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Naevius Sutorius Macro's Wife

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

In order to gain favor with Caligula, who is the clear successor to Tiberius, Naevius turns a blind eye on his wife, Ennia Thrasylla, having an affair with Caligula. This gained him great favor with Caligula. However, this won't last for long...

My Take by Southpaw Ben
Different historians have different opinions about the truth behind the affair. Some think that Naevius simply ignored his wife having an affair. Others think he and Ennia colluded together to have her pretend to love him to increase their political power, and still others fall everywhere inbetween on this issue.

Built to Last

Contributed by David Verne

Construction of the Nimes aqueduct begins this year. Nimes is a city of 60,000 in southern Gaul (modern France) and is in a difficult position to build an aqueduct for. A rough terrain of deep valleys forces Roman engineers to build in a large loop, and it will stretch 31 miles. The water source is only 56 ft higher than the catchment basin in the city, but this was enough to provide a steady flow of water. A portion of this aqueduct still stands today, the Pont du Gard. It is a bridge over the Gardon River and is 902 ft long (used to be 1,160 ft) and 160 ft high. It is constructed of 50,400 tons of limestone from a local quarry and some individual blocks weigh up to 6 tons. The blocks were individually cut at the quarry to fit without mortar using only friction. The aqueduct will take fifteen years to complete, and will provide an estimated 10.5 million gallons of water a day. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Aqueducts ran completely on gravity, and surveyors had to be extremely precise in their measurements to ensure that there was enough of a gradient for the water to flow. The aqueduct channels were lined with concrete and covered with stone slabs. When it reached the city it went into a catchment basin, where pipes would deliver the water to fountains, baths, and private homes. Some insula, apartment buildings, provided running water for their tenants on the lower floors. Pipes were preferably ceramic, the Romans knew about the health effects of lead, and if lead pipes were used, the minerals in the water would eventually coat the pipes, preventing too much lead poisoning.

See Also


  1. Pont du Gard.

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