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Water and Late Antique Constantinople: “It would be abominable for the inhabitants of this Beautiful City to be compelled to purchase water"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTwo Romes
Subtitle of host publicationRome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity
EditorsLucy Grig, Gavin Kelly
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-973940-0
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Late Antiquity


This is a study of the organization and provision of the water supply of Constantinople in Late Antiquity, which also provides a comparison with the case of Rome. It integrates textual evidence with the detailed evidence provided from recent structural and hydrogeological research undertaken by the author. As the New Rome came into the ascendant throughout the fourth and fifth centuries surviving legislation reveals divergent approaches to the maintenance of the urban water supply in the two cities. The evidence further demonstrates the symbolic as well as the practical value of investment in the urban infrastructure. In particular the sources appear to suggest how the maintenance of the aqueducts came to dominate urban euergetism at Constantinople at the expense of other aspects of civic display. Finally, the comparative element of the study helps deepen our understanding of the diverging narratives of the two imperial cities.

    Research areas

  • Aqueducts, urban infrastructure, water supply, Constantinople, Rome

ID: 10295891