(Not) all roads lead to Rome…
click here for larger, interactive version
In about 300 CE, Imperial cartographers created a road map of the Roman Empire; hundreds of years later, medieval artisans copied it, creating the Tabula Peutingeriana…
Now, René Voorburg and a team of like-minded enthusiasts have re-copied the Tabula. Using a set of techniques described here, they have mashed it up with Google Maps to create Omnes Viae: Tabula Peutingeriana— replete with Iter Vestrum (“Your Trip”), a handy route-planning tool…
As readers will see, while during the time of the Roman Republic, all roads did lead to Rome, imperial expansion– which began with the Empire in 44 BCE– rendered that kind of “hub and spoke” transit architecture impractical. The Tabula dates from relatively early in the Empire. Soon after, Constantine became Caesar and created Constantinople as an Eastern capital; in another 50 years, the Empire was divided… and the roads became even more decentralized. The Western Empire collapsed in 473, and the roads pictured in the section of the Tabula pictured above became past of a larger network of European roads. The Eastern Empire lasted until 1453, when it fell to the Ottoman Turks; and its roads became part of that burgeoning empire’s network.
As we feel an inexplicable craving for polenta, we might wish a mysterious Happy Birthday to Agatha Christie; she was born on this date in 1890. Dame Agatha published 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections (featuring creations like Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple), along with a number of successful plays. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time– her novels have sold over four billion copies– and, with William Shakespeare, the best-selling author of any type. And according to Index Translationum, she is the most translated individual author (at least 103 languages), with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her. Her play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on November 25, 1952 and is still running– at more than 24,000 performances, the longest-ever initial run of a stage play.
Written by LW
September 15, 2011 at 1:01 am
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged with Agatha Christie, all-time best-selling author, Ambassadors Theatre, best-selling author, best-selling author ever, Guinness Book of World Records, Index Translationum, Iter Vestrum, longest-running play, most translated author, Omnes Viae, Omnes Viae: Tabula Peutingeriana, ongest-ever initial run of a stage play, Roman Empire, Roman history, Roman Republic, Roman road map, Roman roads, Roman transit, Tabula Peutingeriana, The Mousetrap, William Shakespeare