Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Roman Roads Visualized on Subway Grid

I love maps. Ever since I was a kid, I would stare at them and think about what places like Copperopolis, Toad Suck, and Santa Claus look like. I mean does Santa live in Santa Claus, Indiana? I think not, but he probably doesn't live in Chicken, Alaska either....and somehow that brings me to Roman roads visualized as a subway map.

Here's the great thing about this project it was done by a college student just like you. Well, not exactly like you, but Sasha Trubetskoy is an undergrad at U. Chicago, and he created a "subway-style diagram of the major Roman roads, based on the Empire of ca. 125 AD."

Open Culture has provided a few links to larger maps for your viewing pleasure.

Trubetskov says "no sane Roman would use only roads where sea travel is available. Sailing was much cheaper and faster – a combination of horse and sailboat would get you from Rome to Byzantium in about 25 days, Rome to Carthage in 4-5 days." He also notes that money and time of year were big factors in scheduling a Roman road trip.

He did take some "liberties" with his maps leaving out some cities and minor roads.

Do you like maps? Do you want to travel back in time over some of the world's oldest roads? Can you see how this occupation (cartography) combines science and art? STEAM vs STEM?  How can you combine your hobby or something you do without anyone asking and a career? Is this wise or do you think it might lead to burn out?

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