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Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route$
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Steven Sidebotham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244306

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244306.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Nile-Red Sea Roads

Nile-Red Sea Roads

Chapter:
(p.125) 8 Nile-Red Sea Roads
Source:
Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route
Author(s):

Steven E. Sidebotham

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520244306.003.0008

This chapter explores the land routes in the Eastern Desert from about 30 B.C.E. until the sixth century C.E. The Romans enhanced the previously existing road networks by refurbishing, enlarging, and extending older Ptolemaic routes and renovating stops and stations along them. The maps, itineraries, and lists of road stations, inns, towns, military garrisons, and cities throughout the empire were likely compiled by individuals of varying abilities on official or unofficial missions over long periods of time. Roman settlements in the Eastern Desert were connected with the road system and cannot be understood apart from it. The elaborate road system with its praesidia and hydreumata, mines, quarries, and other settlements of uncertain function, together with the Red Sea ports, dramatically shows the importance attached to the Eastern Desert and Red Sea coast by the Roman imperial and provincial governments, the military, civilian entrepreneurs, and others.

Keywords:   Eastern Desert, Nile, Red Sea ports, Roman settlements, road system, praesidia, hydreumata, mines, quarries

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