The Importance Of Water In The Roman Empire

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Water is one of the most critical elements in determining any form of life. All living beings depend on water and without it, all forms of life come to a dead stop. Since the beginning of human civilization, water has been a driving force in how people dictate the affairs in their lives. People move near it, when there is too little of it, people flee from it, when there is too much of it, and people fight over it, when there is nothing of it. Our lives depend on water. Indeed, Vitruvius states in his De Architectura, “Water is indispensable for life, for pleasure, and for daily use.” In the Roman Empire, Roman citizens prided themselves as having the capacity to virtual supply of unlimited water. The Romans achieved this supply by constructing the aqueduct. As a symbol …show more content…

Aqueducts were costly to construct and maintain. During the Imperial period, aqueducts were financed by the emperor to serve bath facilities and to supply the public with unlimited water, thereby supporting the increasing population, but also functioning as a propaganda and testament to the adeptness of Rome and its emperor. Beginning in Augustan Rome, the reforms introduced by the princeps and his mere presence shaped the existing Republican rulings concerning water consumption from the city’s water supply.
Turning to the legislative aspect of water consumption in Ancient Rome, laws concerning water use tended to side on maintaining water as a public utility. However, using Frontinus’ De Aquis Urbis Romae as the main source for reference to legal aspects of the city’s water supply, a dual nature in the water supply system can be seen. Going back to the Republican era, Frontinus cites an old law stating that “No private person shall conduct other water than that which flows from the basins onto the ground.” The surplus of publicly owned water was given to fullers at a fixed price and the proceeds were deposited in the

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