
16 June, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Good catch, will fix in the update!

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adrian tuite
16 June, 2017 at 7:15 pm

A marvellous idea, well executed. The world (the Roman World at least) is your lobster (English joke). I suggest that it may be developed by a series of local “viarum majarum” within the Empire. I expect that the Latin is execrable but you clearly have the interest and application to do this. Power to your elbow. A. T.

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Jack Holloway
16 June, 2017 at 7:32 pm

This was a very creative idea, but one really needs to be up on their geography to truly appreciate how great a job this really was. WELL DONE!

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Miguel A. Aguerrea
18 June, 2017 at 2:51 am

I’ve paid my $9 via PayPal but haven’t received my PDF. I’ve already checked the spam folder.
The payment was made on Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:27:20 +0200 (CEST) from the account m…[email protected]…a-d..l.com
In case there is any problem with my account in this comment I will put my gmail account.

I want to print it on authentic papyrus for my brother (http://vasconum.blogspot.com.es).

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Sasha
18 June, 2017 at 9:08 am

I’m very sorry Miguel, please check your email again.

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Shawn Bailey
19 June, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Hi Sasha,

I purchased this morning (PST) and have yet to receive the PDF as well. Can you confirm you received payment from Shawn Bailey and just let me know an ETA? Thanks! 🙂

Shawn

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Sasha
20 June, 2017 at 10:38 am

I send the emails myself, it’s not automated or anything. You can expect it today.

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Kent Boyer
18 June, 2017 at 12:34 pm

This may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. THANK YOU!

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Paolo Valenti
20 June, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Hi Sasha. I didn´t receive the PDF with the map. Please let me know!

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Sasha
21 June, 2017 at 11:21 am

Hi Paolo, I sent you an email on 20 June, please check your spam if you still do not see it.

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Project Mapping
21 June, 2017 at 2:01 am

I can put a hi-rez version on http://www.projectmapping.co.uk (the world’s largest portal of schematic maps) if you email a pdf

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Sasha
21 June, 2017 at 10:43 am

Since I’m still getting a lot of support and receiving money for the PDF, I don’t want to release it online for free just yet.

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Ivan Dalmonte
21 June, 2017 at 10:10 am

Hello, I’m having fun in pairing all the old Latin names in your beautiful map with their current names. Using the Internet it’s not difficult. But I can’t find anything about “Premis”, a town you have placed somewhere between the current Egypt and Sudan. The name is very similar to the Italian word “Premio” (prize), so all the links lead to wrong destinations. Can you tell me what is the correct place? Thank you!

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Sasha
21 June, 2017 at 10:47 am

Hi Ivan, it certainly is quite fun pairing the cities, isn’t it? Premis is currently known as Qasr Ibrim, though the Wikipedia article doesn’t mention its former name. This page, however, does say it was called Premis during Roman times. The fort at Premis was arguably Rome’s strongest fortification on the Nile.

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