Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

1/1/2006 - 12/31/2007

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$100,000.00 (approved)
$100,000.00 (awarded)

Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome

FAIN: RZ-50350-05

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
Bernard D. Frischer (Project Director: November 2004 to January 2014)

Adding GIS data and expanding a freely accessible and fully interactive inventory of Roman hydraulic infrastructure from the early Christian era through the early modern period. (24 months)

Aquae Urbis Romae is a research project and web-based archive of original research and cartographic materials related to the history of Roman water infrastructure and urban development over a 2,700 year period. The project is both interdisciplinary and interactive, bringing together data from archaeology, urban history, geography, classics and the history of technology. It systematically incorporates archeological, archival, literary, and epigraphic evidence in original chronological and thematic topographic maps of Rome. The site is a significant tool for scholars and students to study social, cultural, aesthetic and technological issues related to water distribution, and is a unique and valuable model for understanding water infrastructure and its impact on urban development in Rome and in other cities. To date, the materials available on the project's web site covers the period 753 B.C. to 312 C.E. NEH funds are requested to continue original research, expanding the maps and inventory for the period 360 to 1700 C.E. We will also work to improve the site's maps and cartographic functions by converting existing map data into new typological and chronological map layers of water infrastructure features that are geo-referenced to real world coordinates. . . .

Associated Products

The Waters of Rome (Web Resource)
Title: The Waters of Rome
Author: Katherine Wentworth Rinne, Editor
Abstract: The Waters of Rome is a refereed, on-line journal of occasional papers concerned with water studies and the city of Rome. Authors submit articles on any aspect of the hydrological or hydraulic history of Rome from the prehistoric to the present day, to be considered for publication. Articles that investigate water and water infrastructure as a system (rather than examining an individual feature) within a social, cultural, or technological context are particularly welcome. The online journal seeks to stimulate discussion about water's role in urban development, especially within the context of issues of infrastructural and landscape urbanism studies. Every submission is reviewed by the editor and a minimum of two outside reviewers who are authorities drawn from the disciplines of history, classics, architecture, landscape architecture, archaeology, architectural and art history, and geography. Authors are responsible for securing any necessary permissions. Authors retain the copyright for any work published at Aquae Urbis Romae: the Waters of the City of Rome.
Year: 2001
Primary URL:

The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City (Book)
Title: The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City
Author: Katherine Rinne Wentworth
Abstract: In this pioneering study of the water infrastructure of Renaissance Rome, urban historian Katherine Rinne offers a new understanding of how technological and scientific developments in aqueduct and fountain architecture helped turn a medieval backwater into the preeminent city of early modern Europe. Supported by the author’s extensive topographical research, this book presents a unified vision of the city that links improvements to public and private water systems with political, religious, and social change. Between 1560 and 1630, in a spectacular burst of urban renewal, Rome’s religious and civil authorities sponsored the construction of aqueducts, private and public fountains for drinking, washing, and industry, and the magnificent ceremonial fountains that are Rome’s glory. Tying together the technological, sociopolitical, and artistic questions that faced the designers during an age of turmoil in which the Catholic Church found its authority threatened and the infrastructure of the city was in a state of decay, Rinne shows how these public works projects transformed Rome in a successful marriage of innovative engineering and strategic urban planning.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's website
Publisher: Yale University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-300155303