Principles of spatial organization and agrarian structure of Ancient Rome

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In archaic societies the idea of the spatial organisation was embodied in the cosmogony and was accompanied by a complicated ritual. The Romans embraced the principles of spatial thinking from the Etruscans inherited from them also ritual. In ancient traditions, it is this ritual which have obscured the main ideas on division of space. Reconstruction of the heavenly temple on earth made by the priest largely depended on his individual perception of this task. Adapting the projection of the celestial temple to the spatial division, the Romans gradually began to get rid of the undefined elements of the ritual. Now it was focused on conducting of the principal axes, namely on their orientation towards the four cardinal points. First one held the line designating the East-West, then the perpendicular line North-South. Thus was created the cross of divisors with confined spaces, i.e. coordinate system. The main element of the theory of the Roman spatial division was the limit - a straight line, just held on geographical areas. All limits (main and parallel) precisely defined section of land. In practice, the Roman surveyors carefully spaced and accurately divided areas with limits. These principles are used by the Romans in the organization of the lands in Italy and in the provinces.

About the authors

Inna Andreevna Gvozdeva

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Historical Sciences

27-4 Lomonosovsky Ave., Moscow, 119991, Russia, GSP-1


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