The Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople

The Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople

By James Crow, Jonathan Bardill and Richard Bayliss
Journal of Roman Studies Monographs, No.11 (2008)
ISBN 978 0 907764 36 6

One of the greatest achievements of Roman hydraulic engineering, the water supply of Constantinople included the longest known aqueduct channels from the ancient world and the most complex system of water storage and distribution within the city itself. This monograph presents the results of ten years of fieldwork and research and provides a detailed account of the water channels and great bridges outside the city and the first comprehensive concordance of the water storage inside the city documenting over 150 cisterns. There is a historical introduction from Roman to early Ottoman times supported by a detailed collection of ancient sources translated into English. Later chapters integrate more closely the structural evidence with the written texts and provide the basis for new interpretations of the historical texts. Specific studies are concerned with the unique Christian iconography of the bridges and with the masons’ marks recorded from them. The volume is illustrated by detailed maps showing the course of the channels and the location of the water bridges, together with detailed elevation drawings of the great bridges in the wooded countryside outside the city. Within the city the cisterns are plotted in detail for the first time enabling an appreciation of the water system in its topographical setting.

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