Flood Control in Ancient Rome

Gregory Aldrete

As we have seen with the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and recurrent flooding in the Midwest, floods remain a serious threat today. Given this reality, it is worth examining how the largest city of the ancient world met this danger.

The Central Florida Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and the UCF Anthropology Department with be hosting a public lecture to address this topic.

Dr. Gregory Aldrete, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
‘Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome: The Eternal City Goes Under’
Friday, March 20
7:00 p.m.
Psychology Building, room 108

Dr. Gregory Aldrete, from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, will be discussing archaeological and historical evidence of flooding in Ancient Rome in his talk entitled ‘Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome: The Eternal City Goes Under.’

Until the Victorian era, Ancient Rome was perhaps the largest and most architecturally sophisticated western city, but it was frequently the victim of violent floods. The Tiber River could rise as much as 15 meters above normal water levels and left large sections of the city submerged for up to a week at a time.

This lecture will survey the history and characteristics of these floods, their effects on the city, and how the Romans attempted to prevent or alleviate flooding.  It will suggest some surprising ways in which ancient Rome was unusually well-suited to surviving the onslaught of these natural disasters.


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