Claudian Aqueduct:

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THE CLAUDIAN AQUEDUCT, OR AQUA CLAUDIA, completed by the Emperor Claudius, 41-54 AD, one of nine aqueducts of the imperial city of Rome. This aqueduct was remarkable for the quantity of water it conveyed to the city and was by far the grandest in point of architectural effect, inasmuch as it presented, for about 6 miles before it reached the city, a continuous range of exceedingly lofty structure, the arches being in some places 109 ft. hight. The nine aqueducts of imperial Rome brought in water from pristine mountain lakes and springs as far as 50-60 miles. They had a capacity of more than 300 million gallons per day. By employing above ground archways such as these, the more than 700 engineers of the imperial water service maintained a continuous slope from the water's source to the gates of the city, and then relied on gravity and pump houses to drive the water throughout the city, even uphill. Covered water channels were normally constructed of stone or brick coated with hydraulic cement and employed periodic settling basins to reduce water impurities. Lead and terracotta piping was also employed to direct water to locations within the city. The water was distributed all over the city, even to the hilltops, and poured continuously into the many public fountains and the latrines of the public baths. The privileged had water brought to their residences by lead pipe and with some pressure. Three of the Roman aqueducts still function today. The images show a surviving span of the aqueduct raised above ground outside Rome, and a view of the model of Rome depicting the aqueduct passing by the Colosseum toward its public fountain at the foot of the Palatine Hill.

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Last Updated: 02/17/2000