Aqua Augusta (Naples)
The Aqua Augusta or Serino Aqueduct was a Roman aqueduct which supplied water to eight cities in the Bay of Naples, including Pompeii, Stabiae and Nola. It started near the modern town of Serino and terminated, after 96 km, in the Piscina Mirabilis at the naval base and port, Portus Julius, of Misenum. The Emperor Augustus (or more likely his close friend and ally Agrippa) built the Aqua Augusta between 30 and 20 BC. The aqueduct's source was the Terminio- Tuoro mountains, just outside the city of Avellino in the Campania region.
Little remains of the aqueduct today, although traces of the original structure may be found at a number of sites, including several in and around Naples as well as the well-preserved Piscina Mirabilis at Misenum. This is one of the largest such terminal reservoirs on the aqueduct known in the Roman Empire and survives almost intact to this day. It was probably intended as a strategic water resource for the naval base, especially if the base had been besieged.
In modern times, parts of the aqueduct, in addition to the Piscina Mirabilis were vital to the region's survival during World War II. Many locals used the areas as air-raid shelters.
It features prominently in the novel Pompeii by Robert Harris, whose protagonist is a water engineer ("Aquarius") sent from Rome to maintain the aqueduct in AD 79 during the time around the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
- Hodge, A.T., Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply, 2nd ed. London: Duckworth.
- Hodge, A.T. (2001). Hodge, A.T., Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply, 2nd ed. London: Duckworth.
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