Here are a few useful links and resources for anyone interested in the urbanism of the Roman world. I’m always happy to hear about new ones, so feel free to contact me with suggestions.
This website provides a comprehensive list of ancient ports and harbours, which contains a total of over 4,000 places (which can be downloaded as a PDF or as a table). In addition, this website provides useful information about ancient vessels, measures of distances, maps, coastal infrastructure, and specific ports and harbours.
This provides a useful list of the known theatres in the ancient world, along with some handy information about each one, including their locations, dates, and the dimensions of their cavea and orchestra.
This centre has been carrying on the work of the project that produced The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World by continuing to refine our understanding of the physical and cultural geography of the ancient world (in collaboration with the Pleiades Project). It’s particularly useful because it provides a collection of resources, including a number of shapefiles that can be downloaded for free for non-commercial use.
This website provides an interactive atlas of the ancient world, which is based on the data that has been provided by both The Ancient World Mapping Centre and The Pleiades Project. This is an extremely useful tool for anyone interested in making simple maps of the ancient world, since it allows the user to customize each layer and export the results in various formats. It also offers some basic tools, which allow the user to measure, drag, and draw features.
This also provides an interactive atlas of the ancient world, which contains various information, including ancient place names, rivers, lakes, roads, and natural features. This resource is particularly useful because of the way it breaks each one of these features down into different classes, such as cities and towns, villages, villas, etc.
This is one of the earliest attempts to provide an online atlas of the ancient world, which was largely based on The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, in collaboration with The Pleiades Project. This resource is particularly useful for exploring the similarities and differences between the ancient and medieval period, which can be traced through turning on or off different layers.
This website provides a number of sets of data for use in GIS, including physical data, such as modern coastlines and rivers, cultural data, such as modern countries, and raster data, such as land cover and shaded relief. These resources are especially useful for historians and archaeologists, as they are shown the world in an idealized manner with little human influence (as well as in a delicate palette that is ideal using as reference).
This project provides an interactive model of the main sea, river, and road routes of the ancient world, which allows the user to explore the costs of communication in terms of both time and expense, revealing the true ‘shape’ of the Greek and Roman world. This is an essential resource for anyone interested in the connections between cities, as well as between them and other settlements.
This project is attempting to address fundamental aspects of the economy of the Roman world by drawing on quantifiable evidence, such as ancient sources, inscriptions, and archaeological material. This project was one of the first to focus on measuring certain aspects of urbanism and using this as a means of looking the structure and scale of the economy. This has led to a series of important edited volumes and independent monographs, which can be found on the project’s website.
The Pleiades Project is a community built gazetteer and graph of ancient places, which was originally based on The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, but which is continually being updated and expanded (including over 35,000 entries at the time of writing). The website can be searched for ancient or modern names, which can then be viewed on a map, while the entire dataset can be downloaded in various formats and used in Google Earth or a GIS.
This project aims to establish a theoretical and empirical basis for the study of settlements both across geography and throughout history by concentrating on their common properties. The project’s work should be an important resource for anyone interested in having a better understanding of the commonalities between ancient and modern urbanism, especially since it is based on a wide range of case-studies from various periods and places.
This website charts the creation and analysis and interpretation of a new database of urban centres in Italy in the republican and imperial periods. This makes it an important resource for anyone who is curious about the development of urbanism in the peninsular during these periods, as well as anyone with an interest in how to design of extensive databases and GISs and how to use them to understand and explain settlement patterns. A link to a paper describing how the database and GIS were created can be found here, while the results can be found here .
This project has brought together the evidence for the rural settlement of Roman Britain, including both the information that has been compiled by academic research and the material that has been generated by commercial work (known as ‘grey literature’). It is therefore an important resource for anyone who is interested in understanding the relationships between urban and rural sites, since it furnishes us with the most comprehensive list of the latter class of sites to date.