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Aqueduct Hunting in the Seventeenth Century: Raffaele Fabretti's De aquis et aquaeductibus veteris Romae
by Harry B. Evans
University of Michigan Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-472-11248-7
Library of Congress Classification TD280.R6E93 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 628.150937

Aqueduct hunting has been a favorite pastime for visitors to Rome since antiquity, although serious study of how the Eternal City obtained its water did not begin until the seventeenth century. It was Raffaele Fabretti (1619-1700), the well-known Italian antiquarian and epigrapher, who began the first systematic research of the Roman aqueduct system.
Fabretti's treatise, De aquis et aquaeductibus veteris Romae dissertationes tres, is cited as a matter of course by all later scholars working in the area of Roman topography. Its findings--while updated and supplemented by more recent archaeological efforts--have never been fully superseded. Yet despite its enormous importance and impact on scholarly efforts, the De aquis has never yet been translated from the original Latin. Aqueduct Hunting in the Seventeenth Century provides a full translation of and commentary on Fabretti's writings, making them accessible to a broad audience and carefully assessing their scholarly contributions.
Harry B. Evans offers his reader an introduction to Fabretti and his scholarly world. A complete translation and a commentary that focuses primarily on the topographical problems and Fabretti's contribution to our understanding of them are also provided. Evans also assesses the contributions and corrections of later archaeologists and topographers and places the De aquis in the history of aqueduct studies.
Evans demonstrates that Fabretti's conclusions, while far from definitive, are indeed significant and merit wider attention than they have received to date. This book will appeal to classicists and classical archaeologists, ancient historians, and readers interested in the history of technology, archaeology, and Rome and Italy in the seventeenth century.
Harry B. Evans is Professor of Classics, Fordham University.

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