Stanford has an awesome site that shows time and cost to travel in the Roman Empire. You can find it at
ORBIS – The Stanford Geosptial Network Model of the Roman World
If you’ve read my blogs for a while, you know I am a member of the Protestant tradition of the Christian faith community. As a result, the Roman Empire is of interest, since that was the occupying power in Israel during the New Testament period.
You also know I am interested the impact of technology on the cost of everything, including travel.
You can only imagine what a delight it is to find a web site that overlaps travel costs and the Roman Empire.
Here is a description of ORBIS from its website:
Spanning one-ninth of the earth’s circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents.
Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity.
For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
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