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"Roman aqueduct"We went to see the aqueduct, the one sight
of a surly village near the Pyrenees -
surky because there're Cathars? or because
they know they've tricked the visitors who write
the road-signs and the guide-books. It's not Roman
to my eyes - I would swear the man who bled
the river Agly at the valley head
and planted crops and married local women
were Arabs. Straggling back from Poitiers
they hid among these hills, remade their home
here under fruitful clouds and under dolmens
of long-forgotten Franks. Then their pretence
saved them, but still they hate the name of Rome.
They built the aqueduct, but they dare not say.
With kind permission of the poet
Dear Wilke Schram,
My very heartiest congratulations on your outstandingly comprehensive website and bibliography on aqueducts. It is a first-rate publication, and I look forward with great interest to your updated version.
I offer suggestions, as you request. My chief one is that perhaps you should also include a section on aqueducts in general, as well as the individual sites. This could also include references to ancient sources, notably Vitruvius and Frontinus, as also commentaries on them. It would mean a great deal more work for you, and no doubt you have already considered the possibility, but you will agree, I am sure, that it would also greatly increase the value of your site.
Of course, a further possible expansion would be to add references not just to the aqueducts proper but to the water distribution system in the towns, with sections on lead pipes, lead poisoning, castella, taps, measuring the quinaria, and so on. The whole water system ought, after all, to be considered as a single entity.
In any event, my best wishes for your future success. [ ...]
With all good wishes, and warmest congratulations on your work,
A. Trevor Hodge (1930 - 2012)
Department of Classics, Carleton University, Ottawa
e-Mail March 2004
For a biographical notice, see this webpage.
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