Some 80% of all aqueducts was subterranean but the picture above depicts the traditional view on Roman aqueducts: the arcade of the Aqua Claudia with the Aqua Anio Novus on top, less than 10 km SE of the city center of Rome.
Inside a Roman aqueduct: the channel of the Aqua Anio Novus, just south of Tivoli (Italy), looking upstream. Note the remains of the formwork in the ceiling. According to an ancient source (Frontinus) over 85% of the Anio Novus ran subterranean.
Partly a substruction and partly an arcade with closed arches, quite close to the Pont du Gard, the famous bridge of the aqueduct of Nimes (France).

Longest Roman Aqueducts

In the (short) tradition of aqueduct studies, the longest aqueducts were the ones to Carthage (Tunisia) (90 km, or 132 km including side channels), the 'Eiffel Leitung' to Cologne (Germany): 95 km, and the Aqua Marcia of Rome (91 km).

For one reason or another, the aqueduct of Constantinople (Turkey) (over 250 km) was not included in these lists. Was it because of its origin in late antiquity and / or lack of precise data? The research of James Crow c.s. (Crow 2008) made an end to this omission.
The same counts for the extraordinary aqueduct (overall length 170 km with a tunnel of over 90 km) from Dille, via Adraa and Abila to Gadara (Syria; Jordan), researched by Doring (Doring 2007a).

Below a temporary list based on quite different sources. The length (in km) is counted as the distance - following the course of the aqueduct - between the (main) source and the destination, without counting side channels etc.
Name aqueduct Length
(in km)
Literature Remarks
Constantinople (Turkey) 250 Crow 2008; Burdy 1998: 242 km  
Gadara (Jordan) 170 Doring 2007a From Dille (Syria)
Apamea (Syria) 150 Balty 1987, Burdy 1998 Balty 1970: at least 120 km
Misenum (Italy) 106 Doring 2007c Also called Serino or Aqua Augusta
Phocea (Turkey) 100 Ozis 1996, Burdy 1998
Cologne / Koeln (Germany) 95 Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Hodge 1992, Kessener 2004 Also called Eiffel Leitung
Rome, Auqa Marcia (Italy) 91 Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Hodge 1992, Kessener 2004  
Carthage (Tunisia) 90 Hodge 1992; Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Kessener 2004:
132 km incl. side channels
From Zaghouan
Rome, Anio Novus (Italy) 87 Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Hodge 1992, Kessener 2004  
Lyon, Gier (France) 86 Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Litaudon 2000  
Corinth (Greece) 85 Chanson 2008  
Cadiz / Gades (Spain) 75 Burdy 1998  
Lyon, Brevenne (France) 70 Burdy 1998, Chanson 2008  
Nicopolis (Greece) 70 Chanson 2008  
Rome, Aqua Claudia (Italy) 69 Chanson 2008, Burdy 1998, Hodge 1992, Kessener 2004  
Pergamon, ... (Turkey) 65 Burdy 1998  
Rome, Anio Vetus (Italy) 64 Burdy 1998, Kessener 2004  
Rome, Aqua Traiana (Italy) 58 Kessener 2004, Chanson 2008  
Nimes (France) 50 Adam 1989, Kessener 2004, Chanson 2008  
Pergamon, Kaikos (Turkey) 50 Kessener 2004  


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