Bible Archaeology

Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World

By Stanford:

Spanning one-ninth of the earth’s circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents.

Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity.

For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.

Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.

It covers the Byzantine world too.

The model consists of 751 sites, most of them urban settlements but also including important promontories and mountain passes, and covers close to 10 million square kilometers (~4 million square miles) of terrestrial and maritime space. 268 sites serve as sea ports. The road network encompasses 84,631 kilometers (52,587 miles) of road or desert tracks, complemented by 28,272 kilometers (17,567 miles) of navigable rivers and canals…

Check it out here.

 

Advertisements
Church

Priest Heeds Papal Call, Sells Mercedes

KRMG reports:

It may be back to a bicycle for a Colombian priest who’s heeding Pope Francis‘ call for austerity.

The Rev. Hernando Fayid said he’s going to sell his white Mercedes Benz E200 convertible with a black top following the pope’s recent statement that it wounds his heart to see a priest in a luxurious car.

Fayid told RCN television Tuesday evening that he got the car as a gift from his four brothers last year, but will still give it up and it won’t bother him.

He said he’s ridden a burro, a horse, a bicycle and a bus, to say nothing of walking on foot around his town of Santa Marta. In his words, “I have no problem with that.”

The 47-year-old priest said he hopes to get about $63,000 for the car.

Fayid’s announcement was applauded in Colombia, which is predominantly Catholic.

Priests “should provide an example of humility,” said 24-year-old accounting assistant Leydi Vega, adding that “no one is asking them to live in extreme poverty … or to die from hunger.”

The president of Colombia’s Bishops Conference, Cardinal Ruben Salazar, said that the Catholic church in Latin America has always embraced austerity.

He said the estimated 10,000 Colombian priests in the country each receive the equivalent of about $620 a month.

“We priests undoubtedly have to be very conscious that we have to live with our people,” said the prelate, “in the conditions in which our people live.”