A stretch of the Appian Way?

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22 Responses to A stretch of the Appian Way?

  1. Dick Summers says:

    3,000 lb GVW and no winter.

  2. Geoff R says:

    Any county built a road or path like that now,they couldn’t afford the law suits for twisted ankles.

  3. Boba O'Really says:

    Excellent picture. Thanks

  4. ChuckN says:

    And yet we have roads that barely last 5 years before needing a rebuild.

    • Dick Summers says:

      That’s where the GVW and winter come in. Also 24/7/365 traffic.

      • ChuckN says:

        True enough, but I’ve worked on too many engineering projects where a complete redesign and/or rebuild was necessary because either the engineer forgot something major or some bureaucrat steps in and dictates something that won’t last.

        As one who lives in Maine I know my share of winter and water related problems. Yet if you look at any rebuild of a public way up here, proper drainage is almost never put in; the road is rarely giving enough time to settle; shoulders aren’t always built to the same spec as the road itself etc…

      • Roy says:

        Okay, I give up. What is a “GVW”?

  5. nonncom says:

    Looks like that’ll find any loose fillings for ya’….

  6. Alexander says:

    In the interest of diversity you should post pic of a 2300 year old Zulu road in Africa.

    • singlestack says:

      That’s called a dirt trail through the bush

    • ChuckN says:

      The Zulu, a Bantu faction, have actually only been around since circa 1750. Interestingly they moved into South Africa 1-200 years AFTER the Dutch settled there; in the process killing off the local populations of Bantu and Nguni (this was a main goal of Shaka); leading to major conflicts with the now indigenous Boers culminating in two Zulu wars and finalizing in Apartheid. The Zulu at the time were particularly aggressive and warlike and acted not unlike Sparta. As such the Zulu had little want or need for anything that required peaceful commerce. If the road you refer to is on the East coast, it’s also not Zulu or even bantu. They began in Niger and didn’t migrate towards Tanzania until ca. 1000AD.

      • Heathen says:

        So, they were a war-like nomadic herding tribe. A lot like the Hebrews of the Torah ?

        • Bacon says:

          Uh, no Heathen. Not even close.
          You’ve apparently never studied the Bible.

          A “war-like nomadic herding tribe”?
          The entire “war-like” period only lasted a few years while conquering Canaan.
          The “nomadic” period only lasted from Abraham leaving Haran until Jacob moved to Egypt.
          The “herding” period was also very limited, since most Jews farmed their allotted land.
          Once the Romans conquered the Jews, there was no more war and no more herding for almost two millenia until 1948.

          Doesn’t sound much like a war-like nomadic herding tribe, does it? Doesn’t sound anything like the Zulus either.

          • Heathen says:

            Actually, I’ve read, studied & nearly became ordained as a minister at one time.
            Realized it’d been hypocritical if I had.

            We’ll differ in our “interpretations” of our readings .

      • warhorse says:

        I met a guy who said he was Zulu, in the south african air force, he was training at the P-3 orion simulator we had on base. nice guy. he did not like the ANC (african national congress) at all because they were commies and wanted the zulus to give up their king.who is basically a figurehead.

        “you know that movie zulu dawn? there are more of us now, and we have kalishnikovs. we do not fear the ANC!” and then he laughed so hard that deep voice of his rattled the rafters, and he bought another round for the whole enlisted club.

  7. Roy says:

    Before I visited Italy and Rome, I always thought of the Romans as master architects and stone masons – carvers of stone and marble. What I found out was that they were also master brick layers. That structure on the left is a perfect example. In Pompeii, I saw fluted columns that were made almost entirely of brick with stucco on the outside. Pretty cool.

  8. Andrew says:

    What is really neat about those Roman roads is during the summer, Roman Legion re-enactors march up and down some of them, and actually rebuild some sections.

    It was the Roman Legion who originally built most of the roads. Tamping of the various layers was all done by Legion feet.

    Which just freaks people out. All the gravel and several layers of paving stones placed by hand and tamped down by foot power. And the Romans could build roads pretty quickly given enough raw materials.

    On a related note, during WWII, US Army engineers were absolutely floored by Chinese building techniques when constructing air fields for the US Army Air Force. Sure, trucks laid down gravel, but 1,000 Chinese workers, packed into a solid tight section, would just stomp up and down, back and forth, until the surface was smooth and packed.

    Machines replace people. Machines aren’t invented in places and times where people are at surplus levels and the value of human life is pretty low. (One of the reasons for the explosion of science and technology in Europe right after the Black Death was a lack of population. Weird, isn’t it?)

  9. JFM says:

    Roman roads aren’t roads as we think of (asphalt) roads. A good analogy is that you are walking on the top of a buried wall. If we built roads by digging down 4 feet, compacting several layers and topping it with a very hard surface (not asphalt) our roads would last a long time too. But would be way more expensive and take God knows how long to build.

  10. Granny says:

    When you build it properly the first time, it doesn’t need constant maintenance.
    The Romans also invented concrete that would dry underwater, and their Aqueduct systems are still an engineering marvel. Nevertheless, with all their 1st century technology, they couldn’t keep the Scots subdued and finally gave up and moved back behind Hadrian’s wall. The only tribal group at the time to defy the might of Rome.

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