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Ancient Roman Road Map Unveiled

Roman road mapThe Tabula Peutingeriana is one of the Austrian National Library's greatest treasures. The parchment scroll, made in the Middle Ages, is the only surviving copy of a road map from the late Roman Empire.

The document, which is almost seven metres long, shows the network of main Roman roads from Spain to India.

Both the landmass and the seas have been stretched and flattened. The Mediterranean has been reduced to a thin strip of water, more like a river than a sea.

Instead of being oriented from north to south, the map, which is only 34 centimetres wide, works from west to east.

The red lines are the main roads. Every so often there is a little hook along the red lines which represents a rest stop - and the distance between hooks was one day's travel.

At the centre of the Tabula Peutingeriana is Rome. The city, represented by a crowned figure on a throne, has numerous roads leading to and from the metropolis. Some, such as the Via Appia and the Via Aurelia, still exist today.

The Tabula Peutingeriana scroll dates from the late 12th or the early 13th century and was made in Southern Germany or Austria.

Source: BBC
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