OmnesViae: Itinerarium Romanum

a reconstruction of an antique Roman map with internet technology

| χάρτη | Tabula Peutingeriana | ανοικοδόμηση | ευχαριστίες |
“nearly 2000 of the 2760 places from the Peutinger map have been given a geolocation”

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OmnesViae as a reconstruction of the Tabula Peutingeriana

OmnesViae.org offers a reconstruction of the Tabula Peutingeriana with internet technology. The Tabula Peutingeriana, also known as the Peutinger map, is a medieval copy of a Roman roadmap from about the year 300 CE.

This reconstruction is mainly based on research by Richard Talbert. The places, connections and distances are mostly derived from data published by Talbert (see http://cambridge.org/us/talbert/). To study the Tabula Peutingeriana using OmnesViae, one needs to be aware of how this reconstruction was made, how it works and how the underlying data differs from Talberts dataset.

Addition of mountain passes

For each connection between two places, Talbert has recorded the river crossings shown on the Peutingeriana. OmnesViae has added to this information on mountain passes, as they appear on the map. This was done by an analysis of the routes on Konrad Miller's reconstruction of the Peutingeriana (Itineraria Romana, 1916). OmnesViae shows these river crossings and mountain passes in the schematic display of a calculated route.

Additional connections over water

On the Peutingeriana, not all roads lead to Rome. A few networks with substantial numbers of places are separated from the European mainland by water. To increase the usability (and fun factor) of OmnesViae, three additional connections have been made. One over the Bosphorus connecting Constantinopolis with Chrisoppolis, one from Regio to Messana, connecting Sicilly to Italia and a one from Ratupis to Gesoriacum connecting Britannia with the main land. Road networks like those on Crete and Cyprus are not yet connected to the main network.

Additional distance figures

The route planner calculates the shortest route using the distance figures that are on the Peutingeriana (regardles of the unit used). However, the Peutingeriana doesn't have distance figures for all connections. This causes the route planner to prefer those connections, since they are considered to have no distance. As a result, a calculated route may divert from the route that would actually be the shortest. To prevent this, reconstructed distances have been added to some of the connections that are lacking a distance figure. In the schematic display, reconstructed distance figures appear between ()-brackets. When reconstructing distance figures, the distance unit used in the given area (Roman mile or leuga gallica) has been taken into account by studying given distances to surrounding places with known locations.

Additional place names

Place names have been added to the names that are on the Peutingeriana. Current day names have been added using the information on http://www.tabula-peutingeriana.de/. In the schematic display of a planned route, the modern names are shown between ()-brackets. Some places are missing a name on the Peutingeriana or have a name that is (partially) illegible. In those cases, the name according to Miller is used. For many places, spelling variants have been added too. Usually these names were obtained from http://pleiades.stoa.org/.

Added geolocations

To be able to plot the places of the Peutingeriana on Google Maps, geolocations were added. Initially, this was done by sending the added current day names to the Google geocoding webservice. Since only place names were supplied and no other data like country or region, many of the resulting locations were incorrect. For those places further research was done using various internet sources. Specifically http://geonames.org/ was used frequently. Only after having worked through all places with a current day place name, the virtual atlas at http://pleiades.stoa.org/ was stumbled upon. All places without a geolocation were now looked up in Pleiades. Finally, all isolated places from the Peutingeriana that could be given a geolocation using Pleiades were added to OmnesViae. When adding a geolocation, it was always checked whether its location matches with surrounding places and routes. Nearly 2000 of the 2760 places from the Peutinger map have now been given a geolocation.

Reconstruction of the lost western part

The most western part of the Roman Empire is not on the Peutinger map. It is likely that it was on the original map but this part got lost before the now remaining copy was made.
OmnesViae offers a reconstruction of this lost part. Intend was to follow Miller's reconstruction. However, when starting with the reconstruction of Hispania, the routes on Miller's work often proved to be difficult to reconstruct or contained major errors. Therefore, the remaining reconstruction was made using the Itinerarium Antonini (IA). This explains why the map of Hispania shows some places that are not in the IA and are not routable. For the reconstruction of Britannia, the interpretation of Roman-Britain.org was followed. For the reconstruction of Mauretania the assumption was made that in the IA the positions of Oppido Novo colonia and Tigava castra were exchanged.

On the symbols displayed

The symbols shown for the places on the map are representative for the class of the actual symbol on the Peutinger map as classified by Annalina and Marco Levi (Itineraria picta: Contributo allo studio della Tabula Peutingerianam, 1967). In the current version of OmnesViae the city of Rome is displayed with its symbol on the Peutinger map but the other two cities in this class (Constantinopolis and Antiochia) have not yet been given a symbol.
The choice of symbols on the lost western part is freely based on Miller's reconstruction. These symbols are displayed in greyscale.

Last updated October 21, 2011.