Unique roman map as route planner

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Thanks to the efforts of Dutch historian René Vourburg and the internet, the only complete Roman road map in existence, the Tabula Peutingeriana, can once again be used to plan trips.

On Monday, René Voorburg announced that his route planner is now available on-line at omnesviae.org. The historian, a web archivist at the Royal Library in The Hague, has spent every free hour he could find in the past six months to realise the project.

"Scientists have recently mapped all locations mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana,” says Voorburg. "So I went and took a look which towns I would pass on a trip from A to B in the Roman Empire.” Eventually he decided to create a route planner included all 2,760 towns of the old map and the roads connecting them.

To the best of Voorburg’s knowledge, his project is unique in the world. In the past few months, he has made contact with colleagues abroad, who helped him create home pages in other languages. He intends to make the site available in the languages of all countries included in the Tabula Peutingeriana.

The Roman road map, which was created between the 3rd and 4th century, covers the region from present-day United Kingdom to the river Ganges that flows through India and Bangla Desh. The huge map, which covers 12 sheets of parchment was placed on the Unesco World Heritage List in 2007. The oldest copy of the antique map still in existence forms part of the collection of the Austrian National Library in Vienna, but cannot be viewed by the public.

The map includes a large number of Dutch towns, including Lugdunum Batavorum Katwijk aan Zee, Matilone Leiden, Albaniana Alphen aan den Rijn, Forum Hadriani Voorburg and Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum Nijmegen.


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