The Roman Aqueduct of Moria


The Roman Aqueduct of Mytilini is one of the most important technical projects of antiquity. It was constructed possibly in the end of the second or the beginning of the third century in an effort to satisfy the severe water needs of Mytilini residents by carrying water from the sources on Mount Olympus to the island’s eastern side of, i.e. the site of the ancient city, traversing a distance of 26 km. It has been calculated that the quantity of water supplied to the city equaled 127,000 cubic m daily. The project’s technical prowess can be seen in the smoothing over of any geomorphologic anomalies and altitudinal divergences in terrain elevations along the course of the water ducts, a feat the architect managed to tackle through the construction of hewn- or built-arched ducts, tanks and water bridges, thus ensuring the continuous flow of fresh water. These elements can still be seen in many points along its course. The most impressive of all is the monumental, marble, multi-arched water bridge still standing close to Moria with max length 117 m and height 24.46 m. It consists of 16 rectangular pillars made in accordance with the opus pseudoisodomum technique, separated from each other by 17 arched apertures on three successive rows, like a three-tiered arch bridge. The pillars are crowned with a capital made with a beveled-edged cyma and an abacus, while the facades of the stones are adorned with a peritainion frame, thus augmenting the classical aspect of this architectural work.


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