De aquaeductu, in two books, is an official report to the emperor on the state of the aqueducts of Rome, and was written by Julius Sextus Frontinus at the end of the first century AD. The ancient Romans constructed numerous aqueducts ( Latin aquaeductūs, sing Sextus Julius Frontinus (ca 40-103 AD was one of the most distinguished Roman aristocrats of the late first century AD but is best known to the post-Classical world as an It is also known as De Aquis or De Aqueductibus Urbis Romae. It is the first official report of an investigation made by a distinguished citizen on Roman engineering works which has survived. Origins The Romans are generally famous for their advanced Engineering accomplishments although some of their own inventions were improvements on older ideas concepts Frontinus had been appointed Water Commissioner by the emperor Nerva in 95 AD. Marcus Cocceius Nerva was also the name of a Roman emperor NERVA is an acronym for Nuclear Engine for Rocket
The work presents a history and description of the water-supply of Rome, including the laws relating to its use and maintenance. He describes the history of all of the nine aqueducts of Rome at the time at which he was writing at the turn of the first century AD. The ancient Romans constructed numerous aqueducts ( Latin aquaeductūs, sing The aqueducts included Aqua Marcia, Aqua Appia, Aqua Alsietina, Aqua Tepula, Anio Novus, Aqua Virgo and Aqua Claudia. The Aqua Marcia was the longest of the 11 aqueducts that supplied the city of ancient Rome. The Aqua Appia was the first Roman aqueduct. It was constructed in 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus, the same Roman censor who also In Ancient Rome the Aqua Alsietina (sometimes called Aqua Augusta was the earliest of the two western Aqueducts, erected somewhere around 2 BC during the reign of emperor The Aqua Tepula was built in 126 BC by Censors G Servilius Caepio and L Anio Novus (named after a river Anio at the forty-second mile of the Via Sublacensis from which the water was taken originally is an Aqueduct The Aqua Virgo was one of the 11 aqueducts that supplied the city of ancient Rome. Aqua Claudia ( Latin, literally "the Claudian water" was an Aqueduct which like the Anio Novus was begun by They are described with details of the sizes of the channels and discharge rates. Frontinus describes the quality of water delivered by each, mainly depending on their source, be it river, lake or spring.
One of the first jobs he undertook when appointed water commissioner was to prepare maps of the system so that he could assess their condition before undertaking their maintenance. He says that many had been neglected and were not working at their full capacity. He was especially concerned by diversion of the supply by unscrupulous farmers, tradesmen, and domestic users, amongst others. They would insert pipes into the channel of the aqueducts to tap the supply without official approval, or insert pipes of larger diameter than approved.
He therefore made a meticulous survey of the intake and the supply of each line, and then investigated the apparent discrepancies. His assessment was based on the cross-sectional area of the pipes or channels, and he did not take water velocity into consideration.
He was well aware of the seminal work De Architectura by Vitruvius which mentions aqueduct construction and maintenance of the channels, published in the previous century, classing him at one point with "the plumbers". De architectura ( Latin: "On architecture" is a treatise on Architecture written by the Roman Architect Vitruvius Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c 80–70 BC died after c 15 BC was a Roman Writer, Architect and Engineer (possibly praefectus fabrum An aqueduct is an artificial channel that is constructed to convey water from one location to another
Distribution of the water depended in a complex way on its height entering the city, the quality of the water and its rate of discharge. Thus poor quality water would be sent for irrigation, gardens, or flushing, while only the best would be reserved for potable use. Intermediate quality water would be used for the many baths and fountains. However, Frontinus criticises the practice of mixing supplies from different sources, and one of his first decisions was to separate the waters from each system.
Waste water would end up primarily in the main sewers, which led into the Cloaca Maxima and finally the river Tiber. The Cloaca Maxima was one of the world's earliest Sewage systems The Tiber ( Latin Tiberis, Italian Tevere) is the third-longest River in Italy, rising in the Apennine mountains The continuous flow of water ensured that the sewers were kept clear and free of obstructions, so contributing to the hygiene of the city. .
He was very concerned by leaks in the system, especially those in the underground conduits, which were difficult to locate and mend, a problem still faced by water engineers today. The aqueducts above ground needed care to ensure that the masonry was kept in good condition, especially those running on arched superstructures. They were mainly those aqueducts approaching Rome from the east over the plains of the Roman Campagna. The Roman Campagna ( Italian: campagna romana) is a low-lying area surrounding Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy, with an area It was, he said, essential to keep trees at a distance so that their roots would not damage the structures. Silting of the channels was another common problem, especially those aqueducts which drew water directly from rivers, such as Anio Novus, and numerous settling tanks (each one being known as a castellum) were built along their lengths. Anio Novus (named after a river Anio at the forty-second mile of the Via Sublacensis from which the water was taken originally is an Aqueduct A castellum is a small Roman detached Fort or fortlet used as a watch tower or signal station They also served as convenient distribution points in the city itself, where the supply was split to feed different uses.
He reviewed the existing law governing the state aqueducts, as well as the need for enforcement of those statutes. A statute is a formal written enactment of a Legislative authority that governs a Country, State, City, or County.