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Title: Ancient Town-Planning
Author: Haverfield, F. (Francis John), 1860-1919
Language: English
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[Illustration: STREETS IN TIMGAD.
From a photograph.]




at The Clarendon Press


London::Edinburgh::Glasgow::New York
Publisher to the University


The following pages are an enlargement of a paper read to the
University of London as the Creighton Lecture for 1910, and also
submitted in part to the London Conference on Town-planning in the
same year.

The original lecture was written as a scholar's contribution to a
modern movement. It looked on town-planning as one of those new
methods of social reform, which stand in somewhat sharp contrast with
the usual aims of political parties and parliaments. The latter
concern mainly the outward and public life of men as fellow-citizens
in a state; they involve such problems as Home Rule, Disestablishment,
Protection. The newer ideals centre round the daily life of human
beings in their domestic environment. Men and women--or rather, women
and men--have begun to demand that the health and housing and food and
comfort of mankind, and much else that not long ago seemed to lie
outside the scope of legislation, should be treated with as close
attention and logic and intelligence as any of the older and more
conventional problems of politicians. They will not leave even the
tubes of babies' feeding-bottles to an off-hand opportunism.

Among these newer efforts town-planning is one of the better known.
Most of us now admit that if some scores of dwellings have to be run
up for working-men or city-clerks--or even for University teachers
in North Oxford--they can and should be planned with regard to the
health and convenience and occupations of their probable tenants.
Town-planning has taken rank as an art; it is sometimes styled a
science and University professorships are named after it; in the
London Conference of 1910 it got its _deductio in forum_ or at
least its first dance. But it is still young and its possibilities
undefined. Its name is apt to be applied to all sorts of
building-schemes, and little attempt is made to assign it any specific
sense. It is only slowly making its way towards the recognized method
and the recognized principles which even an art requires. Here, it
seemed, a student of ancient history might proffer parallels from
antiquity, and especially from the Hellenistic and Roman ages, which
somewhat resemble the present day in their care for the well-being of
the individual.

In enlarging the lecture I have tried not only to preserve this point
of view, but also to treat the subject in a manner useful to classical
scholars and historians. The details of Greek and Roman town-planning
are probably little known to many who study Greek and Roman life, and
though they have often been incidentally discussed,[1] they have never
been collected. The material, however, is plentiful, and it
illuminates vividly the character and meaning of that city-life which,
in its different forms, was a vital element in both the Greek and the
Roman world. Even our little towns of Silchester and Caerwent in Roman
Britain become more intelligible by its aid. The Roman student gains
perhaps more than the Hellenist from this inquiry, since the ancient
Roman builder planned more regularly and the modern Roman
archaeologist has dug more widely. But admirable German excavations at
Priene, Miletus, and elsewhere declare that much may be learnt about
Greek towns and in Greek lands.

    [1] For example, by Beloch in his volume on the cities of
    Campania, by Schulten in various essays, by Barthel in a recent
    inquiry into Roman Africa, and by others, to be cited below. Dr.
    J. Stübben in his _Städtebau_ (Darmstadt, ed. 2, 1907) and Mr.
    Raymond Unwin in his _Town planning in practice_ (London, 1909)
    have given interesting notices and illustrations of the subject
    for modern builders.

The task of collecting and examining these details is not easy. It
needs much local knowledge and many local books, all of which are hard
to come by. Here, as in most branches of Roman history, we want a
series of special inquiries into the fortunes of individual Roman
towns in Italy and the provinces, carried out by men who combine two
things which seldom go together, scientific and parochial knowledge.
But a body of evidence already waits to be used, and though its
discussion may lead--as it has led me--into topographical minutiae,
where completeness and certainty are too often unattainable and errors
are fatally easy, my results may nevertheless contain some new
suggestions and may help some future workers.

I have avoided technical terms as far as I could, and that not merely
in the interests of the general reader. Such terms are too often both
ugly and unnecessary. When a foreign scholar writes of a Roman town as
'scamnirt' or 'strigirt', it is hard to avoid the feeling that this
is neither pleasant nor needful. Perhaps it is not even accurate, as I
shall point out below. I have accordingly tried to make my text as
plain as possible and to confine technicalities to the footnotes.



















(For precise references to sources see the various footnotes.)

   STREETS IN TIMGAD. From a photograph
 1. BABYLON. After Koldewey and others
 2. PIRAEUS. After Milchõfer
 3. SELINUS. After Cavallari and Hulot and Fougères
 4. CYRENE. After Smith and Porcher, 1864
 5. SOLUNTUM. After Cavallari, 1875
 6. PRIENE, GENERAL OUTLINE. After Zippelius
        plan by Wiegand and Schrader, 1904
 8. PRIENE, PANORAMA OF THE TOWN. As restored by Zippelius
 9. MILETUS. After Wiegand, 1911
10. GERASA. After Schumacher
12. MARZABOTTO. After Brizio and Levi
13. POMPEII. After Mau, 1910
14. MODENA. From the plan of Zuccagni-Orlandini, 1844
15. TURIN. Reduced from a plan published by the Society for the
        diffusion of Useful Knowledge (_Maps_, London, 1844, vol. ii)
        after Zuccagni-Orlandini, 1844
16. AOSTA. From Promis and others
17. FLORENCE. (A) Modern Florence. (B) After L. Bardi (1795?) and
18. LUCCA. From Sinibaldi, 1843
19. HERCULANEUM. After Ruggiero and Beloch
20. NAPLES. From the Neapolitan Government map of 1865
21. INSCRIPTION OF ORANGE. From the _Comptes-rendus de l'Académie
        des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_, 1904
22. TIMGAD. After R. Cagnat and the large plan by A. Ballu (_Ruines
        de Timgad, Sept années de découvertes_ (Paris, 1911))
23. DETAILS OF INSULAE IN TIMGAD.  After R. Cagnat, _Timgad_, p. 337
24. A PART OF CARTHAGE. Plan based on the _Carte archéologique des
        ruines de Carthage_, by Gauckler and Delattre
25. A PART OF LAIBACH. From a plan by Dr. W. Schmid (_VI. Bericht
        der römisch-germanischen Kommission_, 1910-1911)
28. LINCOLN, SEWER UNDER BAILGATE. From a photograph
29. AUTUN. After H. de Fontenay (_Autun et ses Monuments_, Autun,
30. TRIER. Plan reduced from plan (1:10,000) by the late Dr. Hans
        Gräven, _Die Denkmalpflege_, 14 Dec. 1904
31. SILCHESTER, GENERAL PLAN. Reduced from the large plan by W.H.
        St. John Hope (1:1800), _Archaeologia_ lxi, plate 85
        CHURCH. From _Archaeologia_
33. CAERWENT, GENERAL PLAN. Reduced from plan by F. King (1:900),
        _Archaeologia_ lxii, plate 64
34. BOSTRA. From a plan in Baedeker's _Guide to Palestine_
35. SAUVETERRE-DE-GUYENNE, A BASTIDE OF A.D. 1281. From plan by Dr.
        A.E. Brinckmann
        _Geographical Journal_, Sept. 1910

For the loan of blocks I am indebted to the Académie des Inscriptions
et Belles-Lettres (fig. 21), to the German Imperial Archaeological
Institute (fig. 9), to the Royal Geographical Society (fig. 36), and
to the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Editors of the
_Transactions of the Town-Planning Conference_, 1911 (figs. 7, 8, 17,
30, 32, 35). Fig. 11 is from Mr. T.E. Peet's _Stone and Bronze Ages in
Italy_. The other 26 blocks have been prepared for this volume.


The following figures may be found convenient by readers who wish to
take special account of the dimensions cited in the following pages,
and may also help them to correct any errors which I have unwittingly

1 Roman foot = 0.296 metres = 0.97 English feet. For practical
purposes 100 Roman feet = 97 English feet.

1 Iugerum = 120 x 240 Roman feet = 116.4 x 233.8 English feet. For
practical purposes a _Iugerum_ may be taken to be rather over
2/3 of an acre and rather over 1/4 of a hectare, and more exactly
2523.3 sq. metres.

1 Metre = 1.09 English yards, a trifle less than 40 ins. 402.5 metres
equal a quarter of a mile.

1 Hectare (10000 sq. metres) = 2.47 acres (11955 sq. yds.).

1 Acre = nearly 69-1/2 x 69-1/2 yds. (208.7 ft. square) = 4840 sq. yds.



Town-planning--the art of laying out towns with due care for the
health and comfort of inhabitants, for industrial and commercial
efficiency, and for reasonable beauty of buildings--is an art of
intermittent activity. It belongs to special ages and circumstances.
For its full unfolding two conditions are needed. The age must be one
in which, whether through growth, or through movements of population,
towns are being freely founded or freely enlarged, and almost as a
matter of course attention is drawn to methods of arranging and laying
out such towns. And secondly, the builders of these towns must have
wit enough to care for the well-being of common men and the due
arrangement of ordinary dwellings. That has not always happened. In
many lands and centuries--in ages where civilization has been tinged
by an under-current of barbarism--one or both of these conditions have
been absent. In Asia during much of its history, in early Greece, in
Europe during the first half of the Middle Ages, towns have consisted
of one or two dominant buildings, temple or church or castle, of one
or two processional avenues for worshippers at sacred festivals, and a
little adjacent chaos of tortuous lanes and squalid houses. Architects
have devised beautiful buildings in such towns. But they have not
touched the chaos or treated the whole inhabited area as one unit.
Town-planning has been here unknown.[2]

    [2] Compare Brinckmann's remarks on mediaeval towns: 'Der
    Nachdruck liegt auf den einzelnen Gebäuden, der Kathedrale, dem
    Palazzo publico, den festen Palästen des Adels, nicht auf ibrer
    einheitlichen Verbindung. Ebenso erscheint die ganze Stadt nur
    eine Ansammlung einzelner Bauten. Strassen und Plätze sind
    unbebaute Reste.'

In other periods towns have been founded in large numbers and
full-grown or nearly full-grown, to furnish homes for multitudes of
common men, and their founders have built them on some plan or system.
One such period is, of course, our own. Within the last half-century
towns have arisen all over Europe and America. They are many in
number. They are large in area. Most of them have been born almost
full-grown; some have been established complete; others have developed
abruptly out of small villages; elsewhere, additions huge enough to
form separate cities have sprung up beside towns already great.
Throughout this development we can trace a tendency to plan, beginning
with the unconscious mechanical arrangements of industrial cities or
suburbs and ending in the conscious efforts of to-day.

If we consider their size and their number together, these new
European and American towns surpass anything that the world has yet
seen. But, save in respect of size, the process of founding or
enlarging towns is no new thing. In the old world, alike in the Greek
lands round the eastern Mediterranean and in the wide empire of Rome,
urban life increased rapidly at certain periods through the
establishment of towns almost full-grown. The earliest towns of Greece
and Italy were, through sheer necessity, small. They could not grow
beyond the steep hill-tops which kept them safe, or house more
inhabitants than their scanty fields could feed.[3] But the world was
then large; new lands lay open to those who had no room at home, and
bodies of willing exiles, keeping still their custom of civil life,
planted new towns throughout the Mediterranean lands. The process was
extended by state aid. Republics or monarchs founded colonies to
extend their power or to house their veterans, and the results were
equally towns springing up full-grown in southern Europe and, western
Asia and even northern Africa. So too in remoter regions. Obscure
evidence from China suggests that there also in early times towns were
planted and military colonies were sent to outlying regions on
somewhat the same methods as were used by the Greeks and Romans.

    [3] For the connexion between such towns and their local
    food-supply, note the story of Alexander the Great and the
    architect Dinocrates told by Vitruvius (II. i). Dinocrates had
    planned a new town; Alexander asked if there were lands round it
    to supply it with corn, and on hearing there were none, at once
    ruled out the proposed site.

Even under less kindly conditions, the art has not been wholly
dormant. Special circumstances or special men have called it into
brief activity. The 'bastides' and the 'villes neuves' of
thirteenth-century France were founded at a particular period and
under special circumstances, and, brief as the period was and governed
by military urgencies, they were laid out on a more or less definite
plan (p. 143). The streets designed by Wood at Bath about 1735, by
Craig at Edinburgh about 1770, by Grainger at Newcastle about 1835,
show what individual genius could do at favourable moments. But such
instances, however interesting in themselves, are obviously less
important than the larger manifestations of town-planning in Greece
and Rome.

In almost all cases, the frequent establishment of towns has been
accompanied by the adoption of a definite principle of town-planning,
and throughout the principle has been essentially the same. It has
been based on the straight line and the right angle. These, indeed,
are the marks which sunder even the simplest civilization from
barbarism. The savage, inconsistent in his moral life, is equally
inconsistent, equally unable to 'keep straight', in his house-building
and his road-making. Compare, for example, a British and a Roman road.
The Roman road ran proverbially direct; even its few curves were not
seldom formed by straight lines joined together. The British road was
quite different. It curled as fancy dictated, wandered along the foot
or the scarp of a range of hills, followed the ridge of winding downs,
and only by chance stumbled briefly into straightness. Whenever
ancient remains show a long straight line or several correctly drawn
right angles, we may be sure that they date from a civilized age.

In general, ancient town-planning used not merely the straight line
and the right angle but the two together. It tried very few
experiments involving other angles. Once or twice, as at Rhodes (pp.
31, 81), we hear of streets radiating fan-fashion from a common
centre, like the gangways of an ancient theatre or the thoroughfares
of modern Karlsruhe, or that Palma Nuova, founded by Venice in 1593 to
defend its north-eastern boundaries, which was shaped almost like a
starfish. But, as a rule, the streets ran parallel or at right angles
to each other and the blocks of houses which they enclosed were either
square or oblong.

Much variety is noticeable, however, in details. Sometimes the outline
of the ancient town was square or almost square, the house-blocks were
of the same shape, and the plan of the town was indistinguishable from
a chess-board. Or, instead of squares, oblong house-blocks formed a
pattern not strictly that of a chess-board but geometrical and
rectangular. Often the outline of the town was irregular and merely
convenient, but the streets still kept, so far as they could, to a
rectangular plan. Sometimes, lastly, the rectangular planning was
limited to a few broad thoroughfares, while the smaller side-streets,
were utterly irregular. Other variations may be seen in the prominence
granted or refused to public and especially to sacred buildings. In
some towns full provision was made for these; ample streets with
stately vistas led up to them, and open spaces were left from which
they could be seen with advantage. In others there were neither vistas
nor open spaces nor even splendid buildings.

A measure of historical continuity can be traced in the occurrence of
these variations. The towns of the earlier Greeks were stately enough
in their public buildings and principal thoroughfares, but they
revealed a half-barbaric spirit in their mean side-streets and
unlovely dwellings. In the middle of the fifth century men rose above
this ideal. They began to recognize private houses and to attempt an
adequate grouping of their cities as units capable of a single plan.
But they did not carry this conception very far. The decorative still
dominated the useful. Broad straight streets were still few and were
laid out mainly as avenues for processions and as ample spaces for
great facades.[4] Private houses were still of small account. The
notion that the City was the State, helpful and progressive as it was,
did something also to paralyse in certain ways the development of

    [4] Pindar mentions 'the paved road cut straight to be smitten by
    horse-hoofs in processions of men that besought Apollo's care' at
    Cyrene (_Pyth._ v. 90). An inscription from the Piraeus, of 320
    B.C., orders the Agoranomi (p. 37) to take care 'of the broad
    roads by which the processions move to the temple of Zeus the

A change came with the new philosophy and the new politics of the
Macedonian era. The older Greek City-states had been large, wealthy,
and independent; magnificent buildings and sumptuous festivals were as
natural to them as to the greater autonomous municipalities in all
ages. But in the Macedonian period the individual cities sank to be
parts of a larger whole, items in a dominant state, subjects of
military monarchies. The use of public buildings, the splendour of
public festivals in individual cities, declined. Instead, the claims
of the individual citizen, neglected too much by the City-states but
noted by the newer philosophy, found consideration even in
town-planning. A more definite, more symmetrical, often more rigidly
'chess-board' pattern was introduced for the towns which now began to
be founded in many countries round and east of the Aegean. Ornamental
edifices and broad streets were still indeed included, but in the
house-blocks round them due space and place were left for the
dwellings of common men. For a while the Greeks turned their minds to
those details of daily life which in their greater age they had
somewhat ignored.

Lastly, the town-planning of the Macedonian era combined, as I
believe, with other and Italian elements and formed the town system of
the later Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. As in art and
architecture, so also in city-planning, the civilization of Greece and
of Italy merged almost inextricably into a result which, with all its
Greek affinities, is in the end Roman. The student now meets a
rigidity of street-plan and a conception of public buildings which are
neither Greek nor Oriental. The Roman town was usually a rectangle
broken up into four more or less equal and rectangular parts by two
main streets which crossed at right angles at or near its centre. To
these two streets all the other streets ran parallel or at right
angles, and there resulted a definite 'chess-board' pattern of
rectangular house-blocks (_insulae_), square or oblong in shape, more
or less uniform in size. The streets themselves were moderate in
width; even the main thoroughfares were little wider than the rest,
and the public buildings within the walls were now merged in the
general mass of houses. The chief structure, the Forum, was an
enclosed court, decorated indeed by statues and girt with colonnades,
but devoid of facades which could dominate a town. The town councils
of the Roman world were no more free than those of Greece or modern
England from the municipal vice of over-building. But they had not the
same openings for error. On the other hand, there was in most of them
a good municipal supply of water, and sewers were laid beneath their

The reason for all this is plain. These Roman towns, even more than
the Greek cities of the Macedonian world, were parts of a greater
whole. They were items in the Roman Empire; their citizens were
citizens of Rome. They had neither the wealth nor the wish to build
vast temples or public halls or palaces, such as the Greeks
constructed. Their greatest edifices, the theatre and the
amphitheatre, witness to the prosperity and population not so much of
single towns as of whole neighbourhoods which flocked in to periodic
performances.[5] But these towns had unity. Their various parts were,
in some sense, harmonized, none being neglected and none grievously
over-indulged, and the whole was treated as one organism. Despite
limitations which are obvious, the Roman world made a more real sober
and consistent attempt to plan towns than any previous age had

    [5] Compare the crowd of Nucerians who made a riot in the
    amphitheatre at Pompeii in A.D. 59 (Tac. _Ann_. xiv. 17). The
    common idea that the population of a town can be calculated by
    the number of seats in its theatre or amphitheatre is quite



The beginnings of ideas and institutions are seldom well known or well
recorded. They are necessarily insignificant and they win scant notice
from contemporaries. Town-planning has fared like the rest. Early
forms of it appear in Greece during the fourth and fifth centuries
B.C.; the origin of these forms is obscure. The oldest settlement of
man in town fashion which has yet been explored in any land near
Greece is that of Kahun, in Egypt, dating from about 2500 B.C. Here
Professor Flinders Petrie unearthed many four-roomed cottages packed
close in parallel oblong blocks and a few larger rectangular houses:
they are (it seems) the dwellings of the workmen and managers busy
with the neighbouring Illahun pyramid.[6] But the settlement is very
small, covering less than 20 acres; it is not in itself a real town
and its plan has not the scheme or symmetry of a town-plan. For that
we must turn to western Asia, to Babylonia and Assyria.

    [6] W.F. Petrie, _Illahun, Kahun, and Gurob_ (London, 1891), ch.
    ii, plate xiv. The plan is reproduced in Breasted's _History of
    Egypt_, p. 87, R. Unwin's _Town planning_, fig. 11 (with wrong
    scale), &c.

Here we find clearer evidence. The great cities of the Mesopotamian
plains show faint traces of town-planning datable to the eighth and
following centuries, of which the Greeks seem to have heard and which
they may have copied. Our knowledge of these cities is, of course,
still very fragmentary, and though it has been much widened by the
latest German excavations, it does not yet carry us to definite
conclusions. The evidence is twofold, in part literary, drawn from
Greek writers and above all Herodotus, and in part archaeological,
yielded by Assyrian and Babylonian ruins.

The description of Babylon given by Herodotus is, of course,
famous.[7] Even in his own day, it was well enough known to be
parodied by contemporary comedians in the Athenian theatre. Probably
it rests in part on first-hand knowledge. Herodotus gives us to
understand that he visited Babylon in the course of his many
wanderings and we have no cause to distrust him; we may even date his
visit to somewhere about 450 B.C. He was not indeed the only Greek of
his day, nor the first, to get so far afield. But his account
nevertheless neither is nor professes to be purely that of an
eyewitness. Like other writers in various ages,[8] he drew no sharp
division between details which he saw and details which he learnt from
others. For the sake (it may be) of vividness, he sets them all on one
plane, and they must be judged, not as first-hand evidence but on
their own merits.

    [7] Hdt. i. 178 foil. The accounts of Ctesias and other ancient
    writers seem to throw no light on the town-planning and streets
    of Babylon, however useful they may otherwise be.

    [8] The Elizabethan description of Britain by William Harrison is
    an example from a modern time.

Babylon, says Herodotus, was planted in an open plain and formed an
exact square of great size, 120 stades (that is, nearly 14 miles) each
way; the whole circuit was 480 stades, about 55 miles. It was girt
with immense brick walls, 340 ft. high and nearly 90 ft. thick, and a
broad deep moat full of water, and was entered through 100 gates;
presumably we are intended to think of these gates as arranged
symmetrically, 25 in each side. From corner to corner the city was cut
diagonally by the Euphrates, which thus halved it into two roughly
equal triangles, and the river banks were fortified by brick
defences--less formidable than the main outer walls--which ran along
them from end to end of the city. There was, too, an inner wall on the
landward side. The streets were also remarkable:

  'The city itself (he says) is full of houses, three or four
  storeys high, and has been laid out with its streets straight,
  notably those which run at right angles, that is, those which
  lead to the river. Each road runs to a small gate in the brick
  river-wall: there are as many gates as lanes.'[9]

    [9] Hdt. i. 180 [Greek: To de astu auto, eon plêres ohikieôn
    triôrhofôn te kai tetrôrofôn, katatetmêtai tas hodous itheas,
    tas te aggas kai tas epikarsias, tas epi ton potamon echousas].
    Apparently [Greek: epikarsias] means, as Stein says, those at
    right angles to the general course of the river, but this nearly
    = at right angles to the other roads. The course of the river
    appears to have been straighter then than it is now.

In each part of the city (that is, on either bank of the Euphrates)
were specially large buildings, in one part the royal palaces, in the
other the temple of Zeus Belos, bronze-gated, square in outline, 400
yards in breadth and length.

So far, in brief, Herodotus. Clearly his words suggest town-planning.
The streets that ran straight and the others that ran at right angles
are significant enough, even though we may doubt exactly what is meant
by these other streets and what they met or cut at right angles. But
his account cannot be accepted as it stands. Whatever he saw and
whatever his accuracy of observation and memory, not all of his story
can be true. His Babylon covers nearly 200 square miles; its walls are
over 50 miles long and 30 yds. thick and all but 120 yds. high; its
gates are a mile and a half apart. The area of London to-day is no
more than 130 square miles, and the topmost point of St. Paul's is
barely 130 yds. high. Nanking is the largest city-site in China and
its walls are the work of an Empire greater than Babylon; but they
measure less than 24 miles in circuit, and they are or were little
more than 30 ft. thick and 70 ft. high.[10] Moreover, Herodotus's
account of the walls has to be set beside a statement which he makes
elsewhere, that they had been razed by Darius sixty or seventy years
before his visit.[11] The destruction can hardly have been complete.
But in any case Herodotus can only have seen fragments, easily
misinterpreted, easily explained by local _ciceroni_ as relics of
something quite unlike the facts.

    [10] L. Gaillard, _Variétés sinologiques_, xvi (plan) and xxiii.
    pp. 8, 235 (Chang-hai, 1898, 1903). Others give the figures a
    little differently, but not so as to affect the argument.

    [11] Hdt. iii. 159. The theory that there were originally two
    parallel outer walls, that Darius razed one and Herodotus saw the
    other (Baumstark in Pauly-Wissowa, _Real-Encycl._ ii. 2696), is
    meaningless. There could be no use in razing one and leaving the
    other, which was almost as strong (Hdt. i. 181). It is, however,
    not quite certain that Herodotus (i. 181) meant that there were
    two outer parallel walls.

Turn now to the actual remains of Babylon, as known from surveys and
excavations. We find a large district extending to both banks of the
Euphrates, which is covered rather irregularly by the mounds of many
ruined buildings. Two sites in it are especially notable. At its
southern end is Birs Nimrud and some adjacent mounds, anciently
Borsippa; here stood a huge temple of the god Nebo. Near its north
end, ten or eleven miles north of Borsippa, round Babil and Kasr, is a
larger wilderness of ruin, three miles long and nearly as broad in
extreme dimensions; here town-walls and palaces of Babylonian kings
and temples of Babylonian gods and streets and dwelling-houses of
ordinary men have been detected and in part uncovered. Other signs of
inhabitation can be traced elsewhere in this district, as yet

Not unnaturally, some scholars have thought that this whole region
represents the ancient Babylon and that the vast walls of Herodotus
enclosed it all.[12] This view, however, cannot be accepted. Quite
apart from the considerations urged above, the region in question is
not square but rather triangular, and traces of wall and ditch
surrounding it are altogether wanting, though city-walls have survived
elsewhere in this neighbourhood and though nothing can wholly delete
an ancient ditch. We have, in short, no good reason to believe that
Babylon, in any form or sense whatever, covered at any time this large

    [12] So Baumstark, art. Babylon in Pauly-Wissowa, ii. 2696.

On the other hand, the special ruins of Babil and Kasr and adjacent
mounds seem to preserve both the name and the actual remains of
Babylon (fig. 1). Here, on the left bank of the Euphrates, are vast
city-walls, once five or six miles long.[13] They may be described
roughly as enclosing half of a square bisected diagonally by the
river, much as Herodotus writes; there is good reason to think that
they had some smaller counterpart on the right bank, as yet scantily
explored. Within these walls were the palaces of the Babylonian kings,
Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar (625-561 B.C.), the temples of the
national god Marduk or Merodach and other Babylonian deities, a broad
straight road, Aiburschabu, running north and south from palaces to
temples, a stately portal spanning this road at the Istar Gate, many
private houses in the Merkes quarter, and an inner town-wall perhaps
of earlier date. Street and gate were built or rebuilt by
Nebuchadnezzar. He, as he declares in various inscriptions, 'paved the
causeway with limestone flags for the procession of the Great Lord
Marduk.' He made the Istar Gate 'with glazed brick and placed on its
threshold colossal bronze bulls and ferocious serpent dragons'. Along
the street thus built the statue of Marduk was borne in solemn march
on the Babylonian New Year's Day, when the king paid yearly worship to
the god of his country.[14]

    [13] F.H. Weissbach, _Stadtbild von Babylon_ (_Der alte Orient_,
    fasc. 5); R. Koldewey, _Tempel von Babylon und Borsippa_, plates
    i, ii; S. Langdon, _Expositor_, 1909, pp. 82, 142; Hommel,
    _Geogr. des alten Orients_, pp. 290, 331; E. Meyer, _Sitzungsber.
    preuss. Akad_. 1912, p. 1102. I am indebted to Dr. Langdon for
    references to some of the treatises cited here and below. I
    cannot share the unfavourable view which is taken by Messrs. How
    and Wells, the latest good editors of Herodotus, of the views of
    these writers.

    [14] Koldewey, _Pflastersteine von Aiburschabu_ (Leipzig, 1901).
    Some of the streets of Babylon are much older than 600 B.C., but
    this point needs to be worked out further.

[Illustration: FIG I. BABYLON]

Such are the remains of the city of Babylon, so far as they are known
at present. They do not fit ill with the words of Herodotus. We can
detect in them the semblance not indeed of one square but of two
unequal half-squares, divided by the river; we can trace at least one
great street parallel to the river and others which run at right
angles to it towards the river. If the brick defences along the
water-side have vanished, that may be due to their less substantial
character and to the many changes of the river itself. To the student
of Babylonian topography, the account of Herodotus is of very little
worth. But it is as good as most modern travellers could compile, if
they were let loose in a vast area of buildings, without plans,
without instruments, and without any notion that a scientific
description was expected of them.

The remains show also--and this is more to our purpose--the idea of
the sacred processional avenue which recurs in fifth-century
Greece--and is indeed beloved of architects in the most modern times.
Here is a germ of town-planning. But whether this laying out of
streets extended beyond the main highways, is less clear. The Merkes
excavations occasionally show streets meeting at right angles and at
least one roughly rectangular _insula_, of 150 x 333 ft. But the
adjoining house-blocks agree neither in size nor shape, and no hint
seems to have yet come to light of a true chess-board pattern.[15]

    [15] _Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft_ 42, Dec.
    1909, pp. 7, 19; 44, Dec. 1910, p. 26.

A little further evidence can be drawn from other Mesopotamian sites.
The city of Asshur had a long, broad avenue like the sacred road of
Babylon, but the one _insula_ of its private houses which has yet been
excavated, planned and published, shows no sign of rectangular
planning.[16] There is also literary evidence that Sanherib (765-681
B.C.) laid out a 'Kingsway' 100 ft. wide to promote easy movement
through his city of Nineveh, and Delitzsch has even credited the
Sargonid dynasty generally (722-625 B.C.) with a care for the
dwellings of common men as well as of gods and of kings.[17]

    [16] _Mitt, deutsch. Orient-Gesell._ 28, Sept. 1905; 31, May

    [17] F. Delitzsch, _Asurbanipal und die assyr. Kultur seiner
    Zeit_ (_Der alte Orient_, Leipzig, 1909), p. 25.

In conclusion, the mounds of Babil and Kasr and others near them seem
to represent the Babylon alike of fact and of Herodotus. It was a
smaller city than the Greek historian avers; its length and breadth
were nearer four than fourteen miles. But it had at least one
straight, ample, and far-stretching highway which gave space for the
ceremonies and the processions, if not for the business or the
domestic comforts, of life. In a sense at least, it was laid out with
its streets straight. Nor was it the only city of such a kind in the
Mesopotamian region. Asshur and Nineveh, both of them somewhat earlier
in date than Babylon, possessed similar features. These towns, or at
least Babylon, seem to have been known to Greek travellers, and
probably suggested to them the adornment of their Hellenic homes with
similar streets. The germ of Greek town-planning came from the east.



Greek town-planning began in the great age of Greece, the fifth
century B.C. But that age had scant sympathy for such a movement, and
its beginnings were crude and narrow. Before the middle of the century
the use of the processional highway had established itself in Greece.
Rather later, a real system of town-planning, based on streets that
crossed at right angles, became known and practised. Later still, in
the early fourth century, the growing care for town-life produced town
by-laws and special magistrates to execute them. In some form or
other, town-planning had now taken root in the Greek world.

The two chief cities of Greece failed, indeed, to welcome the new
movement. Both Athens, the city which by itself means Greece to most
of us, and Sparta, the rival of Athens, remained wholly untouched by
it. Alike in the days of Themistocles and Pericles and in all its
later history, Athens was an almost Oriental mixture of splendid
public buildings with mean and ill-grouped houses. An often-quoted
saying of Demosthenes puts the matter in its most favourable light:

'The great men of old built splendid edifices for the use of the
State, and set up noble works of art which later ages can never match.
But in private life they were severe and simple, and the dwelling of
an Aristides or a Miltiades was no more sumptuous than that of any
ordinary Athenian citizen' (Third Olynthiac Oration, 25).

This is that 'desire for beauty and economy' which Pericles (or
Thucydides) praised in the Funeral Oration. It has a less lovely side.
Not a few passages in Greek literature speak, more or less clearly, of
the streets of Athens as narrow and tortuous, unpaved, unlighted, and
more like a chaos of mud and sewage than even the usual Greek road.
Sparta was worse. There neither public nor private buildings were
admirable, and the historian Thucydides turned aside to note the
meanness of the town.

Nevertheless, the art of town-planning in Greece probably began in
Athens. The architect to whom ancient writers ascribe the first step,
Hippodamus of Miletus,--born about or before 480 B.C.,--seems to have
worked in Athens and in connexion with Athenian cities, under the
auspices of Pericles. The exact nature of his theories has not been
recorded by any of the Greek writers who name him. Aristotle, however,
states that he introduced the principle of straight wide streets, and
that he, first of all architects, made provision for the proper
grouping of dwelling-houses and also paid special heed to the
combination of the different parts of a town in a harmonious whole,
centred round the market-place. But there seems to be no evidence for
the statement sometimes made, that he had any particular liking for
either a circular or a semicircular, fan-shaped town-plan.

_Piraeus_ (fig. 2).

Three cities are named as laid out by Hippodamus. Aristotle tells us
that he planned the Piraeus, the port of Athens, with broad straight
streets. He does not add the precise relation of these streets to one
another. If, however, the results of recent German inquiries and
conjectures are correct, and if they show us his work and not--as is
unfortunately very possible--the work of some later man, his design
included streets running parallel or at right angles to one another
and rectangular blocks of houses; the longer and presumably the more
important streets ran parallel to the shore, while shorter streets ran
at right angles to them down to the quays. Here is a rectangular
scheme of streets, though the outline of the whole town is necessarily
not rectangular (fig. 2).

[Illustration: FIG. 2. PLAN OF PIRAEUS]


Another town ascribed to Hippodamus is the colony which the Athenians
and others planted in 443 B.C. at Thurii in southern Italy, of which
Herodotus himself is said to have been one of the original colonists.
Its site has never been excavated, and indeed one might doubt whether
excavation would show the street plan of 443 B.C. or that of a later
and possibly even of a Roman age, when the town was recolonized on the
Roman system. But the historian Diodorus, writing in the first century
B.C. and no doubt embodying much older matter, records a pertinent
detail. The town, he says, was divided lengthways by four streets and
crossways by three. Plainly, therefore, it had a definite and
rectangular street-planning, though the brevity of the historian does
not enable us to decide how many house-blocks it had and how far the
lesser streets were symmetrical with these seven principal
thoroughfares. In most of the cases which we shall meet in the
following sections of this treatise, the number of streets
running-straight or at right angles is very much greater than the
number assigned to Thurii. I may refer for example to the plans of
Priene, Miletus, and Timgad.


A third city assigned to Hippodamus is Rhodes. This, according to
Strabo, was laid out by 'the architect of the Piraeus'; according to
others, it was built round its harbour like the seats of an ancient
theatre round the orchestra, that is, fan-fashion like Karlsruhe.
However, this case is doubtful. Rhodes was laid out in 408 B.C.,
thirty-five years after the planting of Thurii and seventy years after
the approximate date of the birth of Hippodamus. It is conceivable but
not altogether probable that Hippodamus was still planning towns in
his extreme old age, nor is it, on political grounds, very likely that
he would be planning in Rhodes. As, however, we do not know the real
date of his birth, and as Strabo does not specifically mention his
name, certainty is unattainable.[18]

    [18] On Hippodamus see K.F. Hermann, _de Hippodamo Milesio_
    (Marburg, 1841) and Erdmann, _Philologus_ xlii. 193-227, and
    _Programm Protestant. Gymnasium zu Strassburg_, 1883. As will be
    seen, I do not accept all Erdmann's conclusions. For the Piraeus
    see Aristotle, _Politics_, II. 8 = p. 1267 and IV. 11 = p. 1330.
    For Thurii see Diodorus XII. 10. For Rhodes see Strabo 654 = XIV.
    ii. 9: E. Meyer, _Gesch. des Alt._ iv. pp. 60, 199 rejects the
    tale. For plans of the Piraeus see Wachsmuth, _Stadt Athen im
    Alterthum_, ii. 134, and Curtius and Kaupert, _Karten von Attika_
    (1881), plan II_a_ by Milchhöfer. Foucart has adduced epigraphic
    reasons for dating the work of Hippodamus here to 480-470 B.C.
    (_Journal des Savants_, 1907, pp. 178-82); they are not
    conclusive, but, if he be right, the difficulty of assigning the
    Piraeus and Rhodes to the same architect becomes even greater.
    The town-plan of Piraeus given by Gustav Hirschfeld (_Berichte
    der sãchs. Ges. der Wissenschaften_, 1878, xxx. I) is not
    convincing, nor do I feel very sure even about Milchhöfer's

If we cannot tell exactly how Hippodamus planned cities or exactly
which he planned, still less do we know how far town-planning on his
or on any theory came into general use in his lifetime or indeed
before the middle of the fourth century. Few Greek cities have been
systematically uncovered, even in part. Fewer still have revealed
street-planning which can be dated previous to that time. It does not
follow, when we find streets in the ruins of an ancient city, that
they must belong to its earliest period. That is not true of towns in
any age, modern or mediaeval, Roman or Greek. Some Greek cities were
founded in early times, were rebuilt in the Macedonian period, and
again rebuilt in the Roman period. Without minute excavation it may be
impossible to assign the town-plan of such a place to its proper place
among these three periods.

We have, however, at Selinus in Sicily and Cyrene on the north coast
of Africa, two cases which may belong to the age of Hippodamus. They
are worth describing, since they illustrate both the difficulty of
reaching quite certain conclusions and also the system which probably
did obtain in the later fifth and the early fourth century.

_Selinus_ (fig. 3).

At Selinus the Italian archaeologists discovered some years ago, in
the so-called Acropolis, a town of irregular, rudely pear-shaped
outline with a distinct though not yet fully excavated town-plan. Two
main thoroughfares ran straight from end to end and crossed at right
angles (fig. 3), the longer of these thoroughfares being just a
quarter of a mile long and 30 ft. wide. From these two main streets
other narrower streets (12-18 ft. wide) ran off at right angles; the
result, though not chess-board pattern, is a rectangular town-plan.
Unfortunately, it cannot be dated. Selinus was founded in 648 B.C.,
was destroyed in 409, then reoccupied and rebuilt, and finally
destroyed for ever in 249. Its town-planning, therefore, might be as
early as the seventh century B.C. Or (and this is the most probable
conclusion) it may date from the days of Selinuntine prosperity just
before 409, when the city was growing and the great Temple of Zeus or
Apollo was rising on its eastern hill. Or again, though less probably,
it may have been introduced after 400. We may conclude that we have
here a clear case of town-planning and we may best refer it to the
later part of the fifth century.[19]

[Illustration: FIG. 3. PLAN OF SELINUS]

    [19] Koldewey and Puchstein, _Die griech. Tempel in Unteritalien
    und Sicilien_, p. 90, plan 29, from Cavallari; Hulot and
    Fougères, _Sélinonte_, Paris, 1910, pp. 121, 168, 196. The latter
    writers assign the rebuilding to Hermocrates, 408-407 B.C. But
    our accounts of Hermocrates do not suggest that he rebuilt
    anything at Selinus of any sort, except defences.

_Cyrene_ (fig. 4).

[Illustration: FIG. 4. PLAN OF CYRENE]

At Cyrene the researches of two English archaeologists about 1860
disclosed a town-plan based, like that of Selinus, on two main streets
which crossed at right angles (fig. 4). Here, however, the other
streets do not seem to have been planned uniformly at right angles to
the two main thoroughfares, and the rectangular scheme is therefore
less complete and definite than at Selinus. Cyrene, unfortunately,
resembles Selinus in another respect, that we have no proper knowledge
of the date when its main streets were laid out. It was founded
somewhere in the seventh century B.C. and Pindar, in an ode written
about 466 B.C., mentions a great processional highway there. Whether
this was one of the two roads above mentioned is not clear. But it is
not probable, since Pindar's road seems hardly to have been inside the
city at all.[20]

    [20] Smith and Porcher, _Discoveries at Cyrene_ (1864), plate 40;
    hence Studnickza, _Kyrene_ (1890, p. 167, fig. 35), and Malten,
    _Kyrene_ (Berlin, 1911). For Pindar's reference see Pyth. v. 90
    and p. 16 above.

In these two cases and in one or two others which might be noted from
the same or later times, the town-scheme includes rectangular elements
without any strict resemblance to the chess-board pattern. The
dominant feature is the long straight street, of great width and
splendour, which served less as the main artery of a town than as a
frontage for great buildings and a route for solemn processions. Here,
almost as in Babylon, we have the spectacular element which architects
love, but which is, in itself, insufficient for the proper disposition
of a town. Long and ample streets, such as those in question, might
easily be combined, as indeed they are combined in some modern towns
of southern Europe and Asia, with squalid and ill-grouped
dwelling-houses. Hippodamus himself aimed at something much better, as
Aristotle tells us. But it was not till after 350 B.C. or some
approximate date, that dwelling-houses were actually arranged and
grouped on a definite system.[21]

    [21] Soluntum, near Palermo, on the north coast of Sicily, was
    found by Cavallari in 1875 to exhibit a rectangular street-plan;
    one main street ran north and south along level ground and
    several lesser streets lay at right angles to it mounting a
    hillside by means of steps (as at Priene, p. 42). See the
    _Bullettino delta Commissione di Antichità e Belle Arti in
    Sicilia_, viii. Palermo, August 1875. Cavallari himself assigned
    this plan to the date when Soluntum was founded--which is
    unfortunately uncertain--but only on the general ground that 'in
    una città, una volta tracciate le strade e disposte le arterie
    dicommunicazione, non è facile cambiarne la disposizione
    generale'. I attach less weight than he does to this reason.
    Soluntum was in the main and by origin a Phoenician town, with a
    Greek colouring; in 307 B.C. it was refounded for the discharged
    soldiers of Agathocles; later still, in Roman times, it had the
    rank of 'municipium'; most of its ruins are generally considered
    to be of Roman date and small objects found in it are also mostly
    Roman, and its street-plan may also be Roman. As the 'Bullettino'
    is somewhat rare, I add a reduced plan (fig. 5).

[Illustration: FIG. 5. SOLUNTUM]

It was probably, however, in the first half of the fourth century that
the Greek cities began to pass by-laws relating to the police, the
scavenging and the general public order of their markets and streets,
and to establish Agoranomi to control the markets and Astynomi to
control the streets. These officials first appear in inscriptions
after 350, but are mentioned in literature somewhat earlier. An
account of the Athenian constitution, ascribed formerly to Xenophon
and written (as is now generally agreed) about 430-424 B.C., mentions
briefly the prosecution of those who built on to the public land, that
is (apparently), who encroached upon the streets. But it is silent as
to specific officers, Astynomi or other. Plato, however, in his
'Laws', which must date a little earlier than his death in 347,
alludes on several occasions to such officers. They were to look after
the private houses 'in order that they may all be built according to
laws', and to police and clean the roads and water-channels, both
inside and outside of the city. A prohibition of balconies leaning
over the public streets, and of verandas projecting into them, is also
mentioned in two or three writers of the fourth century and is said to
go back to a much earlier date, though its antiquity was probably

    [22] Plato, _Laws_ 763 c, 779 c, &c.; Aristotle, _Ath. Pol._ 50;
    Arist., _Oec._ ii. 5, p. 134; Xenophon, _Ath. Pol._ iii. 4;
    Schol. to Aeschines, iii. 24. The fact that the word 'Astynomos'
    occurs in Aeschylus does not justify the writer of an article in
    Pauly-Wissowa (_Real-Encycl._ ii. 1870) in stating that
    magistrates of this title were already at work in the earlier
    part of the fifth century; the poet uses the noun in a general
    sense from which it was afterwards specialized. Some of the
    regulations recur at Rome (p. 137).

The municipal by-laws which these passages suggest clearly came into
use before, though perhaps not long before, the middle of the fourth
century. They do not directly concern town-planning; they involve
building regulations only as one among many subjects, and those
regulations are such as might be, and in many cases have been, adopted
where town-planning was unknown. But they are natural forerunners of
an interest in town-planning. As in modern England, so in
fourth-century Greece, their appearance suggests the growth of a care
for well-ordered town life and for municipal well-being which leads
directly to a more elaborate and methodical oversight of the town as
an organized combination of houses and groups of houses.

As we part from this early Greek town-planning, we must admit that
altogether we know little of it. There was such a thing: among its
main features was a care for stately avenues: its chief architect was
Hippodamus. Thus much is clear. But save in so far as Milchhöfer's
plans reproduce the Piraeus of B.C. 450 or 400, we cannot discern
either the shape or the size of the house-blocks, or the grouping
adopted for any of the ordinary buildings, or the scheme of the
ordinary roads. We may even wonder whether such things were of much
account in the town-planning of that period.



The Macedonian age brought with it, if not a new, at least a more
systematic, method of town-planning. That was the age when Alexander
and his Macedonian army conquered the East and his successors for
several generations ruled over western Asia, when Macedonians and
Greeks alike flocked into the newly-opened world and Graeco-Macedonian
cities were planted in bewildering numbers throughout its length and
breadth. Most of these cities sprang up full-grown; not seldom their
first citizens were the discharged Macedonian soldiery of the armies
of Alexander and his successors. The map of Turkey in Asia is full of
them. They are easily recognized by their names, which were often
taken from those of Alexander and his generals and successors, their
wives, daughters, and relatives. Thus, one of Alexander's youngest
generals, afterwards Seleucus I, sometimes styled Nicator, founded
several towns called Seleucia, at least three called Apamea, and
others named Laodicea and Antiochia, thereby recording himself, his
Iranian wife Apama, his mother Laodice and his father Antiochus, and
his successors seem to have added other towns bearing the same name.
Indeed, two-thirds of the town-names which are prominent in the later
history of Asia Minor and Syria, date from the age of Alexander and
his Macedonians.

Many discoveries show that these towns were laid out with a regular
'chess-board' street-plan. That method of town-planning now made
definite entry into the European world. No architect or statesman is
recorded to have invented or systematically encouraged it. Alexander
himself and his architect, one Dinocrates of Rhodes or perhaps of
Macedonia, seem to have employed it at Alexandria in Egypt, and this
may have set the fashion. Seven years after Alexander's death it
recurs at Nicaea in Bithynia, which was refounded by one of
Alexander's successors in 323 B.C. and was laid out on this fashion.
But no ancient writer credits either the founder or the architect of
Alexandria or the founder of Nicaea with any particular theory on the
subject. If the chess-board fashion becomes now, with seeming
suddenness, the common--although not the universal--rule, that is
probably the outcome of the developments sketched in the last chapter.
Approximations to chess-board planning had been here and there
employed in the century before Alexander. When his conquests and their
complicated sequel led, amongst other results, to the foundation of
many new towns, it was natural that the most definite form of planning
should be chosen for general use.

We might, however, wonder whether its adoption was helped by the
military character of the generals who founded, and the discharged
soldiers who formed the first inhabitants of so many among these
towns. Military men are seldom averse to rigidity. It is worth noting,
in this connexion, that when chess-board planning came into common use
in the Roman Empire, many--perhaps most--of the towns to which it was
applied were 'coloniae' manned by time-expired soldiers. So, too, in
the Middle Ages and even in comparatively modern times, the towns laid
out with rectangular street-plans in northern Italy, in Provence, in
the Rhine Valley, are for the most part due in some way or other to
military needs.[23] In our own days rectangular planning is a dominant
feature of the largest and newest industrial towns. They are adapting
a military device to the purposes of an industrial age.

    [23] Since the invention of artillery, the rectangular
    street-plan has been regarded by soldiers as useful in defending
    the streets of a town. Aristotle, however, expressly observes in
    the _Politics_ that, in street warfare, tortuous lanes were far
    better than straight avenues for the defence, and he recommends
    that the rectangular pattern should be adopted only 'in parts and
    in places', though he does not explain how this would work out
    (_Politics,_ iv. 11, p. 1330).

A, B, C. Gates. D, E, F, H, M, P. Temples (see fig. 7). G. Agora,
Market. I. Council House, K. Prytaneion. L, Q. Gymnasium. N. Theatre,
O. Water-reservoir, R. Race-course.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7. PART OF PRIENE AS EXCAVATED 1895-8.
(From the large plan by Wiegand and Schrader.)]

(As restored by Zippelius.)]

_Priene_ (figs. 6-8).

The best instance of the new system is not perhaps the most famous.
Priene was a little town on the east coast of the Aegean. The high
ridge of Mycale towered above it; Miletus faced it across an estuary;
Samos stood out seawards to the west. In its first dim days it had
been perched on a crag that juts out from the overhanging mountain;
there its life began, we hardly know when, in the dawn of Greek
history. But it had been worn down in the fifth century between the
upper and the nether millstone of the rival powers of Samos and
Miletus. Early in the Macedonian age it was refounded. The old
Acropolis was given up. Instead, a broad sloping terrace, or more
exactly a series of terraces, nearer the foot of the hill, was laid
out with public buildings--Agora, Theatre, Stoa, Gymnasium, Temples,
and so forth--and with private houses. The whole covered an area of
about 750 yds. in length and 500 yds. in width. Priene was, therefore,
about half the size of Pompeii (p. 63). It had, as its excavators
calculate, about 400 individual dwelling-houses and a population
possibly to be reckoned at 4,000.

In the centre was the Agora or market-place, with a temple and other
large buildings facing on to it; round them were other public
buildings and some eighty blocks of private houses, each block
measuring on an average 40 x 50 yds. and containing four or five
houses. The broader streets, rarely more than 23 ft. wide, ran level
along the terraces and parallel to one another. Other narrower
streets, generally about 10 ft. wide, ran at right angles up the
slopes, with steps like those of the older Scarborough or of
Assisi.[24] The whole area has not yet been explored and we do not
know whether the houses were smaller or larger, richer or poorer, in
one quarter than in another, but the regularity of the street-plan
certainly extended over the whole site.

    [24] Compare Soluntum, p. 36, n. 2.

Despite this reasoned and systematic arrangement, no striking artistic
effects appear to have been attempted. No streets give vistas of
stately buildings. No squares, save that of the Agora--120 by 230 ft.
within an encircling colonnade--provide open spaces where larger
buildings might be grouped and properly seen. Open spaces, indeed,
such as we meet, in mediaeval and Renaissance Italy or in modern
English towns of eighteenth century construction, were very rare in
Priene. Gardens, too, must have been almost entirely absent. In the
area as yet uncovered, scarcely a single dwelling-house possessed any
garden ground or yard.[25]

    [25] Wiegand and Schrader, _Priene, Ergebnisse der Ausgrabung in
    den Jahren 1895-8_ (Berlin, 1904). Professor P. Gardner gave a
    good account to the Town-Planning Conference (_Proceedings_, pp.
    112-122). I am indebted to him for two of my illustrations.

_Miletus_ (fig. 9).

The skill of German archaeologists has revealed what town-planning
meant in a small town rebuilt in the Alexandrine period. No other even
approximately complete example has been as yet uncovered on any other
site. But spade-work at the neighbouring and more famous city of
Miletus has uncovered similar street-planning there. In one quarter,
the only one yet fully excavated, the streets crossed at right angles
and enclosed regular blocks of dwelling-houses measuring 32 x 60 yds.
(according to the excavators) but sub-divided into blocks of about 32
yds. square (fig. 9). These blocks differ somewhat in shape from those
of Priene, which are more nearly square; whether they differ in date
is more doubtful. They are certainly not earlier than the Macedonian
era, and one German archaeologist places the building or rebuilding of
this quarter of Miletus after that of Priene and in a 'late
Hellenistic' and apparently Roman period. There is unquestionably much
Roman work in Miletus; there seems, however, no sufficient reason for
ascribing the house-blocks shown on fig. 7 to any date but some part
of the Macedonian period. Though differently shaped, they do not
differ very greatly in actual area from those of Priene. They are
somewhat smaller, but only by about 60 sq. yds. in each average-sized

    [26] Wiegand, _Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie_, 1911, Anhang;
    _Archäol. Anzeiger_, 1911, 420 foll.

(_Archãologischer Anzeiger_, 1911, p. 421.)]


A yet more famous town, founded by Alexander himself, is definitely
recorded by ancient writers to have been laid out in the same
quasi-chess-board fashion, with one long highway, the Canopic Street,
running through it from end to end for something like four miles.[27]
Unfortunately the details of the plan are not known with any
certainty. Excavations were conducted at the instigation of Napoleon
III in 1866 by an Arab archaeologist, Mahmud Bey el Fallaki, and,
according to him, showed a regular and rectangular scheme in which
seven streets ran east and west while thirteen ran north and south at
right angles to them. The house-blocks divided by these streets were
thought to vary somewhat in size but to measure in general about 300 x
330 metres.[28] More recent research, however, has not confirmed
Mahmud's plans. The excavations of Mr. Hogarth and M. Botti suggest
that many of his lines are wrong and that even his Canopic Street is
incorrectly laid down. Mr. Hogarth, indeed, concludes that 'it is
hopeless now to sift his work; those who would treat the site of
Alexandria scientifically must ignore him and start _de novo_'. More
recent excavation, carried out by Dr. Noack in 1898-9, seemed to show
that the ancient streets which can now be traced beneath Alexandria
belong to a Roman age, though they may of course follow older lines,
and that, if some items in Mahmud's plans are possibly right, the
errors and omissions are serious. We may accept as certain the
statement that Alexandria was laid out with a rectangular town-plan;
we cannot safely assume that Mahmud has given a faithful picture of

    [27] Strabo, xvii. 793.

    [28] Mahmud Bey, _Mémoire sur l'ancienne Alexandrie_ (Copenhagen,
    1872); Néroutsos Bey, _L'ancienne Alexandrie_ (Paris, 1888).

    [29] D.G. Hogarth, _Archaeological Report of the Egypt
    Exploration Fund_, 1894-5, p. 28, and _Hellenic Journal_, xix.
    326; F. Noack, _Athen. Mitteil._ xxv. (1900), pp. 232, 237. Dr.
    Noack thought that his results confirmed Mahmud; to me, as to
    some others, they seem rather to yield the conclusions indicated
    in the text.


Priene, Miletus, and Alexandria supply more or less well-known
instances of Macedonian town-planning. They can be reinforced by a
crowd of less famous examples, attested by literature or by actual
remains. One of the most characteristic is known to us from
literature, Nicaea in Bithynia, founded by one of the Macedonians in
316 B.C. and renamed by another some years later in honour of his wife
Nicaea. Strabo, writing about A.D. 15, describes it and his
description no doubt refers to arrangements older than the Romans. It
formed, he says, a perfect square in which each side measured four
stades, a little over 800 yds. In each side--apparently in the middle
of each side--there was one gate, and the streets within the walls
were laid out at right angles to one another. A man who stood at a
certain spot in the middle of the Gymnasium could see straight to all
the four gates.[30] Here is the chess-board pattern in definite form,
though the central portion of the city may have been laid out under
the influence of spectacular effect rather than of geometry.

    [30] Strabo, 565, 566.

_Sicyon, Thebes, &c._

Another Macedonian town-plan may be found at Sicyon, a little west of
Corinth. This old Greek city was rebuilt by Demetrius Poliorcetes
about 300 B.C., and is described by a Greek writer of the first
century B.C. as possessing a regular plan and roads crossing at right
angles. The actual remains of the site, explored in part by English
and French archaeologists early in the nineteenth century, show some
streets which run with mathematical straightness from north-east to
south-west and others which run from north-west to south-east.[31]
These streets might, indeed, date from the period when Sicyon was the
chief town of the Roman province of Achaia, the period (that is)
between the overthrow of Corinth in 146 B.C. and its restoration just
a century later. But that was not an epoch when such rebuilding is
likely to have been carried through. Friendly as the Republican
government of Rome showed itself in other ways to Hellas, there is no
reason to think that it spent money on town-planning in Hellenic
cities. It is far more probable that the town-plan of Sicyon dates
from the Macedonians.

    [31] Diodorus Sic. xx. 102; _Expédition scientifique de Morée,
    archit. et sculpture_, iii (1838), plate LXXXI.

To the same Macedonian epoch we may perhaps ascribe the building or
rather the rebuilding of Boeotian Thebes, which one who passes for a
contemporary writer under the name of Dicaearchus, describes as
'recently divided up into straight streets'.[32] To the same period
Strabo definitely assigns the newer town of Smyrna, lying in the plain
close to the harbour. It was due, he says, to the labours of the
Macedonians, Antigonus, and Lysimachus.[33] We may perhaps assign to
the same period the town-planning of Mitylene in Lesbos, which
Vitruvius mentions as so splendid and so unhealthy, were it not that
his explanation of its unhealthiness suggests rather a fan-shaped
outline than a square. It was, he says, intolerable, whatever wind
might blow. With a south wind, the wind of damp and rain, every one
was ill. With a north-west wind, every one coughed. With a north wind,
no one could stand out of doors for the chilliness of its blasts.[34]
Streets that lay open to the north and the north-west and the south,
equally and alike, could only be found in a town-plan fashioned like a
fan. But perhaps Vitruvius only selected three of the plagues of

    [32] Dicaearchus, p. 143.

    [33] Strabo, 646.

    [34] Vitruvius, i. 6.

In other cases the same planning was probably adopted, although the
evidence as yet known shows only a rectangular plan of main streets,
such as we have met in Pre-Macedonian Greece. In Macedonia itself,
Thessalonika, laid out perhaps about 315 B.C., had at least one main
street running southwards to the sea and two more running east and
west at right angles to that.[35] In Asia two Syrian towns, which
occupy sites closed to Hellenic culture before Alexander, may serve as
examples. Apamea on the Orontes was built by the Macedonians, rose
forthwith to importance, and retained its vigorous prosperity through
the Roman Empire; in A.D. 6 it was 'numbered' by Sulpicius Quirinius,
then the governor of Syria, and the census showed as many as 117,000
citizens settled in the city and its adjacent 'territory'. Its ruins
seem to be mainly earlier than the Romans, and its streets may well
date from its Macedonian founders. In outline it is an irregular
oblong, nearly an English mile in length and varying in width from
half to two-thirds of a mile. A broad and straight street, lined
throughout with colonnades, runs from end to end of its length and
passes at least five great buildings, which seem to be the temples and
palaces of the Seleucid kings. Two other streets cross this main
street at right angles. Whether the smaller thoroughfares took the
same lines can be determined only by excavation. It would be a gentle
guess to think so.[36]

    [35] Tafrali, _Topographie de Thess._ pp. 121 foll. and plan.

    [36] E. Sachau, _Reise in Syrien_ (1883), p. 76; Mommsen,
    _Ephemeris epigr_. iv, p. 514, and _Mon. Ancyr._ (ed. 2), p. 540.

Further south, on the edge of the Haurân, stood the town of Gerasa.
This too, like Apamea, was built by the Macedonians and flourished not
only in their days but during the following Roman age. Its general
outline was ovoid, its greatest diameter three quarters of a mile, its
area some 235 acres--nearly the same with Roman Cologne and Roman
Cirencester. Its streets resembled those of Apamea. A colonnaded
highway ran straight through from north to south; two other streets
crossed at right angles, and its chief public buildings, the Temple of
the Sun and three other temples, two theatres and two public baths,
stood near these three streets (fig. 10). Again the evidence proves
rectangular town-planning in broad outline; excavation alone can tell
the rest.[37]

    [37] _Zeitschrift des deutschen Palãstina-Vereins_, xxv (1902),
    plate 6; Bãdeker, _Palestine and Syria_ (1906), p. 140. For the
    neighbouring Bostra, see p. 136.

[Illustration: FIG. 10. GERASA]

In the towns just described a distinctive feature is the 'chess-board'
pattern of streets and rectangular house-blocks. That, of course, is
the feature which most concerns us here. It may not have looked so
predominant to their builders and inhabitants. The towns which the
Macedonians founded were not seldom rich and large; several were the
capitals of powerful and despotic rulers. In such towns we expect
great public buildings, temples, palaces. It is not surprising if
sometimes those who reared them cared solely for the spectacular
grouping of magnificent structures and forgot the private houses and
the general plan of the town.


One such instance from the Macedonian age, perhaps the most
instructive which we could ever hope to get,[38] is Pergamum, in the
north-west of Asia Minor. This has been thoroughly explored by German
science; its remains are superb; its chief buildings date from an age
when town-planning had grown familiar to the Greek world. About 300
B.C. it was a hill-town where a Macedonian chief could bestow a
war-chest. It grew both populous and splendid in the third and second
centuries B.C. under the Attalid kings; later builders, Augustus or
Trajan or other, added little either to its general design or to its
architectural glory. The dominant idea was that of a semi-circle of
great edifices, crowning the crest and inner slopes of a high
crescent-shaped ridge. Near the northern and highest end of this ridge
stood the palace of the Attalid princes, afterwards buried beneath a
temple in honour of Trajan. Next, to the south, was the Library--with
stores of papyri worth more perhaps to the world than all the
architecture of Pergamon. The middle of the crescent held the shrine
of Athena, goddess of Pergamon, and beside it the Altar of Zeus the
Saviour, gigantic in size, splendid with sculpture, itself the equal
of an Acropolis. Lastly, the southern or lower end of the ridge bore a
temple of Dionysus and an Agora for Assemblies.

    [38] Ephesus, refounded by Lysimachus about 281 B.C., might
    perhaps be another. But the repeated excavations there, though
    they have taught us much about the temples and other large
    edifices of the great city, seem to have left the streets
    comparatively unexplored.

These buildings ringed the hill-top in stately semi-circle; below
them, a theatre was hewn out of the slopes and a terrace 250 yds. long
was held up by buttresses against precipitous cliffs. Lower yet,
beneath the Agora, the town of common men covered the lower hill-side
in such order or disorder as its steepness allowed. Here was no
conventional town-planning. Only a yet lower and later city, built in
Roman days on more or less level spaces beside the stream Selinus,
seems perhaps to have been laid out in chess-board fashion.[39] The
Attalid kings, the founders of Pergamon, cared only for splendid
buildings splendidly adorned. If their abrupt hill-side forbade the
straight and broad processional avenues of some other Greek cities,
they crowned their summits instead with a crescent of temples and
palaces which had not its like on the shores of the Aegean.

    [39] P. Schatzmann, _Athen. Mitteil_. xxxv. (1910) 385; _Archãol.
    Anzeiger_ (1910), p. 541. This lowest city is covered by a swarm
    of modern houses and hovels, and has not been very fully

Yet even Pergamon had its building-laws and by-laws for the protection
of common life. A Pergamene inscription contains part of a 'Royal Law'
which apparently dates from one of the Attalid rulers. It is
imperfect. But we can recognize some of the items for which it
provided. Houses which fell or threatened to fall on to the public
street, or which otherwise became ruinous, could be dealt with by the
Astynomi; if their owners failed to repair them, these magistrates
were to make good the defects themselves and to recover the cost, and
a fine over and above it, from the owners; if the Astynomi neglected
their duty, the higher magistrates, the Strategi, were to take up the
matter. Streets were to be cleaned and scavenged by the same Astynomi.
Brick-fields were expressly forbidden within the city. The widths of
roads outside the town were fixed and owners of adjacent land were
held liable for their repair, and there was possibly some similar
rule, not preserved on the inscription, for roads inside the walls; at
Priene, it seems, these latter were in the care of the municipality.
There were provisions, too, for the repair of common walls which
divided houses belonging to two owners, and also for the prevention of
damp where two houses stood side by side on a slope and the wall of
the lower house stood against the soil beneath the upper house.[40]

    [40] Kolbe, _Athen. Mitteil_. xxvii. 47 and xxix. 75; Hitzig,
    _Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung, roman. Abteilung_ xxvi. 433.

These rules are very like those which were coming into use before 330
B.C. (p. 37). Only, they are more elaborate, and it is significant
that the inscriptions begin in Macedonian and later days to give more
and fuller details as to the character of these laws and as to the
existence in many cities of officials to execute them. It is not
surprising to find that Roman legislation of the time of Caesar and
the early Empire applies these or very similar rules to the local
government of the Roman municipalities of the Empire (p. 137).

So common in the Macedonian world was the town-planning which has been
described above, that the literature of the period, even in its casual
phrases and incidental similes, speaks of towns as being normally
planned in this fashion. Two examples from two very different authors
will suffice as illustration. Polybius, writing somewhere about B.C.
150, described in well-known chapters the scheme of the Roman camp,
and he concludes much as follows: 'This being so, the whole outline of
the camp may be summed up as right-angled and four-sided and
equal-sided, while the details of its street-planning and its general
arrangement are precisely parallel to those of a city' (VI. 31, 10).
He was comparing the Greek town, as he knew it in his own country,
with the encampment of the Roman army; he found in the town the aptest
and simplest parallel which he could put before his readers. A much
later writer, living in a very different environment and concerned
with a very different subject, fell nevertheless under the influence
of the same ideas. Despite his 'sombre scorn' for things Greek and
Roman, St. John, when he wished to figure the Holy City Jerusalem,
centre of the New Heaven and New Earth, pictured it as a city lying
foursquare, the length as large as the breadth, and entered by twelve
gates, 'on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the
south three gates, and on the west three gates.'[41]

    [41] Revelation xxi. 13, 16. Some of the details are, no doubt,
    drawn from the later chapters of Ezekiel, but the difference
    between the two writers is plain.

The instances and items cited in the preceding paragraphs lie within
the limits of the Greek world and of the Roman Empire. We might
perhaps wish to pursue our speculations and ask whether this vigorous
system influenced foreign lands, and whether the Macedonian army
carried the town-plan of their age, in more or less perfect form, as
far as their conquests reached. Alexander settled many soldiers in
lands which were to form his eastern and north-eastern frontiers, as
if against the central-asiatic nomads. Merv and Herat, Khokand and
Kandahar,[42] have been thought--and, it seems, thought with some
reason--to date from the Macedonian age and in their first period to
have borne the name Alexandria. But no Aurel Stein has as yet
uncovered their ruins, and speculation about them is mere speculation.

    [42] See p. 145 below.



If Greek and Macedonian town-planning are fairly well known, the Roman
Empire offers a yet larger mass of certain facts, both in Italy and in
the provinces. The beginnings, naturally, are veiled in obscurity. We
can trace the system in full work at the outset of the Empire; we
cannot trace the steps by which it grew. Evidences of something that
resembles town-planning on a rectangular scheme can be noted in two or
three corners of early Italian history--first in the prehistoric
Bronze Age, then in a very much later Etruscan town, and thirdly on
one or two sites of middle Italy connected with the third or fourth
century B.C. These evidences are scanty and in part uncertain, and
their bearing on our problem is not always clear, but they claim a
place in an account of Italian town-planning. To them must be added,
fourthly, the important evidence which points to the use of a system
closely akin to town-planning in early Rome itself.

_The Terremare_ (fig. 11).

(i) We begin in the Bronze Age, somewhere between 1400 and 800 B.C.,
amidst the so-called Terremare. More than a hundred of these strange
settlements have been examined by Pigorini, Chierici, and other
competent Italians. Most of them occur in a well-defined district
between the Po and the Apennines, with Piacenza at its west end and
Bologna at its east end. Some have also been noted on the north bank
of the Po near Mantua, both east and west of the Mincio, and two or
three elsewhere in Italy. Archaeologically, they all belong to the
Bronze Age; they seem, further, to be the work of a race distinct from
any previous dwellers in North Italy, which had probably just moved
south from the Danubian plains. At some time or other this race had
dwelt in lake-villages. They were now settled on dry ground and far
away from lakes--one of their hamlets is high in the Apennines, nearly
1,900 ft. above the sea. But they still kept in the Terremare the
lacustrine fashion of their former homes.

The nature of these strange villages can best be explained by an
account of the best-known and the largest example of them (fig. 11).
At Castellazzo di Fontanellato, a little west of Parma, are the
vestiges of a settlement which, with its defences, covered an area of
about forty-three acres. In outline it was four-sided; its east and
west sides were parallel to one another, and the whole resembled a
rectangle which had been pulled a trifle askew. Round it ran a solid
earthen rampart, 50 ft. broad at the base and strengthened with
woodwork (plan, B). In front of the rampart was a wet ditch (A), 100
ft. wide, fed with fresh water from a neighbouring brook by an inlet
at the south-western corner (C) and emptied by an outfall on the east
(D). One wooden bridge gave access to this artificial island at its
southern end (E). The area within the rampart, a little less than
thirty acres in extent, was divided into four parts by two main
streets, which would have intersected at right angles had the place
been strictly rectangular; other narrower streets ran parallel to
these main thoroughfares. On the east side (F) was a small
'citadel'--_arx_ or _templum_--with ditch, rampart and bridge of its
own (G, H); in this were a trench and some pits (K) which seemed by
their contents to be connected with ritual and religion. Outside the
whole (L, M) were two cemeteries, platforms of urns set curiously like
the village itself, and also a little burning _ghat_.[43] The
population of the village is necessarily doubtful. A German writer,
Nissen, has reckoned it at four or five thousand, men, women and
children together, crowded into small huts. But this estimate may be
too high. In any case, many of the Terremare are much smaller.

    [43] The literature of the Terremare is very large. The results
    obtained up to 1894 were summarized by F. von Duhn in the _Neue
    Heidelberger Jahrbücher_, iv. 144; the best recent accounts are
    by T.E. Peet, _Stone and Bronze Ages in Italy_ (Oxford, 1909),
    chaps. 14 and 17, from which fig. 11 is taken, and R. Munro,
    _Palaeolithic Man and Terramara Settlements_ (Edin., 1912), pp.
    291-487 and plates xxxiii foll. A good brief sketch is given by
    Mr. H.S. Jones, _Companion to Roman History_, pp. 4-6. One point
    in the arrangement seems not quite clear. It is generally stated
    that the trapezoidal outline was adopted in order to allow the
    water to enter the ditch from a running stream and to part easily
    into two channels (fig. 11). That is quite intelligible. But, if
    so, one would expect the outlet to be at the opposite end, and
    not (as it actually is) in the middle of one side, where it would
    'short-circuit' the current. (Mr. H.S. Jones seems to have
    confused inlet and outlet.)


These Terremare bear a strong likeness to the later Italian
town-planning, and they are usually taken to be the oldest
discoverable traces of that system. This means that the Italian
town-planning was derived from other sources besides Greece or the
East, since the Terremare are far older than Hippodamus or even
Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib (pp. 23, 29). It must be added that our
present knowledge does not allow us to follow the actual development
of the Terremare into historic times, and to link them closely with
the later civilization of Central Italy. When some modern scholars
call the men of the Terremare by the name 'Italici', they express a
hope rather than a proven fact. It may be safer, for the moment, to
avoid that name and to refrain from theories as to the exact relation
between prehistoric and historic. But we shall see below that the
existence of a relation between the two is highly probable.

_Marzabotto_ (fig. 12).

[Illlustration: FIG. 12. MARZABOTTO.
(AB, FG, CD, main streets. The shading represents excavated houses.)]

(ii) A greater puzzle, dating probably from the fifth century B.C.,
meets us in the ruins of a nameless little Etruscan town which stood
outside of Etruria proper, on the north slopes of the Apennines. Its
site is fifteen miles south of Bologna, close to the modern
Marzabotto, on the left bank of the little river Reno. Only a tiny
part has been uncovered. But the excavators have not hesitated to
complete their results conjecturally into a rectangular town-plan,
with streets crossing at right angles and oblong blocks of houses
measuring from 158 to 176 yds. in length and 37 or 44 or 71 yds. in
width (fig. 12). The whole must have been laid out at once, and the
smaller remains seem to show that this was done by Etruscans. In the
fourth century the place was sacked by the Gauls, and though there was
later occupation,[44] its extent is doubtful.[45]

Further excavation is, however, needed to confirm this generally
accepted interpretation of the place. Nothing has been noted elsewhere
in Etruria or its confines to connect the Etruscans with any
rectangular form of town-plan. At Veii, for example, most of the
Etruscan city has lain desolate and unoccupied ever since the Romans
destroyed it, but the site shows no vestige of streets crossing at
right angles or of oblong blocks of houses. At Vetulonia the excavated
fragment of an Etruscan city shows only curving and irregular
streets.[46] Nor is there real reason to believe that the 'Etruscan
teaching' learnt by Rome included an art of town-planning (p. 71) or
that, as a recent French writer has conjectured, the Etruscans brought
any such art with them from the East and communicated it to the West.
We must conclude that at Marzabotto we have a piece of evidence which
we cannot set into its proper historical framework. We might perhaps
call it an early blend of Greek and Italian methods and compare it
with Naples (p. 100). It is odd that four out of seven house-blocks
should measure just under 120 Roman ft. in width and thus approximate
to a figure which we meet often elsewhere in the Roman world (p. 79).
But it would be well to learn more of the plan by further excavation.

    [44] _Archaeological Journal_, 1903, p. 237.

    [45] Brizio, _Monumenti Antichi_, i. 252, superseding Gozzadini's
    _Antica Necropoli a Marzabotto_ (Bologna, 1865-70); Grenier,
    _Bologne villanovienne_ &c. (Paris, 1912) p. 98. Compare
    _Authority and Archaeology_, pp. 305, 306.

    [46] _Notizie degli Scavi_ 1895, p. 272; Durm, _Baukunst der
    Etr_. p. 39.

_Pompeii_ (fig. 13).

(iii) A third piece of evidence can be found on a site which
historians and novelists alike connect mainly with the Roman Empire,
but which dates back to the days of the early or middle Republic.
Pompeii began in or before the sixth century B.C. as an Oscan city.
For a while, we hardly know when, it was ruled by Etruscans. Later,
about 420 B.C., it was occupied by Samnites. Finally, it became Roman;
it was refounded in 80 B.C. as a 'colonia' and repeopled by soldiers
discharged from the armies of Sulla. In A.D. 79 it reached its end in
the disaster to which it owes its fame. Its life, therefore, was long
and full of destruction, re-building, enlargement. Its architectural
history is naturally hard to follow. Many of its buildings, however,
can be dated more or less roughly by the style of their ornament or
the character of their material, and the lines of its streets suggest
some conjectures as to its growth which deserve to be stated even
though they may conflict with the received opinions about Pompeii. It
will be understood, of course, that these conjectures, like all
speculations on Pompeii, are limited by the fact that barely half of
its area has been as yet uncovered, and that very little search has
been made beneath the floors and pavements of its latest period.[47]

    [47] For recent plans of Pompeii the reader may consult the
    second edition (1908) of August Mau's _Pompeii_, or the fifth
    edition (1910) of his _Führer durch Pompeii_, re-edited by W.
    Barthel. A plan on a large scale is given in the last part of
    _CIL_. iv (1909); there are also occasional plans in the _Notizie
    degli Scavi_. See also C. Weichardt, _Pompeji vor der Zerstorung_
    (Leipzig, 1897).

[Illustration: FIG. 13. POMPEII.
(T = Temple. The area of the supposed original settlement is outlined
in black.)]

As we know it at present, Pompeii is an irregular oval area of about
160 acres, planted on a small natural hill and girt with a stone wall
nearly two miles in circumference (fig. 13). On the west there was
originally access to the sea, and on this side the walls have
disappeared or have not been yet uncovered. Near this end of the town
is the Forum, with the principal temples and public buildings round
it. At the east end of the town, nearly 1200 yds. from the western
extremity, is the amphitheatre, and the town-walls appear to have been
drawn so as to include it. Two main streets, now called the Strada di
Nola and the Strada dell' Abbondanza, cross the town from SW. to NE.
The main streets from NW. to SE. are less distinct, but the Strada
Stabiana certainly ran from wall to wall. While there is some
appearance of symmetry in the streets generally, it does not go very
far; there is hardly a right angle, or any close approach to a right
angle, at any street corner.

It is generally held, as Mau has argued, that the whole town was laid
out at once, perhaps during the Etruscan period, on one plan of
streets crossing at right angles. Two principal streets, those now
styled the Strada di Mercurio and the Strada di Nola, are considered
to be the main streets of this earliest town-plan, and to give it its
general direction. A third main street, the Strada Stabiana, which
cuts obliquely across from the Vesuvian to the Stabian Gate and mars
the supposed symmetry of this town-plan, is ascribed to the influence
of a small natural depression along which it runs, while a small area
east of the Forum, which also breaks loose from the general scheme, is
thought to have been laid out abnormally in order to remedy the effect
of this obliquity.[48]

This theory is open to objections. In the first place the streets
(even apart from those just east of the Forum) do not really form one
symmetrical plan. Region VI fits very ill with Regions I and III. Both
indicate systematic planning. But Region VI is laid out in oblong
blocks 110 ft. wide and either 310 ft. or 480 ft. long, while Regions
I and III are made up of approximately square blocks about 200 ft.
each way. Moreover, the orientation of the blocks is different. Those
in Region VI follow the lines of the Strada di Mercurio; those of
Regions I and II, and perhaps also of Region V, are dominated by the
Strada Stabiana. Yet there is no obvious reason why this difference
should not have been avoided; it results, indeed, in awkward corners
and inconvenient spaces. Nor, again, can we accept as in any degree
adequate the cause assigned by Mau for the odd orientation of the
streets next to the east side of the Forum.

    [48] Mau, _Führer_ (1910), p. 5, 'um die Schiefwinkeligkeit zu
    vermindern.' Truly, a very inadequate reason.

These streets which lie round and east of the Forum suggest a
different development. Pompeii may have begun with a little Oscan town
planted in what became its south-western corner, near the Water-Gate
and the Forum, within the area of Regions II and IV. Here is a little
network of streets, about 300 by 400 yds. across (25 acres), which
harmonizes ill with the streets in the rest of the town, which lies
close to the river-haven on the Sarno, which includes the Forum and
Basilica--probably the oldest public sites, though not the oldest
surviving structures, in Pompeii--and which is large enough to have
formed the greater part or even the whole of a prehistoric city. The
earliest building as yet excavated at Pompeii, the Doric Temple, with
its precinct now known as the Forum Triangulare, stood on the edge of
this area looking out from its high cliff over the plain of the Sarno.
Originally this Temple may have stood just within the first town-wall,
or perhaps just without it, sheltered by the precipice which it
crowns. This area has all the appearance of an 'Altstadt'. No doubt it
has been much altered by later changes. In particular, Forum and
Basilica have grown far beyond their first proportions, and the
buildings which surround them have been added, altered, enlarged out
of all resemblance to the original plan. Nevertheless, this theory
seems to account better than any other for this curious little corner
of streets that are hardly regular even in their relations to one
another and are wholly irreconcilable to the rest of the town.

Round this primitive city grew up the greater Pompeii. The growth must
have been rather by two or three distinct accretions than a gradual
and continuous development. At present we cannot trace these stages.
To do that we must wait till the excavations can be carried deeper
down, and till the other half of the city has been uncovered, or at
least till the lines of its streets and the shapes of its house-blocks
have been determined, like those of Priene (p. 42), by special
inquiry. All that is as yet certain is that Regions I, III, V, and VI
were laid out, and their houses were (in part at least) in existence
before--perhaps long before--80 B.C., when the Sullan colony was
planted,[49] and we see also that Region VI is planned differently
from I and III.

    [49] Region VI contains an ancient column of the sixth century
    B.C. (Mau, _Führer_, p. 113), but this may not be _in situ_.

Another fact claims notice. The town-planning of Pompeii is in the
main trapezoidal, not rectangular. Neither its oblongs, nor its
squares, nor its street-crossings exhibit true right angles, though
many of the rooms and peristyles in the private houses are regular
enough. In this feature Pompeii resembles the trapezoidal outlines of
the Terremare (fig. 11). It resembles also much Roman military work,
both of Republican and of Imperial date, which disregards the strict
right angle and accepts squares and oblongs which are, so to say,
askew. The motive of the Terremare is supposed to have been, as I have
said above, that of providing an easy flow for the water in the
encircling moat. The motive of various military camps may perhaps be
found rather in a wish to secure the same area as that of an orthodox
rectangle, even though the ground forbade the strict execution of the
orthodox figure. Whatever the reason, the trapezoidal house-blocks of
Pompeii exhibit a feature which is not alien to the earlier
town-planning of Italy, though it is strange to the cities of Greece.


Not only do we need to know more of Pompeii itself. We need evidence
also from other Italian towns of similar age. Here our ignorance is
deep. Only one site which can help has been even tentatively explored.
Norba, which once crowned a spur of the Monti Lepini above the Pontine
marshes, was founded as a Roman town, according to the orthodox
chronology, in 492 B.C.[50] But the received chronology of the earlier
Republic, minute as it looks, probably deserves no more credence than
the equally minute but mainly fictitious dates assigned by the Saxon
Chronicle to the beginnings of English History. Actual remains found
at Norba suggest rather that it was founded (not necessarily by Rome)
about, or a little before, 300 B.C.; it is therefore later than the
Terremare and Marzabotto, and later also than the Oscan age of
Pompeii. On the other hand, it came to an end in the Sullan period (82
B.C.). Its excavation has little more than begun, but it already
indicates a scheme of streets somewhat resembling that of Pompeii,[51]
and it is a useful adjunct to our better knowledge of the more famous
town. The two together furnish examples of the town-planning of middle
Italy of about 400-300 B.C., in days that are only half historic, and
thus help to fill the gap between the Terremare and the fully
developed system of the Roman Imperial period.

    [50] Livy ii. 34, contradicted, however, by xxvii. 10 and by
    Dionysius Halic. vii. 13 _ad fin_.

    [51] _Notizie degli Scavi_, 191, p. 558, 1903, p. 261; Frothingham,
    _Roman Cities_, plate ix. I am indebted to Dr. T. Ashby, Director
    of the British School at Rome, for information as to the site.
    Excavations made in 1823 at the Roman Falerii (founded 241 B.C.)
    show streets crossing at right angles, but the piece unearthed
    was small and the date uncertain (Canina, _Etruria Maritima_ i,
    plate ix).

It may be permitted in this context to add a plan of a north Italian
city, in which some of the modern streets recall one quarter of
Pompeii (fig. 14). Modena, the Roman Mutina, was founded as a
'colonia' with 2,000 male settlers in 183 B.C., and despite various
misfortunes became one of the chief towns in the Lombard plain. One
part of this town shows a row of long narrow blocks measuring about 20
x 160 metres (fig. 14, plan A), with a second row of shorter blocks of
the same width and about half the length (plan B). These blocks have
been much marred and curtailed by the inevitable changes of town life,
but their symmetry cannot be accidental, and if they date back, as is
quite possible, to Roman days, they may be put beside the Sixth Region
of Pompeii which contains two rows of similar blocks.[52]

    [52] Fig. 14 is taken from Zuccagni-Orlandini (1844). Kornemann
    suggests that Mutina was refounded about 40-20 B.C., but there
    seems to be no evidence of this break in its continuity.

[Illustration: FIG. 14. MODENA. See p. 69.]

(iv) There remains, fourthly, evidence relating to early Rome itself,
and to customs and observances which obtained there. These customs
belong to the three fields of religion, agrarian land-settlement and
war. All three exhibit the same principle, the division of a definite
space by two straight lines crossing at right angles at its centre,
and (if need be) the further division of such space by other lines
parallel to the two main lines. The Roman augur who asked the will of
Heaven marked off a square piece of sky or earth--his _templum_--into
four quarters; in them he sought for his signs. The Roman general who
encamped his troops, laid out their tents on a rectangular pattern
governed by the same idea. The commissioners who assigned
farming-plots on the public domains to emigrant citizens of Rome,
planned these plots on the same rectangular scheme--as the map of
rural Italy is witness to this day.

These Roman customs are very ancient. Later Romans deemed them as
ancient as Rome itself, and, though such patriotic traditions belong
rather to politics than to history, we find the actual customs well
established when our knowledge first becomes full, about 200 B.C.[53]
The Roman camp, for example, had reached its complex form long before
the middle of the second century, when Polybius described it in words.
Here, one can hardly doubt, are things older even than Rome. Scholars
have talked, indeed, of a Greek origin or of an Etruscan origin, and
the technical term for the Roman surveying instrument, _groma_, has
been explained as the Greek word 'gnomon', borrowed through an
Etruscan medium. But the name of a single instrument would not carry
with it the origin of a whole art, even if this etymology were more
certain than it actually is. Save for the riddle of Marzabotto (p.
61), we have no reason to connect the Etruscans with town-planning or
with the Roman system of surveying. When the Roman antiquary Varro
alleged that 'the Romans founded towns with Etruscan ritual', he set
the fashion for many later assertions by Roman and modern writers.[54]
But he did not prove his allegation, and it is not so clear as is
generally assumed, that he meant 'Etruscan ritual' to include
architectural town-planning as well as religious ceremonial.

    [53] The prologue to the Poenulus of Plautus (verse 49) which
    mentions 'limites' and a 'finitor', may well be as old as Plautus
    himself. But the 'centuriation' still visible in north Italy
    around colonies planted about 180 B.C. is no full proof of
    rectangular surveying at that date. These towns were re-founded
    at a much later date, and their lands, and even their streets,
    _may_ have been laid out anew.

    [54] Varro _ling. lat_. 5. 143 _oppida condebant Etrusco ritu, id
    est, iunctis bobus_, cf. Frontinus _de limit_. (grom. i. p. 27).

These are Italian customs, far older than the beginnings of Greek
influence on Rome, older than the systematic town-planning of the
Greek lands, and older also than the Etruscans. They should be treated
as an ancestral heritage of the Italian tribes kindred with Rome, and
should be connected with the plan of Pompeii and with the far older
Terremare. Many generations in the family tree have no doubt been
lost. The genealogy can only be taken as conjectural. But it is a
reasonable conjecture.

In their original character these customs were probably secular rather
than religious. They took their rise as methods proved by primitive
practice to be good methods for laying out land for farming or for
encamping armies. But in early communities all customs that touched
the State were quasi-religious; to ensure their due performance, they
were carried out by religious officials. At Rome, therefore, more
especially in early times, the augurs were concerned with the
delimitation alike of farm-plots and of soldiers' tents. They
testified that the settlement, whether rural or military, was duly
made according to the ancestral customs sanctioned by the gods.
After-ages secularized once more, and as they secularized, they also
introduced science. It was, perhaps, Greek influence which brought in
a stricter use of the rectangle and a greater care for regular

It may be asked how all this applies to the planning of towns. We
possess certainly no such clear evidence with respect to towns as with
respect to divisions agrarian or military. But the town-plans which we
shall meet in the following chapters show very much the same outlines
as those of the camp or of the farm plots. They are based on the same
essential element of two straight lines crossing at right angles in
the centre of a (usually) square or oblong plot. This is an element
which does not occur, at least in quite the same form, at Priene or in
other Greek towns of which we know the plans, and it may well be
called Italian. We need not hesitate to put town and camp side by
side, and to accept the statement that the Roman camp was a city in
arms. Nor need we hesitate to conjecture further that in the planning
of the town, as in that of the camp, Greek influence may have added a
more rigid use of rectangular 'insulae'. When that occurred, will be
discussed in Chapter VI.

Whether the nomenclature of the augur, the soldier and the
land-commissioner was adopted in the towns, is a more difficult, but
fortunately a less important question. Modern writers speak of the
_cardo_ and the _decumanus_ of Roman towns, and even apply to them
more highly technical terms such as _striga_ and _scamnum_. For the
use of _cardo_ in relation to towns there is some evidence (p. 107).
But it is very slight, and for the use of the other terms there is
next to no evidence at all.[55] The silence alike of literature and of
inscriptions shows that they were, at the best, theoretical
expressions, confined to the surveyor's office.[56]

    [55] Whether the _possessores ex vico Lucretio scamno primo_ of
    Cologne (Corpus XIII. 8254) had their property inside the
    'colonia' of that place or in the country outside, may be doubted
    (Schulten, _Bonner Jahrb._ ciii. 28).

    [56] The phrase Roma Quadrata ought, perhaps, to be mentioned in
    this chapter. It does not seem, however, to be demonstrably older
    than the Ciceronian age. The line _et qui sextus erat Romae
    regnare quadratae_, once attributed to Ennius (ed. Vablen, 1854,
    158), is clearly of much later date. As a piece of historical
    evidence, the phrase merely sums up some archaeologist's theory
    (very likely a correct theory, but still a theory) that the
    earliest Rome on the Palatine had a more or less rectangular



During the later Republic and the earlier Empire many Italian towns
were founded or re-founded. To this result several causes contributed.
Like the Greeks before them, the Romans of the Republic sent out from
time to time compact bodies of emigrants whenever the home population
had grown too large for its narrow space. These bodies were each large
enough to form a small town, and thus each migration meant--or might
mean--the foundation of a new town full-grown from its birth. The
Greeks generally established new and politically independent towns.
The Romans followed another method. Their colonists remained subject
to Rome and constituted new centres of Roman rule, small
quasi-fortresses of Roman dominion in outlying lands. Often the
military need for such a stronghold had more to do with the foundation
of a 'colonia' than the presence of too many mouths in the city.
Cicero, speaking of a 'colonia' planted at Narbo (now Narbonne) in
southern Gaul about 118 B.C., and planted perhaps with some regard to
an actual overflow of population in contemporary Rome, calls it
nevertheless 'a colonia of Roman citizens, a watch-tower of the Roman
people, a bulwark against the wild tribes of Gaul'. Those words state
very clearly the main object of many such foundations under Republic
and Empire alike.

Another reason for the establishment of 'coloniae' may be found in the
history of the dying Republic and nascent Empire. During the civil
wars of Sulla, of Caesar and of Octavian, huge armies were brought
into the field by the rival military chiefs. As each conflict ended,
huge masses of soldiery had to be discharged almost at once. For the
sake of future peace it was imperative that these men should be
quickly settled in some form of civic life in which they would abide.
The form chosen was the familiar form of the 'colonia'. The
time-expired soldiers were treated--not altogether unreasonably--as
surplus population, and they were planted out in large bodies,
sometimes in existing towns which needed population or at least a
loyal population, sometimes in new towns established full-grown for
the purpose. This method of dealing with discharged soldiers was
continued during the early Empire, though it was then employed
somewhat intermittently and the 'coloniae' were oftener planted in the
provinces than in Italy itself; indeed the establishment of Italian
'coloniae', as distinct from grants of colonial rank by way of honour,
almost ceased after A.D. 68.

It is not easy to determine the number of such new foundations of
towns in Italy. Some seventy or eighty are recorded from the early and
middle periods of the Republic--previous to about 120 B.C.; Sulla
added a dozen or so; Octavian (Augustus) in his earlier years
established or helped to establish about thirty.[57] But these figures
can hardly represent the whole facts. The one certainty is that,
through the causes just detailed, a very large number of the Italian
towns were either founded full-grown or re-founded under new
conditions during the later Roman Republic and the earlier Empire. Few
towns in Italy developed as Rome herself developed, expanding from
small beginnings in a slow continuous growth which was governed by
convenience and opportunism and untouched by any new birth or
systematic reconstruction.

    [57] See Mommsen, _Gesamm. Schriften_ v. 203; Nissen, _Ital.
    Landeskunde_ ii. 27; Kornemann in Pauly-Wissowa, _Encycl._ iv.
    520 foll.

Coincident with these processes of urban expansion, we find, in many
towns which can be connected with the later Republic or the Empire,
examples of a definite type of town-planning. This type has obvious
analogies with earlier Italy and with the town-planning of the Greek
world, but is also in certain respects distinct from either. The town
areas with which we have now to deal are small squares or oblongs;
they are divided by two main streets into four parts and by other and
parallel streets into square or oblong house-blocks ('insulae'), and
the rectangular scheme is carried through with some geometrical
precision. The 'insulae', whatever their shape--square or oblong--are
fairly uniform throughout. Only, those which line the north side of
the E. and W. street are often larger than the rest (pp. 88, 125).[58]
The two main streets appear to follow some method of orientation
connected with augural science. As a rule, one of them runs north and
south, the other east and west, and now and again the latter street
seems to point to the spot where the sun rises above the horizon on
the dawn of some day important in the history of the town.[59]

    [58] Modern plans seem sometimes to imply that the 'insulae'
    which abutted on the walls were also abnormally large. That is
    because the corresponding modern blocks often include, with the
    original 'insula', the space between it and the wall, and also
    the wall itself which has been disused and built over.

    [59] See on this point some remarks by W. Barthel, _Bonner
    Jahrbücher_, cxx. 101-108.

The public buildings of these towns are in general somewhat small and
arranged with little attempt at processional or architectural
splendour; they seldom dominate or even cross the scheme of streets.
Open spaces are rare; the Forum, which corresponds to the Greek Agora,
contains, like that, a paved open court, but this court is almost as
much enclosed as the cloister of a mediaeval church or the quadrangle
of a mediaeval college. Theatre and amphitheatre[60] might, no doubt,
reach huge dimensions, but externally they were more often massive
than ornamental and the amphitheatre often stood outside the city
walls. Here and there a triumphal arch spanned a road where it
approached a town, and provided the only architectural vista to be
seen in most of these Roman towns.

    [60] In western Europe the provincial Roman amphitheatre averaged
    45 x 70 yds. for its arena.

Dimensions, of course, varied. There was no normal size for an infant
town. Some, when first established, covered little more than 30 acres,
the area of mediaeval Warwick. Others were four or five times as
spacious; they were twice or nearly twice as large as mediaeval
Oxford, no mean city in thirteenth-century England. Most of them,
doubtless, grew beyond their first limits; a few spread as far as a
square mile, twice the extent of mediaeval London. Similarly the
'insulae' varied from town to town. In one, Timgad, they were only 70
to 80 ft. square. Often they measured 75 to 80 yds. square, rather
more than an acre, as at Florence, Turin, Pavia, Piacenza.[61]
Occasionally they were larger, but they seldom exceeded three acres,
and their average fell below the prevalent practice of modern
chess-board planning.

    [61] For Florence and Turin see below; for Piacenza, the plans on
    the scale of 1:1000 and 1:5000 in L. Buroni's _Acque potabili di
    Piacenza_ (1895).

In most towns, though not in all, the dimensions of the 'insulae' show
a common element. In length or in breadth or in both, they usually
approximate to 120 ft. or some multiple of that. The figure is
significant. The unit of Roman land-surveying, the 'iugerum', was a
rectangular space of 120 by 240 Roman feet--in English feet a tiny
trifle less--and it seems to follow that 'insulae' were often laid out
with definite reference to the 'iugerum'. The divisions may not have
always been mathematically correct; our available plans are seldom
good enough to let us judge of that,[62] and we do not know whether we
ought to count the surface of the streets with the measurement of the
'insulae'. But the general practice seems clear, and it extended even
to Britain (p. 129), and though blocks forming exactly a 'iugerum' or
a half 'iugerum' are rare, the Italian land-measure certainly affected
the civilization of the provincial towns.

    [62] Silchester and Timgad are the only two sites which have been
    planned well enough to provide accurate measurements. The large
    modern town-plans (e.g. of Turin, p. 86) are useful, but
    inadequate to our purpose; for one thing, they often exaggerate
    the width of the streets. One really needs actual measurements
    made on the spot.

In this system perhaps the most peculiar feature is the intermixture
of square and oblong 'insulae'. It is not merely the variation which
can be traced in Priene (fig. 5), where some blocks are rather more
square or oblong than others, but where all approach the same norm.
The Roman towns which we are now considering show two varieties of
house-blocks. Sometimes the blocks are square; sometimes, perhaps more
often, they are oblong approximating to a square, like the blocks of
Priene. But in a few cases, as at Naples among the more ancient, and
at Carthage among the later foundations, they are oblong and the
oblongs are very long and narrow.

It is hard to detect any principle underlying the use of these various
forms. No doubt differences of historical origin are ultimately the
causes of the mixture. But our present knowledge does not reveal these
origins. The evidence is, indeed, contradictory at every point. If the
Graeco-Macedonian fashion be quoted as precedent for square or
squarish 'insulae', the Terremare show the same. If the theoretical
scheme of the earlier Roman camp seemed based on the long narrow
oblong, the actual remains of legionary encampments of the second
century B.C. at Numantia include many squares. If one part of Pompeii
exhibits oblongs, another part is made up of squares. If Piacenza,
first founded in north Italy about 183 B.C., and founded again a
hundred and fifty years later, is laid out in squares, its coeval
neighbour Modena prefers the oblong. If the old Greek city of Naples
embodies an extreme type of oblong, so does the later Augustan
Carthage (pp. 100, 113). In the historic period, it would seem, no
sharp line was drawn, or felt to exist, between the various types of
'insulae'. In the main, the square or squarish-oblong was preferred.
Local accidents, such as the convenience of the site at Carthage, led
to occasional adoption of the narrower oblong.

The Roman land-surveyors, it is true, distinguished the square and the
oblong in a very definite way. The square, they alleged, was proper to
the Italian land or to such provincial soil as enjoyed the privilege
of being taxed--or freed from taxation--on the Italian scale. The
oblong they connected with the ordinary tax-paying soil of the
provinces. This distinction, however, was not carried out even in the
agrarian surveys with which these writers were especially
concerned,[63] and it applies still less to the towns. No doubt it is
a fiction of the office. It would be only human nature if the
surveyors, finding both forms in use, should invent a theory to
account for them.

    [63] Schulten, _Bonner Jahrbücher_, ciii. 23, and references
    given there.

The system sketched in the preceding paragraphs seems, as has been
said (p. 73), to have sprung from a fusion of Greek or Graeco-Macedonian
with Italian customs. Roman town-planning, like Roman art, was recast
under Hellenistic influence and thus gained mathematical precision and
symmetry. When this happened is doubtful. Foreign scholars often
ascribe it to Augustus and find a special connexion between the first
emperor and the chess-board town-plan. But the architect Vitruvius,
who dedicated his book to Augustus and who gives some brief notice to
town-planning, urges strongly that towns should not be laid out on the
chess-board pattern, but rather on an eight-sided or (as we might call
it) star-shaped plan.[64] He would hardly have denounced a scheme
which had been specially taken up by his patron, nor indeed does his
criticism of the chess-board system sound as if he were denouncing a
novelty in Italian building.

    [64] i. 5 (21), 6 (28, 29).

On the other hand there seems no great difficulty in the idea that
the regularization of the old Italian town-plan by Greek influence
took place spontaneously in the late Republic. We cannot, indeed,
date the change. It must remain doubtful whether it came by degrees
or all at once,[65] and whether the right-angled plans of towns like
Aquileia[66] or Piacenza belonged to their first foundation, i.e. to
about 180 B.C., or to later rearrangements. But it seems reasonable
to believe that a Graeco-Italian rectangular fashion of town-planning
did supersede an earlier, irregular, Italian style, and had become
supreme before the end of the Republic.

    [65] Perhaps about 180 B.C., Mommsen, _Roman Hist._ iii. 206.

    [66] Aquileia was set up in 181 B.C. to guard the north-east gate
    of Italy, and was reinforced in 169. Its remains, so far as
    excavated, show a rectangular plan of oblong 'insulae'--some of
    1-1/2 acres (74 by 94 yards), some larger--while, till its
    downfall, about A.D. 450, we hear no word of refoundation or
    wholesale rebuilding. But if its original area be the space of 70
    acres which is usually assigned, that is not rectangular but a
    square somewhat askew, which fits very badly with the rectangular
    street-plan, and one would incline to ascribe the latter to a
    later date. See Maionica, _Fundkarte von Aquileia_.



The preceding chapters have dealt with the origins and general
character of the Italian town-plan. We pass now to the remains which
it has left in its own home, in Italy. These are many. In one city
indeed, the greatest of all, no town-planning can be detected. Like
Athens and Sparta, Rome shows that conservatism which marks so many
capital cities. No part of it, so far as we know, was laid out on a
rectangular or indeed on any plan.[67] It grew as it could. Its
builders, above all its imperial builders, cared much for spectacular
effects and architectural pomp. Even in late Republican times the
gloomy mass of the Tabularium and the temples of the Capitol must have
towered above the Forum in no mere accidental stateliness, and
imperial Rome contained many buildings in many quarters to show that
it was the capital of an Empire. But for town-planning we must go

    [67] The traces of prehistoric planning detected by some writers
    in Rome are very dubious.

The sources of our knowledge are twofold. In a few cases
archaeological excavation has laid bare the paving of Roman streets or
the foundation of Roman house-blocks. More often mediaeval and modern
streets seem to follow ancient lines and the ancient town-plan, or a
part of it, survives in use to-day. Such survivals are especially
common in the north of Italy. It is not, indeed, possible to gather a
full list of them. He who would do that needs a longer series of good
town-maps and good local histories than exist at present; he needs,
too, a wider knowledge of mediaeval Italian history and a closer
personal acquaintance with modern Italian towns, than a classical
scholar can attempt. But much can be learnt even from our limited

    [68] See the seventeenth century Atlases of Blaeu, Janssons, and
    others, the modern maps prepared by Grassellini and others about
    1840-50 (some on the scale 1:4,000), and in particular the
    _Atlante geografico_ of Attilio Zuccagni-Orlandini (Firenze,
    1844), and the recent town-maps of various Italian cities (mostly
    about 1:10,500). Different maps of the same town sometimes differ
    much in their detail. The Italian Government maps of the largest
    scale (1:25,000) are small for our present purpose and have been
    issued mainly for northern Italy.

The evidence of the streets needs, however, to be checked in every
case. It would be rash to assume a Roman origin for an Italian town
simply because its streets are old and their plan rectangular. There
are many rectangular towns of mediaeval or modern origin. Such is
Terra Nova, near the ancient Gela in Sicily, built by Frederick Stupor
Mundi early in the thirteenth century. Such, too, Livorno, built by
the Medici in the sixteenth century. Such, too, the many little
military colonies of the Italian Republics, dotted over parts of
northern and middle Italy. Often it is easy to prove that, despite
their chess-board plans, these towns do not stand on Roman sites.
Often the inquiry leads into regions remote from the study of ancient

Fortunately, enough examples can be identified as Roman to serve our
purpose. Some of these occur in the Lombardy plain where, both under
the Republic and at the outset of the Empire, many 'coloniae' were
planted full-grown and where town-life on the Roman model was
otherwise developed. Not all these towns survive to-day; not all of
the survivors retain clear traces of their Roman town-plan; in nine
cases, at least, the streets seem unmistakably to follow Roman lines.
Four of the nine date from early days; in the late third and the early
second centuries (218-183 B.C.), Piacenza, Bologna, Parma, and Modena,
were built as new towns with the rank of 'colonia'. The first three of
these were later refounded, about 40-20 B.C.--whether their streets
were then laid out afresh is an open question--and Turin and Brescia
were added. In addition, Verona, Pavia, and Como won municipal status
in or before this later date, though when or how they came to be laid
out symmetrically is not certain.[69] And there are other less certain

    [69] Milan (Mediolanium), once the chief Roman town of north
    Italy, is usually stated to preserve to-day no trace of Roman
    street-planning. But the line of the Via Manzoni, Via Margherita,
    and Via Nerino (cutting the Ambrosian Library) seems really to
    represent one of its main streets, and the line of the Fulcorino
    and Corso di Porta Romana the other, while one or two traces of
    'insulae' can be detected near the Ambrosian Library. The town
    was destroyed in A.D. 539 and again in 1162, and more survivals
    cannot be expected.

Other instances, but not so many, may be quoted from south of the
Apennines. At Florence, for example, and at Lucca 'coloniae' were
planted full-grown and the street-plans still record the fact. At
Naples, at Herculaneum, perhaps at Sorrento,[70] proofs survive of
similar planning. But the towns of central Italy were in great part
more ancient than the era of precise town-planning, and many of them
were perched in true Italian fashion on lofty crags--_praeruptis
oppida saxis_--which gave no room for square or oblong house-blocks.
In the period of the dying Republic and nascent Empire fewer
'coloniae' were planted here than in the north, while in much of
southern Italy towns have in all ages been comparatively rare.

    [70] Beloch, _Campanien_, p. 252.

In the towns just noted we can trace many, though not all, of the
original house-blocks. Usually the blocks are square or nearly so, as
at Turin, Verona, Pavia, Piacenza, Florence, Lucca. Less often they
are long and even narrow rectangles, as at Modena, and Sorrento, and
above all Naples, and as usual it is not easy to understand the reason
for the difference (p. 80).

_Turin_ (fig. 15).

Of all the examples of Roman town-planning known to us in Italy, Turin
is by far the most famous.[71] Here the streets have survived almost
intact, and excavations have confirmed the truth of the survival by
revealing both the ancient road-metalling and the ancient town-walls
and gates. Turin, Augusta Taurinorum, began about 28 B.C. as a
'colonia' planted by Augustus. Its walls enclosed an oblong of about
745 x 695 metres (127 acres).[72] The sides are represented (1) on the
north by the Via Giulio, in the western part of which the southern
edge of the street actually coincides with the line of the Roman
town-wall, while further east the Porta Palatina enshrines an ancient
gate; (2) on the west by the Via della Consolata, and the Via
Siccardi, the east side of which latter street seems to stand upon the
Roman town-wall; and (3) on the south by the Via della Cernaia and Via
Teresa, the north side of which stands over the Roman southern
town-wall. (4) The east wall agrees with no existing street but may be
represented by a line drawn through the Carignano Theatre and the
western front of the Palazzo Madama, which contains the actual towers
of the Roman east gate.[73] The north-west corner, uncovered in 1884,
is a sharp right angle. This feature recurs at Aosta and at Laibach
(pp. 90, 116), both founded, like Turin, in the Augustan age, and
seems to belong to that period; later, it gave place to the rounded
angle visible at Timgad (p. 109) and in many Roman forts of the middle

    [71] Carlo Promis, _Storia dell' antico Torino_ (Torino, 1869);
    Alfredo d'Andrade, _Relazione dell' ufficio regionale per la
    conservazione dei monumenti del Piemonte_, 1883-91 (Torino,
    1899); Schultze, _Bonner Jahrbücher_, cxviii. 339; Barthel,
    _ibid_. cxx. 105; Pianta di Torino (1-10,000), by G.B. Paravia.

    [72] I take these figures from the plan of Paravia, which is said
    to be the most correct plan of Turin at present available. Promis
    gives smaller dimensions, 720 x 670 m., and he measured from what
    is now known to be a point too far to the east (the Via Accademia
    delle Scienze) instead of from the west front of the Palazzo
    Madama; he has, however, been usually followed. Other maps give
    other dimensions, Orlandini (1844), 758 x 780 m.; Vallardi
    (1869), 680 x 740 m.; Maggi (1876), 730 x 800 m.; Ashby (Art.
    'Turin' in _Encycl. Britannica_) gives 2,526 x 2,330 ft. which
    must be too large. I reproduce here (fig. 15) the plan of
    Orlandini, since it shows well the extent of street-survivals in
    Turin before the great modern rebuildings or expansions.

    [73] d'Andrade, _Relazione_, pp. 8-20; _Notizie degli Scavi_,
    1885, pp. 173, 271, and 1902, p. 277.

Of the interior buildings of the town little is known. The Forum
perhaps stood near the present Palazzo di Città, and the Theatre was
traced in 1899 in the north-east corner of the town, occupying
apparently, a complete insula;[74] of the private houses nothing
definite seems to be recorded.

    [74] _Notizie_, 1903, p. 3.

But the street-plan has survived intact, except in two outlying
corners. The town was divided up into square or nearly square blocks,
of which there were nine counting from east to west and eight from
north to south. Most of these 'insulae' measured about 80 yds.
square.[75] A few were larger, 80 x 120 yds.; these were ranged along
the north side of the street now called Via Garibaldi (formerly Dora
Grossa), which represents the Roman main street between the east and
west gates--in the language of the Roman land-surveyors, the
_decumanus maximus_. This street cut the town into two equal halves.
The other divisions of the town were no less symmetrical. But, as
there were nine 'insulae' from east to west, the main north and south
street could not bisect the town. Indeed, the south gate seems to have
had five house-blocks west of it and four east of it, while the Porta
Palatina stands further west, with six blocks on the west side of it.
The north and south gates, therefore, are not opposite.[76] Whether
this was the original plan is not clear, nor is the age of the
surviving walls and gates quite certain; the bonding courses in some
of the masonry of the walls does not seem Augustan. But the street
plan may unhesitatingly be assigned to the first establishment of the
town, about 28 B.C. Since, it has been extended far beyond the Roman
walls. Nearly all modern Turin has been laid out, bit by bit, in
imitation and continuation of the original Roman lines.

    [75] An insula is mentioned in _Notizie_, 1901, p. 391, which
    measured 74 x 80 metres. It is likely that there were small
    unevennesses in the ancient as there are in the modern
    house-blocks. The 'insulae' which abutted on the town-walls are
    represented to-day by unduly large blocks, oblong rather than
    square, but these latter contain not only the areas of the Roman
    'insulae' in question, but also the space between them and the
    town-walls and the lines of the wall themselves (p. 77).

    [76] This failure in symmetry recurs in one or two other Roman
    towns as probably at Timgad (p. 109) and at Cologne (E. and W.
    gates), at Silchester and Caerwent, but it may sometimes be the
    result of alteration. Occasionally it appears in military sites
    (Ritterling, _Lager bei Hofheim_, p. 29 _note_). It is presumably
    a mere matter of convenience; no superstition attaches to it such
    as that which led the Chinese not to put their gates opposite
    each other (p. 148).

[Illustration: FIG. 15. TURIN. FROM A PLAN OF 1844]

_Aosta_ (fig. 16).

Another example of an Italian town-plan, from the same date and
district as Turin, is supplied by Augusta Praetoria, now Aosta, some
fifty miles north of Turin in the Dora Baltea Valley, not far from the
foot of Mont Blanc.[77] Aosta was founded by Augustus in 25 B.C. on a
hitherto empty spot, to provide homes for time-expired soldiers and to
serve as a quasi-fortress in an important Alpine valley. Its first
inhabitants were 3,000 men discharged from the Praetorian Guard, with
their wives and children; its population may have numbered at the
outset some 15,000 free persons, besides slaves. The town, as it is
known to us from excavation and observation, formed a rectangle 620
yds. long and 780 yds. wide, and covered an area of about 100 acres
(fig. 16). The walls formed sharp right angles at the corners, as at
Turin. Within the walls were an amphitheatre, a theatre, public baths,
a structure covering nearly 2 acres and interpreted as a granary or
(perhaps more correctly) as a cistern,[78] and private houses as yet
unexplored. Beneath the chief streets were sewers, by which indeed
these streets were mainly traced.

    [77] C. Promis, _Antichità di Aosta_ (Torino, 1862), with plan,
    plate 3, dating from 1838; _Notizie degli Scavi_, 1899, p. 108,
    with a later plan, but lacking a scale; Nissen, _Ital.
    Landeskunde_, ii. 171.

    [78] Durm _Baukunst der Römer_, p. 458.

[Illustration: FIG. 16. AOSTA]

The whole was divided by a regular network of streets into rectangular
blocks. According to the latest plan of the site, there were sixteen
blocks, nearly identical in shape and averaging 145 x 180 yds. (5-1/2
acres). That, however, is an incredible area for single house-blocks,
and it is to be noted that Promis shows two further roads (A, A in
fig. 16). If these are survivals of other such roads, Aosta may have
contained thirty-two oblong 'insulae', each nearly 220 x 540 ft., or
even sixty-four smaller and squarer 'insulae', measuring half that
size.[79] Four gates gave entrance; those in the two longer sides
which face north-west and south-east, are curiously far from the
centre and indeed close to the south-western end of the town. It is,
of course, impossible to determine, without spade-work, which of the
recognizable buildings of Aosta date from the foundation of the place
in 25 B.C. But the general internal scheme and the symmetrical and
practically 'chess-board' pattern of streets must date from the first

    [79] Promis, p. 140; his plan has no proper scale. There seems no
    decisive evidence and the modern streets of Aosta do not help us.

    [80] The town of Concordia in north-east Italy, where Augustus
    planted a 'colonia', doubtless of discharged soldiers, is said to
    have possessed a ground-plan of oblong blocks very like that of
    Augusta Praetoria. But this plan rests mainly on the authority of
    a workman who apparently did not know how to read or write (he is
    described as 'analfabeta') and I therefore omit it here. See
    _Notizie degli Scavi_, 1880, p. 412, and Plate XII (the text
    gives no dimensions and the plan lacks a scale), and compare
    1882, p. 426, and 1894, p. 399.

_Florence_ (fig. 17).

A yet more interesting instance of a Roman town-plan preserved in many
streets may be found in Florence.[81] In Roman times Florence was a
'colonia'. When this 'colonia' was planted is very doubtful. Perhaps
the age of Sulla (90-80 B.C.) is the likeliest date; all that is
actually certain is that the foundation was made before the end of the
first century A.D. This 'colonia', like others, was laid out in
chess-board fashion, and vestiges of its streets survive in the Centro
which forms the heart of the present town. The Centro of Florence, as
we see it to-day, is very modern. It was, indeed, laid out a
generation ago by Italian architects who designed the broad streets
crossing at right angles which form its characteristic. But this
'Haussmannization' revived, consciously or unconsciously, an old
arrangement. The plan of Florence in 1427 shows a group of twenty
unmistakable 'insulae', each of them about 1-1/8 acre in area, that
is, very similar in size to the 'insulae' of Turin. This group is
bounded by the modern streets Tornabuoni on the west, Porta Rossa on
the south, Calzaioli on the east, Teatina on the north; it covers a
rectangle of some 305 x 327 yds., not quite 21 acres.

    [81] On Roman and early mediaeval Florence see Villani, _Cronica_
    (written about 1345, published 1845), i. 61, 89, 120; R.
    Davidsohn, _Geschichte von Florenz_ and _Forschungen_ (Berlin,
    1886); L.A. Milani, _Notizie degli Scavi_, 1887, p. 129; plan of
    the Centro in 1427 by Comm. Guido Carocci, _Studi storici sul
    Centro di Firenze_ (Florence, 1889); _Monumenti antichi_, vi. 15.
    Nissen _(Ital. Landeskunde_, ii. 296) fixes its area at 400 x 600
    m., about 58 acres.

CENTRAL PORTION (Centro shaded).]

[Illustration: FIG. 17B. FLORENCE ABOUT 1795, FROM L. BARDI.
The chief streets which seem to have preserved Roman lines are marked
in black.]

The original Roman town presumably extended beyond these narrow
limits. But it is not easy to fix its area, nor are unmistakable
'insulae' to be detected outside them. On the west the Via Tornabuoni
seems to have marked the Roman limit, as it does to-day. On the north,
a probable line is given by the gateway, Por Episcopi, which once
spanned the passage--now an open space--on the east side of the
Archbishop's Palace (plan 17 B). That gateway stood between the Via
Teatina and the next street to the north, the Via dei Cerretani, and
the Roman north wall and ditch apparently ran along the intervals
between these two modern streets--as indeed the lines of certain
mediaeval lanes suggest. On the east the 'colonia' is supposed to have
stretched to the Via del Proconsolo and the old Por S. Piero, probably
the original east gate. Here the traces of 'insulae' are ill
preserved; the space in question would contain, and the mediaeval
streets would admit of, twelve blocks in addition to the twenty noted

The southern limit of Roman Florence towards the Arno is altogether
doubtful. There are, or were, traces of Roman baths in the Via delle
Terme, and it has been thought that the town stretched riverwards as
far as the old gate Por S. Maria and the Piazza S. Trinità. The gate,
however, is ill-placed and the line of wall implied by this theory is
irregular. The mediaeval streets point rather to a south wall near the
Via Porta Rossa. The baths might perhaps be due to a later Roman
extension, such as we shall meet at Timgad (p. 113). The Por S. Maria
may even be due to one of the reconstructions of Florence in the
Middle Ages. At the end we must admit that without further evidence
the limits of Roman Florence cannot be fixed for certain. But the
limits indicated above give the not unsuitable dimensions of 46 acres
(380 x 590 yds.), while the history of the twenty indubitable insulae
of the Centro remains full of interest. We see here, as clearly as
anywhere in the Roman world, how the regular Roman plan has gradually
been distorted by encroachments and how, even in its irregularity, it
has had power to drive modern builders towards its ancient fashion.

Of the interior of the Roman town little is known. The streets now
called Strozzi and Speziali plainly preserve the Roman main street
from east to west, while the Via Calimara overlies that which ran from
north to south. Where these crossed was the mediaeval Mercato Vecchio,
now enlarged into a patriotic Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele; here we may
put the Roman forum, and here too, by the former church of S. Maria in
Campidoglio, was the temple of Capitoline Juppiter. There were also
theatres, a shrine of Isis, and, outside the Roman limit, an
amphitheatre still discernible in the curves of certain streets (plan
17 B). However small Florentia was, it possessed the true elements of
the Roman town.

_Lucca_ (fig. 18).

A good parallel to Florence may be found at Lucca, the ancient Luca,
where again the streets preserve a rectangular pattern without showing
clearly what was its full extent. Luca is said to have been founded as
a 'colonia' in 177 B.C., but the statement is of doubtful truth.
Certainly it was a 'municipium' in Cicero's days, and a little later,
in the period 40-20 B.C., it received the rank of 'colonia' and many
colonists, taken (as an inscription says) from discharged soldiers of
Legions VII and XXVI. Whether the surviving traces of town-planning
date from this latter event or from some earlier age is not easy to
say. But of the street-plan there can be no doubt, though its original
size is uncertain. A rectangular area about 700 yds. from east to west
and 360 yds. from north to south is divided into fifteen square or
squarish 'insulae' arranged in three rows. Each insula is about 3
acres, but those of the middle row are larger than the rest (150 x 150
yds.). The Via S. Croce which runs along the south side of this row
was perhaps the main east and west thoroughfare of the town, the
'decumanus maximus', so that the larger 'insulae' correspond to those
which appear in the same position at Turin and elsewhere (p. 88).

[Illustration: FIG. 18. LUCCA.
(The streets which preserve Roman lines are marked in black.)]

Whether there were other 'insulae' besides the fifteen is doubtful. On
the east there were certainly none: the two narrow parallel streets at
the east end of the area just described are obviously due to a growth
of houses along the line of the original east wall. The other limits
are more obscure. Probably the north and west walls stood a little
outside of the Via Galli Tassi (once S. Pellegrino) and the Via S.
Giorgio, but there may well have been a row of insulae, now
obliterated, south of the Via del Battistero. One or two interior
buildings are known. The Forum appears to have stood where is now the
Piazza S. Michele in Foro; close by was a temple; in the north-eastern
quarter, at the Piazza del Carmine, was probably the theatre; near it
but outside the walls was the amphitheatre, its outlines still visible
in the Piazza del Mercato (110 x 80 yds. in greatest dimensions).[82]

    [82] Plan by P. Sinibaldi, 1843, 1:4,000. _Notizie degli Scavi_,
    1906, p. 117, &c. Nissen (_Ital. Landeskunde_, ii. 288) gives the
    area as 800 x 1,200 metres, which seems much too large.

_Herculaneum_ (fig. 19).

To these examples from north Italy may be added two from the south,
Herculaneum and Naples. Herculaneum had much the same early history as
its more important neighbour Pompeii. First an Oscan settlement, then
Etruscan, then Samnite, it passed later under Roman rule. After the
Social Wars (89 B.C.) it appears as a 'municipium'; of its history
from that date till its destruction (A.D. 79) we know next to nothing.
But excavations, commenced in the eighteenth century and now long
suspended, have thrown light on its ground-plan.[83] This was a
rectangular pattern of oblong house-blocks, measuring 54 x 89 yds., or
in some cases a little more, and divided by streets varying from 15 to
30 ft. in width which ran at right angles or parallel to one another.
Only a part of the town has been as yet unearthed. In that a broad
colonnaded main street ran from north-west to south-east; on the
north-east side of this street stood a row of house-blocks with a
structure taken to be a Basilica, and on the south-west of it were ten
house-blocks, one of which includes some public baths. At the north
end of this area are a theatre and temple, at the south end two large
structures which have been called temples but are more like large
private houses; on the east (according to the eighteenth-century
searchers) are graves.

    [83] M. Ruggiero, _Scavi di Ercolano_ (Naples, 1885), plates ii
    and xii; Beloch. _Campanien_, pp. 215 foll.; Nissen, _Ital.
    Landeskunde_, ii. 759; Waldstein and Shoobridge, _Herculaneum_
    (London, 1908), pp. 60 foil.; E.R. Barker, _Buried Herculaneum_
    (1908); Gall in Pauly-Wissowa, viii. (1912) 532-48.

[Illustration: FIG. 19. HERCULANEUM]

How much of the town has been uncovered, how much still lies hidden
beneath the lava which overflowed it in A.D. 79, is disputed. Of its
town-walls and gates no trace has yet been found. But nearly all its
public buildings seem to be known; the graves on the east side, if
correctly mapped by their discoverers and if coeval with the streets
and houses, leave no room for further 'insulae' in that direction,
while the great country-house called the 'Casa dei Papiri' plainly
stood outside the town on the north-west. From these facts one modern
writer has calculated that Herculaneum was less than a quarter of a
mile long, less than 350 yds. broad, and less than 26 acres in
extent--in short, not a sixth part of Pompeii. These measures are
probably too small. The 'Basilica' on the north side of the main
street cannot have stood on the extreme edge of the town. There must
have been not three but four rows of house-blocks from south-west to
north-east; the graves once noted in this quarter must be older than
our Herculaneum or otherwise unconnected with it. The whole town must
have been 40 or 45 rather than 25 acres in area. Even so it is a
little town. The unenthusiastic references to it in ancient literature
are, after all, truthful. Apart from the great villa outside
it--possibly an imperial residence--it hardly deserved, or to-day
deserves, to be excavated at the extraordinary cost which its
excavation would involve.

The date of its planning is as doubtful as the extent of its area. One
recent writer, Nissen, has suggested that it was reconstructed after
an earthquake in A.D. 63 and was hardly completed before the eruption
of 79. The earthquake is well attested. But it cannot possibly have
wrecked the town so utterly as to cause wholesale rebuilding on new
lines, and an inscription points rather to the time of Augustus. One
Marcus Nonius Balbus (the text runs) built 'a basilica, gates and a
wall at his own cost', and this builder Balbus was probably a
contemporary of Augustus.[84] Others have preferred to think that the
town-planning reveals Greek influences; they point to the Greek city
of Naples, 7 miles west of Herculaneum, and the Doric temple at
Pompeii, much the same distance east of it. However, neither the
town-planning of Naples, to be discussed in the next paragraphs, nor
that of Pompeii (p. 68), seems to be necessarily Greek, and
Herculaneum itself contains nothing which cannot be explained as
Italian. It is possible, though there is no record of the fact, that
it received a settlement of discharged soldiers somewhere about 30
B.C. and was then laid out afresh. But here, as throughout this
inquiry, more light is needed if the inquirer is to pass from
guesswork to proven fact.

    [84] _CIL_. x. 1425; compare Dessau, 896. It is, no doubt,
    possible that this Nonius Balbus is the M. Nonius ... who built
    something in honour of Titus in A.D. 72, but the identification
    is not likely.

_Naples_ (fig. 20).

One more example, from the neighbourhood of Herculaneum, may complete
the list of Italian street-plans. Naples, the Greek and Roman
Neapolis, was a Greek city, the most prosperous of the Greek towns in
Campania.[85] After 90 B.C. it appears to have become a Roman
'municipium'. But it retained much of its Greek civilization. A writer
of the early first century after Christ, Strabo, states that abundant
traces of Greek life survived there, 'gymnasia, and athletic schools,
and tribal divisions, and Greek names even for Roman things.' Even
later Tacitus calls it a 'Greek city', and Greek was still used for
official inscriptions there in the third century.

    [85] Beloch, _Campanien_ (Berlin, 1879), p. 26; Capasso, _Napoli
    Greco-Romana_ (Napoli, 1905). The Forum, Market, and some other
    buildings marked by Capasso seem to me (and even to him or his
    editors) very dubious (p. 63). Two theatres (p. 82) and a Temple
    of the Dioscuri are better established. For plans see _Piante
    topogr. dei quartieri di Napoli_ 1861-5 (1:3,888) and _Pianta
    della città di N._ (Off. della Guerra, 1865), from which latter
    fig. 20 is adapted.

[Illustration: FIG. 20. NAPLES. ADAPTED FROM A PLAN OF 1865.
(TH = Theatre, T = Temple.)]

This Neapolis town had, as certain existing streets declare, a
peculiar form of town-planning. The area covered by these streets is
an irregular space of 250 acres in the heart of the modern city, about
850 yds. from north to south and 1,000 yds. from east to west.[86] In
Roman days three straight streets ran parallel from east to west and a
large number of smaller streets, twenty or so, ran at right angles to
them from north to south. The house-blocks enclosed by these streets
were all of similar size and shape, a thin oblong of 35 x 180 metres
(39 x 198 yds.). Some of the public buildings naturally trespassed on
to more than one 'insula'; a theatre appears indeed to have stretched
over parts of three. In general, the oblongs seem to have been laid
out with great regularity and the angles are right angles, though the
'insulae' in the northern and southern rows of house-blocks cannot
have been fully rectangular and symmetrical.

    [86] The limits are the Castel Capuano on the east, the Strada
    dell' Orticello on the north, the church of S. Pietro a Majella
    on the west, and on the south the churches of S. Marcellino and
    S. Severino.

This town-plan of Naples differs from any of those noted above. Its
blocks are narrower than those in any Italian town, unless in Modena,
and while they resemble the 'insulae' of the sixth region of Pompeii
(fig. 13), are far more regular than those. Almost the only close
parallel is that of Roman Carthage (fig. 24). As Naples was by origin
and character a Greek city, these narrow oblongs have been supposed to
represent a Greek arrangement. They do not, however, correspond to
anything that is known in the Greek lands, either of the Macedonian or
of any earlier period. The conclusion is difficult to avoid that this
Greek city of Naples adopted an Italian street-scheme, but laid it out
with more scientific regularity than the early Italians themselves.
When this occurred and why, is wholly unknown. That the result is not
an unpractical form of building is shown by the fact that similar long
and narrow house-blocks are a characteristic feature of modern
Liverpool, though they seldom occur in other English towns, unless
intermixed with square and other blocks.



The provinces, and above all the western provinces of the Roman
Empire, tell us even more than Italy about Roman town-planning. But
they tell it in another way. They contain many towns which were
founded full-grown, or re-founded and at the same time rebuilt, and
which were in either case laid out on the Roman plan. But the modern
successors of these towns have rarely kept the network of their
ancient streets in recognizable detail. Though walls, gates, temples,
baths, palaces, amphitheatres still stand stubbornly erect amidst a
flood of modern dwellings, they are but the islands which mark a
submerged area. The paths and passages by which men once moved across
that area have vanished beneath the waves and cannot be recovered from
any survey of these visible fragments. There is hardly one modern town
in all the European and African provinces of the Roman Empire which
still uses any considerable part of its ancient street-plan. In our
own country there is no single case. In Gaul and Germany, two or three
streets in Cologne and one or two in Trier are the sole survivals.[87]
In Illyricum there is no example unless possibly at Belgrade. In the
Spanish peninsula the town of Braga in northern Portugal seems to
stand alone. In Roman Africa--Tunis, Algiers and Morocco--no instance
has survived the Arab conquest.[88]

    [87] For Orange see p. 107. Nîmes may possibly retain one or two
    streets of the Roman Nemausus, but it is very doubtful; see
    Menard's map of 1752. See further in general p. 142.

    [88] Though, curiously enough, the chess-board pattern of field
    divisions has survived in the neighbourhood of Carthage.

If, however, survivals of ancient streets are as rare in the provinces
as they are common in Italy, the provinces yield other evidence
unknown to Italy. In these lands, and above all in Africa, the sites
of many Roman towns have lain desolate and untouched since Roman days,
waiting for the excavator to recover the unspoilt pattern of their
streets. If the Roman Empire brought to certain provinces, as it
unquestionably did to Africa, the happiest period in their history
till almost the present day, that only makes their remains the more
noteworthy and instructive. Here the new art of excavation has already
achieved many and varied successes. In the western Empire one town,
Silchester in Britain, has been wholly uncovered within the circuit of
its walls. Others, like Caerwent in Britain or Timgad and Carthage in
Africa, have been methodically examined, though the inquiries have not
yet touched or perhaps can never touch their whole areas. In others
again, some of which lie in the east, occasional search or even chance
discoveries have shed welcome light. Our knowledge is more than enough
already for the purposes of this chapter.

We can already see that the town-plan described in the foregoing pages
was widely used in the provinces of the Empire. We find it in Africa,
in Central and Western Europe, and indeed wherever Rorrran remains
have been carefully excavated; we find it even in remote Britain
amidst conditions which make its use seem premature. Where excavation
has as yet yielded no proofs, other evidence fills the gap. In
southern Gaul, as it happens, archaeological remains are unhelpful.
But just there an inscription has come to light, the only one of its
kind in the Roman world, which proves that one at least of the
'coloniae' of Gallia Narbonensis was laid out in rectangular oblong
plots. It is clear enough that this town-plan was one of the forms
through which the Italian civilization diffused itself over the
western provinces.

The exact measure of its popularity is, however, hard to determine. In
the east it found little entrance. There, the very similar Macedonian
and Greek methods of town-planning were rooted firmly, long before
Rome conquered Greece or Asia Minor or Syria or Egypt. The few
town-plans which have been noted in these lands, and which may be
assigned more or less conjecturally to the Roman era, seem to be
Hellenic or Hellenistic rather than Italian. They show broad stately
streets, colonnades, vistas, which belong to the east and not to
Italy. Even in the west, the rule of the chess-board was sometimes
broken. Aquincum, near Budapest, became a 'municipium' under Hadrian;
its ruins, so far as hitherto planned, exhibit no true street-planning.
But that may be due to its history, for it seems not to have been
founded full-grown, but to have slowly developed as best it could,
and to have won municipal status at the end.

Roman Africa is here, as so often, our best source of knowledge. At
Timgad (p. 109), a town laid out in Roman fashion with a rigid
'chess-board' of streets was subsequently enlarged on irregular and
almost chaotic lines. At Gigthi, in the south-east of Tunis, the
streets around the Forum, itself rectangular enough, do not run
parallel or at right angles to it or to one another.[89] At Thibilis,
on the border of Tunis and Algeria, the streets, so far as they have
yet been uncovered, diverge widely from the chess-board pattern.[90]
One French archaeologist has even declared that most of the towns in
Roman Africa lacked this pattern.[91] Our evidence is perhaps still
too slight to prove or disprove that conclusion. Few African towns
have been sufficiently uncovered to show the street-plan.[92] But
town-life was well developed in Roman Africa. It is hardly credible
that the Africans learnt all the rest of Roman city civilization and
city government, and left out the planning. The individual cases of
such planning which will be quoted in the following pages tell their
own tale--that, while the strict rule was often broken, it was the

    [89] _Archives nouvelles des Missions scientifiques_, xv. 1907,
    fasc. 4.

    [90] Plan by Joly, _Arch. Anzeiger_, 1911, p. 270, fig. 17. The
    plan has been thought to imply 'insulae' twice as large as those
    of Timgad. To me it suggests nothing so regular.

    [91] Toutain, _Cités romaines de la Tunisie_, p. 79 note: 'Ce qui
    toutefois est incontestable, c'est que cette disposition d'une
    régularité artificielle, autour de deux grandes voies exactement
    orientées et se coupant a angle droit, est très rare dans
    l'Afrique romaine. Les villes de ce pays n'out pas été toutes
    construites sur le mème plan: chacune d'elles a, pour ainsi dire,
    épousé la forme de son emplacement.'

    [92] There are many in which it could be traced with some ease,
    apparently. Thelepte, Cillium, Ammaedara, Sufetula, _Archives des
    Missions_, 1887, pp. 68, 121, 161-171, Simitthu, _Mémoires
    présentés par divers savants_, ser. I. x. 462, and Thuccabor,
    Tissot, _Géogr. d'Afrique_, ii. 292, seem to have visible
    streets, but no one has recorded them exactly. The plan of Utica,
    given by Tissot (_Atlas_, by Reinach, plate vi) on the authority
    of Daux, is open to doubt.

[Illustration: FIG. 21. INSCRIPTION OF ORANGE.
(From the _Comptes-rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions_.)

Plot (_meris_) I (_lost_) ...

Plot II ... perpetual lessee (_manceps_) C. Naevius Rusticus: surety
for him C. Vesidius Quadratus. Fronting the Kardo.

 (5) Plot III, frontage of 34-1/2 feet and Plot IV, frontage of 35 feet;
ground rent (?), 69-1/2 denarii (_in margin_). Yearly rent II ... (?).
Lessee and surety, as above. Fronting the Kardo.

(10) Plot V, frontage 55-1/2 feet, and Plot VI, next to the Ludus
(gladiators' school), frontage 75 feet ...]

_Orange_ (fig. 21).

The case which deserves the first place stands by itself. It is the
one piece of written evidence (as distinct from structural remains)
which has survived from Roman town-planning. Curiously enough, it was
found not in Italy but in a province, and a province which, for all
its wealth of Roman buildings, has not yet revealed the smallest
structural proof of Roman town-planning. In April 1904 a scrap of
inscribed marble, little more than 18 in. broad and high, was dug up
at Orange, in southern France, right in the centre of the town. It is
a waif from a lengthy document. But it chances to be intelligible. It
enumerates six plots of land--'merides' it calls them, from a Greek
word meaning 'share' or 'division'--which seem to have formed one
parcel: each plot is numbered, and the length of its frontage on the
public way (_in fronte_), the name of its lessee or _manceps_ and that
of his surety (_fideiussor_) are added. The frontages of four plots
make up 200 ft. (those of the other two are lost), and it has been
suggested that the six together made up 240 ft. The depth--which is
not stated on the surviving fragment, but was doubtless uniform for
all the plots--may then have been 120 ft., and the whole parcel may
have covered 120 x 240 ft., that is, a Roman 'iugerum'. It was plainly
a piece of town property. The largest 'meris', Plot v, measured only
25 by 40 yds. and no one would care for such a field or farm. Besides,
this plot at one end adjoined a 'ludus' or gladiatorial school, and it
fronted AD K, _ad kardinem_, on to the street called in surveying
language the 'cardo'. The whole land apparently belonged to one lessee
who held it from the municipality on something like a perpetual

    [93] For the inscription see Esperandieu, _Acad. des Inscriptions,
    Comptes rendus_, 1904, p. 497; Cagnat, _Année Épigr._, 1905, 12;
    and especially Schulten, _Hermes_, 1906, 1; a convenient English
    account is given by H.S. Jones, _Companion to Roman Hist._, p.
    22. It has been suggested by Schulten that the blocks were at
    first divided into plots of 35 ft. frontage, and that the
    boundaries had become changed in the ordinary course of things
    before the survey was made. But this seems to carry conjecture
    rather far.

Here, in short, is the record of an oblong 'insula' in the Roman town
of Orange. It is doubtless part of a longer record, a register of
house-property in the whole town. Orange, Colonia Iulia Secundanorum
Arausio, was a 'colonia' founded about 45 B.C. with discharged
soldiers of Caesar's Second Legion. Possibly the register was drawn up
at this date; more probably it is rather later and may be connected
with a _census_ of Gaul begun about 27 B.C. Certainly it was preserved
with much care, as if one of the 'muniments' of the citizens. The spot
where it was dug up is in the heart of the ancient as well as of the
modern town, close to the probable site of the Forum, and the
inscription may have been fastened up in all its length on the walls
of some public building. If, as is likely, the town owned the soil of
the town, the connexion of the inscription with the Forum becomes even
clearer. In any case, the town was plainly laid out in a rectangular
street-plan. To-day its lanes are as tortuous as those of any other
Provencal town.[94] A strange chance reveals what it and many other of
these towns must once have been.

    [94] It has been said to show marks of streets laid out
    rectangularly, but neither the look of the town itself nor the
    plans of it seem to me to confirm this idea; compare Lentheric,
    _Le Rhone_, ii. 110.

[Illustration: FIG. 22. AFTER CAGNAT AND BALLU (1911).
(The six 'insulae' marked A are shown in detail in fig. 23. Unshaded
'insulae' are as yet unexcavated.)]

_Timgad_ (figs. 22, 23).

From this piece of half-literary evidence we pass to purely
archaeological remains, and first to the province of Numidia in Roman
Africa and to the town of Timgad. The town of Thamugadi, now Timgad,
lay on the northern skirts of Mount Aurès, halfway between Constantine
and Biskra and about a hundred miles from the Mediterranean coast.
Here the emperor Trajan founded in A.D. 100 a 'colonia' on ground then
wholly uninhabited, and peopled it with time-expired soldiers from the
Third Legion which garrisoned the neighbouring fortress of Lambaesis.
The town grew. Soon after the middle of the second century it was more
than half a mile in width from east to west, and its extent from north
to south, though not definitely known, cannot have been much less. The
first settlement was smaller. So far as it has been uncovered by
French archaeologists--sufficiently for our purpose, though not
completely--the 'colonia' of Trajan appears to have been some 29 or 30
acres in extent within the walls and almost square in outline (360 x
390 yds.). It was entered by four principal gates, three of which can
still be traced quite clearly, and which stood in the middle of their
respective sides; the position of the south gate is doubtful.
According to Dr. Barthel, the street which joins the east and west
gates was laid out to point to the sunrise of September 18, the
birthday of Trajan.

[Illustration: FIG. 23. SIX 'INSULAE' IN S.W. TIMGAD
(after Prof. Cagnat). Nos. 91, 92, 99, one house each; 108, 109,
3 houses; 100, Baths.]

The interior of the town was divided by streets into a chess-board
pattern of small square house-blocks; from north to south there were
twelve such blocks and from east to west eleven--not twelve, as is
often stated. The possible total of 132 'insulae' was, however,
diminished by the space needed for public buildings, though it is not
easy to tell how great this space was in the original town.
Ultimately, as the excavations show, eight 'insulae' were taken up by
the Forum, four by the Theatre, three by the various Baths, one by a
Market, one by a Public Library, and one by a Christian church. But
some of these edifices were certainly not established till long after
A.D. 100 and the others, which must have existed from the first, were
soon extended and enlarged. A competent writer on the subject, Dr.
Barthel, allows seven blocks for public purposes in the original town,
but this seems too little. The blocks themselves measured on the
average a square of 70 Roman feet (23 x 23 yards), and may have
contained one, two, three, or even four houses apiece, but they have
undergone so many changes that their original arrangements are not at
all clear. The streets which divided these blocks were 15 to 16 ft.
wide; the two main streets, which ran to the principal gates, were
further widened by colonnades and paved with superior flagging. All
the streets had well-built sewers beneath them.

Trajan's Timgad was plainly small. On any estimate of the number of
houses, the original draft of veterans sent there in A.D. 100 can
hardly have exceeded 400, and the first population, apart from slaves,
must have been under 2,000. This agrees with the figures of Aosta (p.
89). There, 100 acres took 3,000 veterans and their families; here the
area is about one-third of 100 acres and the ground available for
dwellings may perhaps have been one-sixth. In neither case was space
wasted. There was not probably at Aosta, there certainly was not at
Timgad, any provision of open squares, of handsome facades, of temples
seen down the vista of stately avenues; there were not even private
gardens. The one large unroofed space in Timgad was the half-acre shut
within the Forum cloister. This economy of room is no doubt due to the
fact that the 'colonia' was not only a home for time-expired soldiers,
but, as Prof. Cagnat has justly observed, a quasi-fortress watching
the slopes of Mount Aurès south of it, just as Aosta watched its
Alpine valley. As Machiavelli thought it worth while to observe, the
shorter the line of a town's defence, the fewer the men who can hold
it. The town-planning of Timgad was designed on other than purely
architectural or municipal principles. For this reason, too, we should
probably seek in vain any marked distinction between richer and poorer
quarters and larger or smaller houses.[95] The centurions and other
officers may have formed the first municipal aristocracy of Timgad, as
retired officers did in many Roman towns, but there can have been no
definite element of poor among the common soldiers.

    [95] Ballu detects a 'quartier industriel' in the outer town, but
    the evidence does not seem to warrant so grand a term.

Such was Trajan's Timgad, as revealed by excavations now about
two-thirds complete. The town soon burst its narrow bounds. A Capitol,
Baths, a large Meat-market, and much else sprang up outside the walls.
Soon the walls themselves, like those of many mediaeval towns--for
example, the north and west town-walls of Oxford--were built over and
hidden by later structures. The town grew from one of 360 to a breadth
of over 800 yds. And as it expanded, it broke loose from the
chess-board pattern. The builders of later Timgad did not resemble
those of later Turin. Even the _decumanus_, the main 'east and west'
street, wandered away north-west in an uncertain curve, and all that
has been discovered of streets outside the walls of Trajan is
irregular and complicated. A town-plan, it seems, was binding on the
first builders of the 'colonia'. It lost its power within a very few

    [96] Boeswillwald, Cagnat and Ballu, _Timgad_ (Paris, 1891-1905);
    see especially Appendix, pp. 339-349; Ballu, _Ruines de Timgad_
    (Paris, 1897-1911); Barthel, _Bonner Jahrbücher_, cxx. 101.

_Carthage_ (fig. 24).

It remains to note another example of town-planning in a Roman
municipality of the western Empire, which is as important as it is
abnormal. Carthage, first founded--though only in an abortive
fashion--as a Roman 'colonia' in 123 B.C. and re-established with the
same rank by Julius Caesar or Augustus, shows a rectangular town-plan
in a city which speedily became one among the three or four largest
and wealthiest cities in the Empire. The regularity of its planning
was noted in ancient times by a topographical writer.[97] But the
plan, though rectangular, is not normal. According to the French
archaeologists who have worked it out, it comprised a large number of
streets--perhaps as many as forty--running parallel to the coast, a
smaller number running at right angles to these down the hillside
towards the shore, and many oblong 'insulae', measuring each about
130 x 500 ft., roughly two Roman _iugera_. The whole town stretched
for some two miles parallel to the shore and for about a mile inland,
and covered perhaps 1,200 acres. Its street-plan can hardly be older
than Caesar or Augustus, but the shape of its 'insulae' appears to be
without parallel in that age. It comes closest to the oblong blocks of
Pompeii and of Naples (pp. 63, 100), and its two theatres also recall
those towns. One reason for its plan may no doubt be found in the
physical character of the site. The ground slopes down from hills
towards the shore, and encourages the use of streets which run level
along the slopes, parallel to the shore, and not more or less steeply
towards it.[98]

    [97] _Totius orbis descriptio_, 61 (Müller, _geogr. graeci min._
    ii. 527); dispositione gloriosissima constat ... in directione
    vicorum et platearum aequalibus lineis currens' (written probably
    about A.D. 350).

    [98] _Carte archéologique et topogr. des Ruines de Carthage_, by
    Gauckler and Delattre (1:5,000); Schulten, _Archäol. Anzeiger_,
    1905, p. 77; 1909, p. 190; 1911, p. 246; Audollent, _Carthage
    romaine_ (Paris, 1901), pp. 309, 846. The older accounts of Daux
    and Tissot seem less trustworthy.

[Illustration: FIG. 24. A PART OF CARTHAGE.
Plan based on the _Carte archéologique des ruines de Carthage_, by
Gauckler and Delattre.]

_Laibach_ (fig. 25), _Numantia, Lincoln_ (fig. 26).

Three or four more ordinary examples chosen at random from provincial
municipalities may show the diffusion of town-planning in the western
Roman world. One example, from the borders of Italy, may be found just
outside the pleasant town of Laibach in southern Austria. Here
Augustus in 34 B.C. planted a 'Colonia Iulia Augusta Emona', and
recent work of Dr. W. Schmid has thrown much light on its character.
The colony was in outline a rectangle of nearly 55 acres (480 x 560
yds.), and was divided up into forty-eight blocks by five streets
which ran north and south and seven which crossed them at right
angles; of these forty-eight blocks some must, of course, have been
taken up by public buildings. They varied in size: the largest as yet
planned (II in fig. 25) measured 170 x 195 ft., or 3/4 acre; two
others measured 163 x 170 ft.; while one block, which contained one
large house not unlike the Silchester 'inn', was 112 x 168 ft. (Plan,
II), and the block next it was a trifle smaller. None of the
dimensions show any trace of the normal 120 or 240 ft. (p. 79). The
streets were very broad (37-40 ft.); one, which may be the 'cardo
maximus', measured as much as 47 ft. across. Beneath the main streets
were sewers, in the usual fashion. Round the whole town stood strong
walls, reinforced at regular intervals by square projecting towers;
the four corners were not rounded but rectangular, after the fashion
of Aosta and Turin (pp. 87, 90).[99]

    [99] _Correspondenzblatt des Gesamtvereins der deutschen
    Geschichts und Altertumsvereine_, April 1912; _Bericht vi der
    römisch-germanischen Kommission_ 1910-11, p. 96. Müllner's
    _Emona_ (Laibach, 1879), p. 19, plate 2, is wholly inadequate.

[Illustration: FIG. 25. A PART OF LAIBACH.
(From W. Schmid.)]

(See p. 118.)]

(p. 118).]

For a second example turn to a remote corner of central Spain. The
town of Numantia was famous in early days for its long struggle with
the armies of the Roman Republic. Under Roman rule it was wholly
insignificant. Over the débris of Numantine liberty a little Roman
town grew up. But it is hardly mentioned save in one or two
road-books. Yet it enjoyed some form of municipal status and its
streets and houses show to the excavator traces of Roman
town-planning. The streets ran parallel or at right angles to one
another; the house-blocks measured some 50 yds. square.[100]

    [100] Schulten, _Abhandlungen der k. Gesellschaft der
    Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, phil.-hist. Kl._, viii. (1905), p.
    61, plan 2; the evidence seems adequate though not wholly
    decisive. The Roman town Emporiae, now Ampurias, in the extreme
    north-east of Spain, seems to have had a rectangular street-plan,
    though its Greek predecessor was irregular, _Institut d'estudis
    catalans, anuari 1908_, p. 185.

A third example may be drawn from our own country. Lincoln, the Roman
Lindum, was established as a 'colonia' about A.D. 75, and the lines of
its original area, its 'Altstadt'--for it was perhaps enlarged in
Roman times,--can still be traced 'Above Hill' round the Castle and
Cathedral (fig. 26). It formed a rectangle just over 41 acres in
extent (400 x 500 yds.). Four gates, one of which still keeps its
Roman arch, gave access to the two main streets which divided the town
into four symmetrical quarters and crossed at right angles in the
centre. Along one of these streets, which agrees, if only roughly,
with the modern Bailgate, ran a stately colonnade (fig. 27), though
whether this belonged to some special building or adorned the whole
extent of street is not quite certain. Beneath the same street ran, as
at Timgad and Laibach and elsewhere, the town sewer (fig. 28). Of the
other main street and of side streets nothing is known, but we can
hardly doubt that they carried out the chess-board pattern.[101]

    [101] _Archaeologia_, liii. 236 and lvi. 371. The plan given by
    Mr. Fox in liii. 236 represents his own theory, which may be open
    to doubt.

Probably the other four municipalities in Britain were planned
similarly, though the evidence is too slender to prove it. At
Verulamium (for example) near St. Albans, a local archaeologist long
ago claimed to detect a scheme of symmetrical house-blocks, resembling
squares very slightly askew. Subsequent inquiry has shown that this
scheme was merely or mostly imagination.[102]

    [102] J.W. Grover, _Brit. Archaeol. Assoc. Journal_, xxvi.
    (1870), p. 45, plate 1. The theories of the late Mr. Bellows
    about the streets of Roman and modern Gloucester were equally
    astray, though in other ways.




In the preceding chapters Roman town-planning has been treated in
connexion with towns of definite municipal rank, which bore the titles
'colonia' or 'municipium'. The system is, of course, closely akin to
such foundation or refoundation as the establishment of a 'colonia'
implied in the early Empire, while the no less Roman character of the
'municipium' made town-planning appropriate to this class of town

It was, however, not limited to these towns. It appears not seldom in
provincial towns of lower legal status, such as were not uncommon in
Britain, in Gaul, and in some other districts. Four instances may be
quoted from the two provinces just named. In the first, Autun, the
town-planning is explained by the establishment of the town full-grown
under Roman official influence. Unfortunately, however, little is
known of the buildings, and it is difficult to judge of the actual
character of the place. In the second case, Trier, we may conjecture a
similar official origin. At Silchester, official influence seems also
to have been at work, and it is not impossible that the fourth case,
Caerwent, may be explained by the same cause. In these two latter,
however, it is more important to observe the nature of the towns,
which is better known than that of any others in western Europe. For
they embody a type of urban life which is distinct from any that
occurs in Italy or in the better civilized districts of the Empire,
and which illustrates strikingly one stratum of provincial culture.

_Autun_ (fig. 29).

Caesar won northern and central Gaul for the Roman Empire; it fell to
Augustus to organize the conquered but as yet unromanized lands. Among
many steps to that end, he seems to have planted new native towns
which should take the places of old native tribal capitals and should
drive out local Celtic traditions by new Roman municipal interests.
These new towns did not, as a rule, enjoy the full Roman municipal
status; northern Gaul was not quite ripe for that. But they were
plainly devised to help Romanization forward, and their object is
declared by their half-Roman, half-Celtic names--Augustodunum (now
Autun), Caesaromagus (Beauvais), Augusta Suessionum (Soissons),
Augusta Treverorum (Trier), and the like.[103] Of two of these, Autun
and Trier, we chance to know the town-plans. The reader will notice a
certain similarity between them.

    [103] Hirschfeld, _Haeduer und Arverner_ (_Sitzungsber. der
    preuss. Akademie_, 1897, p. 1102). Similar hybrid names have
    been created by the English in India, mostly on the North-west
    Frontier, where alone they have planted new inhabited
    sites--Lyallpur, Abbotabad, Edwardesabad, Robertsganj, and the
    like. But these are almost all small places or forts, and their
    names represent no policy of Anglicization.

[Illustration: FIG. 29. AUTUN.
After H. de Fontenay, 1889.]

Autun stands on the site and contains the stately ruins of the Roman
Augustodunum, built by Augustus about 12 B.C. He, as it seems, brought
down the Gaulish dwellers in the old native hill-fortress of Bibracte,
on Mont-Beuvray, and planted them twelve miles away on an unoccupied
site beside the river Arroux. The new town covered an area of
something like 490 acres--that is, if the now traceable walls and
gates are, as is generally thought, the work of Augustus. The town
within the walls must have been laid out all at once. Quite a large
part of it, perhaps has much as three-quarters, have revealed to the
careful inquiries of French archaeologists a regular system of
quadrangular street-planning, which may very likely have extended even
through the unexplored quarter. The Roman street which ran through the
town from south to north, from the Porte de Rome to the Porte
d'Arroux, was fronted by at least thirteen 'insulae', and one of the
streets which crossed it at right angles was fronted by eleven such
blocks. They vary somewhat in size. The larger 'insulae', which lie
west of the main north and south street, are oblong and measure about
150 x 100 yds. (say, 3 acres); many smaller ones are more nearly
square (98 x 98 or 109 yds., about 2 acres).

But the regularity of the plan is plainly the work of civilized man.
When the Celts were brought to live in a Roman city, care was taken
that it should be really Roman.[104] Only we may perhaps wonder
whether the plan may not have been drawn by Augustus with an eye more
to the future than to the present and may have included more 'insulae'
than there were actually inhabitants to occupy at once. That was the
case certainly in the mediaeval English town of Winchelsea, where the
rectangular building-plots laid out by Edward I have in great measure
lain empty and untenanted to the present day.

    [104] H. de Fontenay, _Autun et ses monuments_ (Autun, 1889), pp.
    49 foll. and map (1:6,250). The existence of a town-plan was
    first noticed by J. de Fontenay, _Bulletin monumental_, 1852, p.
    365, but his map appears to be incorrect and his views generally
    are based too much on _a priori_ assumptions.

_Trier_ (fig. 30).

We may take another example from a northern city, Trier on the Mosel,
in north-eastern Gaul (Augusta Treverorum). It was in its later days a
large city, perhaps the largest Roman city in western Europe. When its
walls were built and its famous north gate, the Porta Nigra, was
erected, probably towards the end of the third century, they included
a space of 704 acres, twenty-five times as much as the original
Timgad, though, it must be added, this area may not have been wholly
covered with houses. But it was then an old city. Its earliest remains
date from the earliest days of the Roman Empire (A.D. 2), when it was
founded, like Autun, on a spot which had (as it seems) never been
inhabited before.[105] Of this first beginning we possess vestiges
which concern us here. Eight or nine years ago, when the modern town
was provided with drainage, the engineers of the work and the Trier
archaeologists, headed by the late Dr. Graven, combined to note the
points where the drainage trenches cut through pieces of Roman

    [105] Ademeit, _Siedelungsgeographie des Moselgebiets_, pp. 367,

    [106] H. Gräven, _Stadtplan des römischen Triers_ in _Die
    Denkmalpflege_, 14 Dec. 1904 (1:10,000); the plan has been often
    copied, as by Cramer, _Das röm. Trier_ (Gütersloh, 1911), and Von
    Behr, _Trierer Jahresberichte_, i. 1908. Compare Barthel, _Bonner
    Jahrbücher_, cxx. 106. Trier at some time or other became a
    'colonia'. When this occurred, is hotly disputed; the evidence
    seems to me to suggest that it was founded without colonial
    status and became a 'colonia latina' in the course of the first
    century (see Domaszewski, _Abhandlungen_, p. 153). I have
    therefore inserted Trier in this chapter with Autun and not in
    Chapter VIII with Orange and Timgad.

These points yielded a regular plan of streets crossing at right
angles, which in many of its features much resembles that of Autun.
Thirteen streets were traced running east and west, and eight (Dr.
Graven says seven but his plan shows eight) running north and south.
The east and west streets, with two exceptions, lay some 320 ft. from
one another. The north and south streets varied, some observing that
distance, others being no more than 260 ft. apart. As a result, the
rectangular house-blocks varied also in size. The largest seem to be
those which fronted a street that crossed the town from east to west,
from the Imperial Palace to the Baths and the West Gate, and
corresponds roughly with the present Kaiserstrasse. This may well have
been the _decumanus_, the main east and west street of the 'colonia',
and hence the house-blocks fronting it may have been unusually large
(p. 77). One of them, near the Neumarkt, reached the awkward size of
nearly 3-1/2 acres (320 x 460 ft.). Others elsewhere were smaller,
many measuring 320 x 320 ft., and others again 320 x 245 ft., rather
less than 2 acres. In general, the 'insulae' on the east and west
sides of the town were larger than those in the centre. The whole has
a resemblance to Autun, and is more irregular than writers on Trier
are ready to allow.[107]

    [107] Gräven estimated that, except in the central street, all
    the 'insulae' measured 300 Roman ft. (290 English ft., 88
    metres), but his plan suggests rather 100 metres. We need in
    reality that larger plan which he did not live to complete.

How many houses may have occupied either a large or a small 'insula'
is uncertain; indeed, we know next to nothing of the private houses of
Roman Trier. Nor can we fix the number of the 'insulae'. On the west,
and still more on the east and south-east of the town, much of the
area was not touched by the drainage works and therefore went
unexplored. We have proof only of streets and buildings for a mile in
length and half a mile in breadth.

[Illustration: FIG. 30. TRIER.
From plan by the late Dr. Gräven.]

Nevertheless we may make some guess at the original area. The
streetage itself plainly dates from the original foundation of the
Romano-Gaulish town by Augustus. There is, indeed, no other epoch in
its history, so far as we know it, when a complete laying out could
have been carried through. On the other hand, it is not probable that
the first town was a mile long and half a mile wide. Possibly, as an
acute German archaeologist has suggested, the small 'insulae' in the
south of the town may indicate the line of an original wall and ditch
which, like the first walls of Timgad, were overrun later by an
expanding town. Certainly, early graves found hereabouts show that
this space lay once outside the inhabited area, and similar evidence
has been noted both on the north of the town in the Simeonstrasse, and
on the west near the Mosel Bridge. If this be so, Augusta Treverorum
may have at first covered only 120 or 130 acres; then, as the place
spread beyond its original limits, its builders followed more or less
closely the lines of the first streets, and, save near the Porta
Nigra, continued the chess-board pattern as it was continued at Turin.

_Silchester_ (figs. 31, 32).

Silchester, Calleva Atrebatum (fig. 31), shows a different picture,
which is the more interesting because the excavations carried out in
1890-1909 have given us a fuller knowledge of the town than of any
other Roman site in the western provinces.[108] It was, apparently,
the old tribal capital of the Atrebates and the county-town of its
district in Roman days; though not possessing the full municipal
status, it was probably the seat of local government for a
considerable neighbourhood. In outline it was an irregular eight-sided
area of 100 acres, defended by a strong stone wall, which was added
long after the original foundation. Internally it was divided up by
streets which, except near the east gate, run parallel or at right
angles to one another. Its buildings are: a Forum and Basilica, a
suite of public baths, four small temples, a small Christian church, a
hotel, and a large number of private houses. Its area is by no means
filled with buildings. Garden ground must have been common and cheap,
and the buildings themselves do not form continuous streets; they do
not even front the roadway in the manner of houses in Italian towns.
In these respects Silchester differs widely from any of the examples
which we have already considered, so far as their internal buildings
are known to us. I will not call it a 'garden city', for a garden city
represents an attempt to add some of the features of the country to a
town. Silchester, I fancy, represents the exact opposite. It is an
attempt to insert urban features into a country-side.

    [108] For accounts of the Silchester excavations, see
    _Archaeologia_, vols. lii-lxii, and _Victoria Hist. of
    Hampshire_, i. 271, 350; large plan by W.H. St. John Hope
    (1:1,800) in _Archaeol._ lxi.

[Illustration: FIG. 31. SILCHESTER.
(For detail see fig. 32.)]

Most of it must have been laid out at once. At any rate, the area of
which the 'insulae' numbered X, XXI, XXXV, and XIX form the corners,
and the Forum the centre, must have been planned complete from the
first. This covers just 40 acres, and is divided into rectangular
plots of which the smallest covers a little less than an acre and a
half, while the largest fall little short of 3-1/2 acres.[109] Outside
this area, the division of the town into 'insulae' is less completely
carried through, although most of the streets run straight on as far
as the walls, and one or two details may tempt us to think that the
division into 'insulae' was at some time extended beyond the line
ultimately taken by the walls.

    [109] The plots are of three sizes, two being 3-4 acres (128 x
    130 yds.), six about 2.4 acres (128 x 89 yds.), and six about 1.4
    acres (89 x 80 yds.). In the third size the dimension of 240
    Roman feet (p. 79) can perhaps be recognized.

CHURCH AT SILCHESTER. (From _Archaeologia_.)]

But whatever the exact amount of Roman building and Roman street-plan
given to Silchester when it was first laid out, the place is not in
effect a real town. It is not merely that, as I have said, the houses
do not form continuous streets. A glance at the houses will show that
they could not possibly be fitted into streets. The types of house
here visible are not town houses. They are the types which appear
among the 'villas', that is, the landlords' or the farmers' dwellings,
up and down the rural districts of Roman Britain and northern Gaul,
and the town which they constitute is a conglomeration of country
houses. The reverse has taken place of that which we often see to-day
in England. Our modern builders and architects had--until perhaps
quite recently--only one idea of a small house, the house, namely,
which to-day characterizes the monotonous streets in the poorer
quarters of our new towns, with its front door and bow window on one
side, its offices behind, and its two other sides left blank for other
houses to stand against. This is a town house. Yet our modern builders
use it, all by itself, in the most desolate country districts. I came
across one such not long ago, when driving over a lonely valley in
Exmoor. There it stood, with no other house near it, yet with its two
sides blankly waiting for the street that ought to form itself to the
right and left.

The opposite of this has occurred at Calleva; here the rural house has
been used, with scarcely a change, to form a town. We see the Roman
street-plan introduced in surroundings which are not properly urban.
The outward expression of the civilised municipal system jostles
against a provincial and rural life. Here was a premature attempt to
municipalize the Briton, which outstripped the readiness of the Briton
to be municipalized. Silchester was probably a tribal centre before
the Roman came; for awhile it may have remained much the same under
Roman rule. But forty years after the Roman Conquest, in the reign of
Vespasian (about A.D. 70-85), the Romanization of the whole province
appears to have rapidly advanced. It was, indeed, encouraged by the
Home Government. Various details suggest that the laying out of
Silchester belonged to this very date. But to this the Callevan failed
to rise. He learnt much from Rome; he learnt even town-life; he did
not learn town-life in its highest form. When his town had been
'haussmannized' and fitted with Roman streets, and equipped with Roman
Forum and Basilica, and the rest, he yet continued to live--perhaps
more happily than the true townsman--in his irregularly grouped houses
and cottages amid an expanse of gardens. The area of Silchester
differed little from that of Aosta; its population, if we may judge by
the number of dwelling-houses, was hardly as large as that of Timgad.

_Caerwent_ (fig. 33).

I turn lastly to another Romano-British town, Caerwent (Venta
Silurum), between Chepstow and Newport in Monmouthshire. It is a
smaller town than Silchester. Both towns perhaps began with the same
area, 40 or 45 acres. But Caerwent never expanded; it remained not
much more than 45 acres within the walls. Land was probably valuable
within it; certainly its houses are packed closer, and its garden
ground is smaller than at Silchester. Its general type is, however,
the same. It has a very similar Forum and Basilica, Temples, an
Amphitheatre, and a large number of private houses which resemble
closely those of Silchester. It has, moreover, at least in the parts
that have been so far excavated, distinct traces of a rectangular
street pattern, which, if it was carried through the whole town, would
provide (including the Forum) twenty 'insulae'. The size of these
blocks cannot be determined with any precision. Indeed, in some cases
the houses seem to have encroached on and distorted the street-plan.
Probably it would be true to say that the average block covered an
acre and a half or an acre and two-thirds.[110] We do not know enough
of the history of Caerwent to do more than guess how this street-plan
came to it. Very likely the same process of establishing a
Roman-looking town for a local capital was adopted here as at
Silchester. Very likely the step was taken in the same period as at
Silchester, that is, in the last thirty years of the first century.
Its occurrence is significant. Caerwent lay remote in the far west,
with nothing but garrisons beyond it. It was the outpost of Roman city
life towards the Atlantic. It was the only town of Roman municipal
plan in Britain which was swept by Atlantic breezes.[111]

    [110] The three best defined examples measure about 260 x 260,
    260 x 280, 275 x 275 ft. (1.55, 1.61, and 1.73 acres respectively).
    The unit of 240 Roman feet (p. 79) does not appear at Caerwent.

    [111] Accounts of the Caerwent Excavations, 1899-1910, will be
    found in _Archaeologia_, vols. lvii-lxii. A good plan of the
    whole town, from which fig. 33 is taken, was issued in vol. lxii,
    plate 64, by Mr. F. King, architect to the excavations (scale,

[Illustration: FIG. 33. CAERWENT.
(Reduced from plan by F. King.)]

Silchester and Caerwent did not stand alone in Britain. At Wroxeter,
the ancient Viroconium, tribal centre of the Cornovii and a
Romano-British country-town much like Silchester, though somewhat
larger, oblong 'insulae' have recently been detected by Mr.
J.P. Bushe-Fox which measure 103 x 126 yds. (2-2/3 acres). At
Cirencester, the Romano-British centre for the canton of the Dobuni
and a still larger town than Wroxeter, the 'insulae' near the Basilica
seem to have measured as much as 120 yards in length, though full
details have not yet been obtained. Both these towns may be ascribed
to the later years of the first century and to the same civilizing
process as Silchester and Caerwent. As further Romano-British towns
are uncovered, we may therefore hope for more examples. However
imperfectly the inner meaning of town-planning was understood, it was
plainly common in the south of Roman Britain.


To complete the survey of Roman provincial town-planning, we must
glance briefly at the East. Here towns of Roman origin were few, and
of those few scarcely any are well known. But they do not lack
interest. For example, take Antinoê, built by Hadrian in memory of his
favourite Antinous, on the banks of the Nile. It was a parallelogram
more than 3 miles round, which covered an area of 360 acres. Two main
streets, each colonnaded, crossed at right angles and cut it into four
parts. Of the other streets, nothing certain seems to be known. But
references to the town in papyri denote four quarters of it by various
letters, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and distinguish its house-blocks
by the term Plintheion with a numeral attached. Thus, a house is
described as lying 'in the letter Delta and the Plintheion 7'. Our
documents show that there were in Antinoê at least eleven of these
Plintheia.[112] It is fairly plain that they are rectangular
'insulae', of either Roman or Hellenic type, while the general fashion
of the town and of its monuments suggest a Greek rather than an
Italian city.

    [112] _Exploration des ruines d' Antinoe_, by A.C. Gayet
    (Annales du Musée Guimet, xxvi, Paris, 1897); _Grundzüge der
    Papyruskunde,_ Wilcken, i, pp. 49, 50. Professor A.S. Hunt refers
    me to the following papyri:--Reinach, 49. 11; Oxyrhynchus, 1110.
    9-10 and note there; Brit. Mus. 1164 (c) 12. The numeration of
    the divisions of the town by letters was borrowed from
    Alexandria, where the five parts of the city were known as A, B,
    C, D, E. For plans see the Napoleonic _Description d'Égypte_ iv
    (Paris, 1817), plate 53, and E. Jomard, _Antiquités d'Égypte_
    (1818), chap. xv.

[Illustration: FIG. 34. BOSTRA.
(After Baedeker.)]

Another instance may be found still further east, in the land beyond
Jordan, at the capital of the Haurân, Bosrâ, anciently Bostra. Little
has been achieved in the way of exploration of this site beyond
studies of the stately ruins of theatres, palaces, temples, triumphal
arches, aqueducts. Little can therefore be said as to the date of its
ground-plan. But it was rectangular in outline, or nearly so; and its
streets crossed at right angles and enclosed rectangular insulae.[113]
The place owes all its greatness to Rome. During the second century it
was the fortress of the Legio III Cyrenaica, which guarded this part
of the eastern Roman frontier. About A.D. 225 it became a 'colonia,'
and perhaps we should date from this the town-plan just described
(fig. 34).

    [113] Baedeker, _Palestine and Syria_ (1906), p. 162.

This rectangular planning remained long in use in the Eastern Empire.
When in A.D. 705 (as it seems) the town of Chersonnesus in the Crimea
was rebuilt after a total destruction, it was rebuilt on a symmetrical
plan of oblong 'insulae' (25-30 by 60-70 yds. area). Its streets were
mean and narrow. But their plan at least was apparently more regular
than that of their predecessors.[114]

    [114] Minns, _Greeks and Scythians_, pp. 493, 508, and references
    there given.



Archaeology tells us that the western half of the Roman Empire and
many districts in its eastern half used a definite town-plan which may
be named, for brevity, the chess-board pattern. It remains to ask
whether literature, or at least legal literature, provides any basis
of theory or any ratification of the actual system which archaeology
reveals. Of augural lore we have indeed enough and to spare. We know
that the _decumanus_ and the _cardo_, the two main lines of the Roman
land-survey and probably also the two main streets of the Roman
town-plan,[115] were laid out under definite augural and
semi-religious provision. We should expect to find more. A system of
town-planning that is so distinctive and so widely used might
reasonably have created a series of building-laws sanctioning or
modifying it. This did not occur. Neither the lawyers nor even the
land-surveyors, the so-called Gromatici, tell us of any legal rules
relative to town-planning as distinct from surveying in general. The
surveyors, in particular, are much more concerned with the soil of the
province and its 'limitation' and 'centuriation', than with the
arrangements of any individual town, and, whatever their value for
extramural boundaries,[116] throw no light on streets and 'insulae'.

    [115] See p. 73.

    [116] Schulten, _Hermes_, 1898, p. 534.

The nearest approach to building-laws which occurs is a clause which
seems to be a standing provision in many municipal charters and
similar documents from the age of Cicero onwards, to the effect that
no man might destroy, unroof, or dismantle an urban building unless he
was ready to replace it by a building at least as good or had received
special permission from his local town council. The earliest example
of this provision occurs in the charter of the municipality of
Tarentum, which was drawn up in the time of Cicero.[117] It is
repeated in practically the same words in the charter of the 'colonia
Genetiva' in southern Spain, which was founded in 44 B.C.; it recurs
in the charter granted to the municipality of Malaga, also in southern
Spain, about A.D. 82.[118] Somewhat similar prohibitions of the
removal of even old and worthless houses without special leave are
implied in decrees of the Roman Senate passed in A.D. 44 and A.D. 56,
though these seem really to relate to rural rather than to urban
buildings and were perhaps more agrarian than municipal in their
object.[119] Hadrian, in a dispatch written in A.D. 127 to an eastern
town which had lately obtained something like municipal status,
includes a provision that a house in the town belonging to one
Claudius Socrates must either be repaired by him or handed over to
some other citizen.[120] Similar legislation occurs in A.D. 224 and in
the time of Diocletian and later.[121]

    [117] Mommsen, _Eph. Epigr._ ix, p. 9; Dessau, _Inscr. sel._
    6086; 'nei quis in oppido quod eius municipi erit aedificium
    detegito neive demolito neive disturbato nisei quod non deterius
    restiturus erit nisei de senatus sententia. sei quis adversus ea
    faxit, quanti id aedificium fuerit, tantam pequniam municipio
    dare damnas esto eiusque pequniae quei volet petitio est.'
    (English translation in E.G. Hardy's _Roman Laws and Charters_,
    p. 101.)

    [118] Dessau, 6087, 6089; Hardy, _Roman Laws_, part 2, pp. 34,

    [119] For these decrees, which are practically equivalent at this
    date to laws, see _CIL_. x. 1401 = Dessau 6043, and de Pachtère
    in _Mélanges Cagnat_, p. 169.

    [120] For the letter of Hadrian see _Bulletin de Corresp. Hell._
    x. 111; it is quoted by Bruns, _Fontes_, 1909, p. 200. Compare
    the _Historia Augusta_, Life of Hadrian, ch. 18.

    [121] Mommsen, _Eph. Epigr._ iii, p. 111 and _Ges. Schiften_, i.
    158, 263, 371; Liebenam, _Städteverwaltung_, 393.

Rules were also laid down occasionally to forbid balconies and similar
structures which might impede the light and air in narrow streets, and
it was a common rule that cemeteries and brickyards must lie outside
the area of inhabitation. At Rome too, efforts were made by various
emperors to limit the height of the large tenement houses which there
formed the 'insulae'. These limits were, however, fixed haphazard
without due reference to the width of the streets; they do not seem to
occur outside of Rome, and even in Rome they were very scantily

But in general no definite laws were framed. Probably the
municipalities were somewhat closely tied in the administration of
municipal property and had to refer schemes for the employment even of
the smallest bit of vacant space to the 'patron' or the _curator_ of
the town. But, apart from the provisions mentioned above, they had no
specific rights, that are recorded, against private owners or
builders. It was only once, after Rome itself had been burnt out, that
an imperial order condemned landowners who 'held up' their ground
instead of using it, to forfeit their ownership in favour of any one
who offered to build at once.



What was the sequel to this long work of town-planning? Two facts
stand out distinct. First, the Roman planning helped the towns of the
Empire to take definite form, but when the Empire fell, it too met its
end. Only here and there its vestiges lingered on in the streets of
scattered cities like things of a former age. But, secondly, from this
death it rose again, first in the thirteenth century, with
ever-growing power to set the model for the city life of the modern

I. The value of town-planning to Roman civilization was twofold. It
increased the comfort of the common man; it made the towns stronger
and more coherent units to resist the barbarian invasions. When, after
250 years of conflict, the barbarians triumphed, its work was done. In
the next age of ceaseless orderless warfare it was less fit, with its
straight broad streets, for defence and for fighting than the chaos of
narrow tortuous lanes out of which it had grown and to which it now
returned. The cases are few in which survivals of Roman streets have
conditioned the external form of mediaeval or modern towns. We in
England tend perhaps to overrate the likelihood of such survivals. Our
classical education has, until very lately, taught most of us more of
ancient than of mediaeval history, and when our antiquaries find towns
rectangular in outline and streets that cross in a Carfax, they give
them a Roman origin.

Such a tendency is wrong. Plentiful evidence shows that even in Italy
and even in towns where men have dwelt without a break since Roman
days, the Roman streets, and with them the Roman town-plans, have far
oftener vanished than endured. Rome herself, the Eternal City, uses
hardly one street to-day which was used in the Roman Empire. Some few
Italian towns, described in detail above, have a better claim to be
called 'eternal'; half a dozen in northern Italy retain their ancient
streets in singular perfection. Yet even there cities like Padua and
Mantua, Genoa and Pisa, have lost the signs of their older fashion.
So, too, in the provinces. In the Danubian lands only one town can
even be supposed to preserve a few of its Roman streets. In all the
once great cities of that region, Sirmium and Siscia, Poetovio and
Celeia and Emona, they have wholly gone; you may walk across the sites
to-day and seek them in vain in modern street or hedgerow or lane. In
Gaul there were many Roman municipalities in the south; there were
many towns of lesser rank but equal wealth in the centre and west and
north. But we owe our knowledge of their town-plans to an inscription
from Orange and to some excavations at Autun and Trier. Cologne and
Trier alone, or almost alone, keep Roman streets in modern use, and
they are significant. Both became Roman towns in the first century;
both held colonial rank; both have lived on continuously ever since
and hardly changed their names. Yet both bear to-day the stamp of the
Middle Ages, and the Roman streets which they use are small and nearly
unrecognizable fragments.

There is, indeed, no law of survivals. Chance--that convenient ancient
word to denote the interaction of many imponderable forces--has ruled
one way in one place and otherwise in another. Sometimes monuments
have alone survived, sometimes only streets, and we can seldom give
reasons for this contrast of fates. At Pola, gates, temples, and
amphitheatre still tell of the Roman past and the modern town-square
keeps so plainly the tradition of the Forum that you cannot walk
across it without a sense of what it was. Yet not a single street
agrees with those of the Roman 'colonia'. In the Lombard and Tuscan
plains, at Turin and Pavia and Piacenza, at Florence and Lucca, the
Roman streets are still in use, just as the old Roman field-ways still
divide up the fertile plains outside those towns. But, save in Turin,
hardly one Roman stone has been left upon another. In the no less
fertile plain of the lower Rhone, at Nîmes and Arles and Orange, the
stately ruins wake the admiration of the busiest and least learned
traveller; of the Roman streets there is no sign.

Britain has enjoyed less continuity of civilization than any other
western province; in Britain the survivals are even fewer. In London,
within the limits of the Roman city, no street to-day follows the
course of any Roman street, though Roman roads that lead up to the
gates are still in use. At Colchester the Roman walls still stand; the
places of the Roman gates are known; the masonry of the west gate is
still visible as the masonry of a gateway. But the modern and ancient
streets do not coincide, and the west gate, which has so well
withstood the blows of time, can hardly be reached by road from within
the city. At York the defences of the legionary fortress have still
their place in the sun, but the 'colonia' on the other bank of the
Ouse has vanished wholly from the surface, walls and streets together,
and the houses of the citizens of Eburacum are known solely by finds
of mosaic floors. At Lincoln the Roman walls and gates can easily be
traced and one gate rears its arch intact, but the Bailgate alone
follows, and that erratically, the line of a Roman street. The road
from the Humber, thirty miles north of Lincoln, runs to-day, as it has
run for eighteen centuries, under the Newport arch and through the
modern town and passes on southwards. That long straight road has
given a feature to Lincoln, but it is a feature due to the Roman
highway outside the town, not to the streets within it. Lincoln itself
is as English as Cologne and Trier are German.

II. But if Roman streets have seldom survived continuously to modern
days, if Roman town-planning perished with the western Empire, it has
none the less profoundly influenced the towns of mediaeval and modern
Europe and America. Early in the thirteenth century men began to
revive, with certain modifications, the rectangular planning which
Rome had used. Perhaps copying Roman originals seen in northern Italy,
Frederic Stupor Mundi now built on a chess-board pattern the Terra
Nova which he founded in Sicily. Now, in 1231, Barcelonette was built
with twenty square 'insulae' in south-eastern France. Now, too, the
'Bastides' and 'Villes Neuves' of southern France and towns like
Aigues-Mortes (1240) were built on similar plans.[122]

    [122] For the Bastides and Villes Neuves see Dr. A.E. Brinckmann,
    _Deutsche Bauzeitung_, Jan.-Feb., 1910, and, for an example, fig.
    35. Many of them may be earlier than 1200 (A. Giry, _Bibl. de
    l'École des Chartes_, xlii. 451), but those with more or less
    chess-board plans seem later.

(By Dr. A.E. Brinckmann.)]

Soon after, the chess-board pattern came to England and was used in
Edwardian towns like Flint[123] and Winchelsea; then, too, it was
adopted at the other end of the civilized world by German soldiers in
Polish lands. Cracow, for example, owes to German settlers in the
mid-thirteenth century that curious chess-board pattern of its
innermost and oldest streets which so much puzzles the modern
visitor.[124] It is unnecessary here to follow further the renaissance
of town-planning. By intervals and revivals it continued to spread. In
1652 it reached Java, when the Dutch built Batavia. In 1682 it reached
America, when Penn founded Philadelphia. In 1753, when Kandahar was
refounded as a new town on a new site, its Afghan builders laid out a
roughly rectangular city, divided into four quarters meeting at a
central Carfax and divided further into many strangely rectangular
blocks of houses.[125]

    [123] Compare E.A. Lewis, _Medieval Boroughs of Snowdonia_, pp.
    30, 61 foll.

    [124] So, too, Lemberg. Compare R.F. Kaindl, _Die Deutschen in
    den Karpathenländern_, i. 178, 293; ii. 304; he does not, however,
    deal with the actual plans.

    [125] I have to thank the late Sir Alfred Lyall for a sight of a
    survey made by English engineers in 1839.

But in growing, the old town-planning has passed into a new stage. The
Romans dealt with small areas, seldom more than three hundred acres
and often very much less. The town-plans of the Middle Ages and even
of modern times affected areas that were little larger. Only the last
days have brought development. Till the enormous changes of the
nineteenth century--changes which have transferred the termination of
ancient history from A.D. 476 to near A.D. 1800--the older fashions
remained, in town-life as in most other forms of civilized society.
Towns were still, with few exceptions, small and their difficulties,
if real, were simple. Save in half a dozen abnormal capitals, they
had, even in relatively modern days, no vast populations to be fed and
made into human and orderly citizens. They had no chemical industries,
no chimneys defiling the air, or drains defiling the water. Now,
builders have to face the many square miles of Chicago or Buenos
Ayres, to provide lungs for their cities, to fight with polluted
streams and smoke. Their problems are quite unlike those of the
ancients. When Cobbett, about 1800, called London the Great Wen, he
contrasted in two monosyllables the ancient ideal of a city with the
ugly modern facts.

It is not, therefore, likely that modern architects or legislators
will learn many hints from plans of Timgad or of Silchester. There are
lessons perhaps in the growth of Turin from its little ancient
chess-board to its modern enlargement, but such developments are rare.
The great benefit to modern workers of such a survey as I have
attempted is that it shows the slow and painful steps by which mankind
became at last able to plan towns as units, yet inhabited by
individual men and women, and that it emphasizes the need for definite
rules and principles. Nor is it perhaps quite superfluous to-day to
point out how closely, even after the great upheaval of the nineteenth
century, the forms of modern life depend on the Roman world.

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software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.