Publications

Pro078

How did expertise in maritime hydraulic concrete spread through the Roman empire?



Title: How did expertise in maritime hydraulic concrete spread through the Roman empire?
Author(s): J.P. Oleson, M.D. Jackson
Paper category : conference
Book title: 2nd Conference on Historic Mortars - HMC 2010 and RILEM TC 203-RHM final workshop
Editor(s): J. Válek, C. Groot and J.J. Hughes
Print-ISBN: None
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-112-4
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 285 - 292
Total Pages: 8
Nb references: 21
Language: English


Abstract: The long passage in Vitruvius’ De architectura concerning the methods and materials for building concrete harbour structures in the sea (5.12.2-5) is unique in ancient literature and consequently frequently cited by modern scholars. Less well known are passages elsewhere in Vitruvius that deal with hydraulic concrete in marine structures, and similar comments in the works of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Seneca, Suetonius, and Dio Cassius. These authors all comment on the need for a crucial ingredient, pulvis puteolanus volcanic ash from the region around ancient Puteoli on the Bay of Naples. None of these passages, however, concern engineering works outside central Italy, although the ROMACONS Project has documented the use of pulvis puteolanus (now popularly called pozzolana) in Roman harbour structures throughout the Mediterranean. It seems likely that information concerning the ideal materials for placing hydraulic concrete, and their ratios, was spread not only by the movement of central Italian engineers around the Mediterranean but also by the circulation of sub-literary engineering manuals.


Online publication: 2010-10-25
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00