What would the Romans call their ships?
The Roman experiment
In addition to their function as borders, the rivers Rhine and Danube were important transport and trade routes. Complemented by a perfectly developed network of trunk roads in the hinterland of the Limes, these were the lifelines of the empire, they connected all the provinces with Rome. Only this excellent infrastructure of waterways and roads made it possible to react flexibly and quickly to attacks and to secure supplies.
They could be used to supply the army camps, but also the growing settlements and cities that often developed in the vicinity of forts. Craftsmen and traders settled there and large estates, the villae rusticae, supplied cities and the military with agricultural products. Many goods were transported by ship. The rivers were the "highways of antiquity", at least for heavy goods transport, that is, for bulk goods such as grain, wine, oil, and building materials. There were shipping companies that organized Roman goods traffic by sea. And the military earned a lot from the buoyant trade. Because the Roman patrol boats provided escort and it wasn't free.
The team around Prof. Schäfer is happy because their patrol boat, the replica of a Navis Lusoria, survived the first test drives with flying colors. And the first test results show how fast and agile these boats were to maneuver in the difficult waters of the ancient Rhine. Only the test rowers moan at the calluses on their hands. But the Romans certainly had to struggle with that ...
The waterways were the main transport routes - these “highways” of antiquity were accordingly well guarded.
The effort has paid off: the Navis Lusoria and its crew master the test drives "playfully".
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