Article ID: CBB728180119

Astronomy in Roman Urbanism: A Statistical Analysis of the Orientation of Roman Towns in the Iberian Peninsula (2018)


The work presented in this article is part of a wide-ranging and ambitious project, started few years ago, to study the role of astronomy in Roman urban layout. In particular, the main aim is to check whether Roman cities present astronomical patterns in their orientations. The project emerged from ideas on how to properly orientate the main streets of a Roman town, as attested in a number of ancient texts and later discussions led by contemporary scholars. We present here the final conclusions of a particular study developed in the Iberian Peninsula (Roman Hispania), where the urbanism that we tend to characterize as properly Roman flourished during both the Republic and the Empire. The sample analysed includes 81 measurements of Roman urban entities spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and is the largest dataset obtained in a specific region so far. Our results present suggestive orientation patterns that seem to point towards an astronomical intentionality.

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Authors & Contributors
Navarro Brotóns, Víctor
Rentetzi, Maria
Lafuente, Antonio
Saraiva, Tiago
Nieto-Galan, Agustí
Manolaraki, Eleni
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Social Studies of Science
HOST: Journal of History of Science and Technology
American Journal of Philology
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Phoenix: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
Universitat de València
Cambridge University Press
Publicacions de la Universitat de València
Pitchstone Publishing
Columbia University
Yale University Press
Science and society
Urban history
Urban planning
Pliny, the elder
Aggenus Urbicus (Agennius Urbicus)
Frontinus, Sextus Julius
Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus
Muñoz, Jerónimo
Time Periods
19th century
16th century
20th century, early
15th century
17th century
Roman Empire
Vienna (Austria)
Barcelona (Spain)
Roman Republic

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