The establishment of large-scale water infrastructure is a defining aspect of the process of urbanisation. In places like Britain, the Roman period represents the first introduction of features that can be recognised and paralleled to our modern water networks. Writers have regularly cast these innovations as markers of a uniform Roman identity spreading throughout the Empire, and bringing with it a familiar, modern, sense of what constitutes civilised urban living. However, this is a view that has often neglected to explain how such developments were connected to the important symbolic and ritual traditions of waterscapes in Iron Age Britain.
Water and Urbanism in Roman Britain argues that the creation of Roman water infrastructure forged a meaningful entanglement between the process of urbanisation and significant local landscape contexts. As a result, it suggests that archetypal Roman urban water features were often more related to an active expression of local hybrid identities, rather than alignment to an incoming continental ideal. By questioning the familiarity of these aspects of the ancient urban form, we can move away from the unhelpful idea that Roman precedent is a central tenet of the current unsustainable relationship between water and our modern cities.
This monograph will be of interest to academics and students studying aspects of Roman water management, urbanisation in Roman Britain, and theoretical approaches to landscape. It will also appeal to those working more generally on past human interactions with the natural world.
List of figures; Acknowledgements; Chapter One: Water and Urbanism; Chapter Two: Discovering Hybridity in Classical Accounts of Municipal Water; Chapter Three: Water in Roman Britain; Chapter Four: The Value of Water and New Approaches to Urban Space; Bibliography; Index
Over the course of the last two decades the study of urban space in the Roman world has progressed rapidly with new analytical techniques, many drawn from other disciplines such as architecture and urban studies, being applied in the archaeological and literary study of Roman cities. These dynamically interdisciplinary approaches are at the centre of this series. The series includes both micro-level analyses of interior spaces as well as macro-level studies of Roman cities (and potentially also wider spatial landscapes outside the city walls). The series encourages collaboration and debate between specialists from a wide range of study beyond the core disciplines of ancient history, archaeology and Classics such as art history and architecture, geography and landscape studies, and urban studies. Ultimately the series provides a forum for scholars to explore new ideas about space in the Roman city.
For further information about contributing to the series please contact Amy Davis-Poynter at firstname.lastname@example.org