Canal of Drusus

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The Canal of Drusus (Latin: Fossa Drusiana) was a Roman canal constructed for military purposes by Nero Claudius Drusus around 12 BC. It is believed to have linked the Rhine delta with the Lake Flevo, (today's IJsselmeer). It facilitated troop transport to the north, avoiding the need to cross the open North Sea. This was of strategic importance for attacks on the Germanic people living on the Frisian coasts and along the Elbe estuary in the German Bight. Drusus' son Germanicus used the canal dug by his father's army in a military campaign some decades later. The canal is mentioned by Roman historians who lived two centuries later.[1]

The exact location of the canal is unknown and is the subject of debate by modern historians, archaeologists and geologists. It may have been located inland along the valley of the river IJssel (not yet a distributary of the Rhine branch in Roman times). Alternatively it may have been closer to the coast in the lagoon area north of Utrecht (one of many Roman border posts) connecting lagoon lakes and local branches of the Rhine delta.


  1. ^ Roller, Duane W. (2006). "Roman Exploration". Through the Pillars of Herakles: Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic (Digitized by Google Books online). Taylor and Francis. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-415-37287-9. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 

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Coordinates: 51°57′N 5°58′E / 51.950°N 5.967°E / 51.950; 5.967