Article

ASTRONOMY IN ROMAN URBANISM: A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ORIENTATION OF ROMAN TOWNS IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA

2018. English

By
Juan Antonio Belmonte (author)
Summary
The present work is part of a wide and ambitious project for the study of the role of astronomy in Roman urban layout started few years ago. In particular, the main aim is to check whether Roman cities present astronomical patterns in their orientations. It emerged from ideas about how to properly orientate the main streets of a Roman town accounted in a number of ancient texts and later discussions leaded by contemporary scholars. We present here the final conclusions of a particular study developed in the Iberian Peninsula (Roman Hispania), where the urbanism that we tend to associate as properly Roman greatly flourished during both the Republic and the Empire. The analysed sample includes 81 measurements of Roman urban entities spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, being a statistically significant one and the largest dataset obtained in a specific region so far. The current results stress the lack of randomness in the orientation patterns and do seem to point towards a likely astronomical intentionality
Keywords
Archaeoastronomy. Orientations. Roman architecture. Roman urbanism. Iberian Peninsula.
Journal or series
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Volume 49 (3)
Pages 363-387