On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the American University of Rome hosted an evening of lectures as part of the Frontinus Society’s conference “De Aquaeductu Urbis Romae. The Legacy of Sextus Iulius Frontinus. International Congress on the History of Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering in the Mediterranean Region.”
The Frontinus Society unites archaeologists, engineers, historians from all over the world in their attempt to explore aqueducts, baths, fountains, latrines, and sewers of the ancient civilizations. This year, from November 10th - 18th, the meeting took place in Rome, combining a series of lectures and a rich excursion program focusing on the ancient Roman aqueducts and baths.
The Wednesday evening started with a welcome speech by AUR’s President, Dr. Richard Hodges. The thoughtful selection of stories about Thomas Ashby, once director of the British School at Rome, and considered the father of aqueduct studies, could not have found a more appreciative audience. The Frontinus secretary Gilbert Wiplinger introduced the three speakers, all of whom are affiliated to AUR. The first lecture “New Research on the Aqua Alexandrina” was shared by David Chacon, who discussed the text sources and hypothetic identification of this last ancient aqueduct, and by Jens Koehler, who introduced to next day’s study trip to the aqueduct bridge at the Tenuta della Mistica. Paul Gwynne guided with his “Poems and Pipelines: Neo-Latin Verse on the Fountains in and round Baroque Rome” through the gardens at Caprarola and the Villa D’Este at Tivoli, and showed the reception and change of ancient typologies.
The event closed with a wonderful tavola calda, much appreciated by the 70, after a long day of site visits, very hungry, participants.