Ground communications in Roman times played a key role. Have you ever heard that “all roads lead to Rome”? Do you know why it is said?
Because the Romans built main and secondary roads that connected all the cities of the vast territory they dominated, building an immense communication network on which much of the current roads have been built.
In Baetulo, we recently discovered part of the route of the Via Heraclea, which was later reused by Augustus to improve the roads of the empire, building the famous Via Augusta.
Within Roman cities the distribution of streets was also very important. The streets followed an orthogonal plot that served to plan the insula or islands of houses. And the layout of the two main streets of this plot – the cardo and decumanus maximus – was, since the founding of the city, a key axis for its development. At the point where they crossed, the forum was located and at the ends of these streets were the access gates to the city.
The Romans also knew that good prior planning favored the smooth running of a city. That’s why they took care of all the details: wide streets for carts, sidewalks with pedestrian crossings, porched areas … And, of course, one of the most important infrastructures for the sanitation and health of a densely populated city: the sewers that carried dirty water out of the city.