Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ancient Roman carriages etc

Salvete Omnes,
we will travel to the ancient Rome and the wider Mediterranean world and will take a look at the Roman vehicle traveling on the famous Roman roads

 So this is this rather  short entry on the vast and interesting subject of the  ancient Roman vehicle and its types and varieties -  here the excellent article (and much more in other chapters) by Dr Judith A. Weller titled Roman Traction Systems.
Below various images on Wiki Commons -

 Roman carriage
 (replica, more photos here)
Some o the vehicles - carts, chariots, wagons and carriages listed below:
horse, mule or oxen oxen carried litter known as 

I . Singel axle vehicles

-cisium (fast traveling 2 person vehicle)
-plaustrum (two wheels)

- quadriga

II .   the second category was the  2 axles (four wheels) vehicles, drawn by horses, mules or oxen:

-plaustrum(4 wheels)

-sarracum (serracum)
 -carrus arcuatus
 -carrus triumphalis
 -carrus falcatus
-carruca (dormitoria)

Post and mail carriage
and some other types or Roman vehicles
-labula (military wagon)

-labularium (military wagon)


Carpentum (Eon Images)

 Nota bene the town dwellers who had money to rent a vehicle they could do it from a cisiarius.
they were slaves or free men who would be driving the hired vehicle, and they were notorious for driving very fast the cisium, covinnus or even rheda carriages.
Those cisiarii (banded into a profession) located at the livery stables  at the town gates, although perhaps also having offices at the mansio (inn) - there were more or less 1 mansio  per 4 mutationes (mutatio or hostel), were spread out in towns along the Roman roads or cursus publicus, and for example Julius Caesar hired a carriage to travel from Rome to Rhone and allegedly his hired coach traveled the distance of some 1,200 kilometers in just 8 days .
 another example or Roman travel - in 38 or37 BC poet Horace traveled along with Octavian's envoy Maecenas  from Rome to Brindisi and wrote about this,  in his poem Sermones or Satirae 1.5.


A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities John Murray, London, 1875. - web version. - where many of the named vehicles are listed and explained with the primary literary and iconographic sources.

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