Roman road maps in the style of the London Underground's

Originally published at:


I realise that this is a huge undertaking and there are always lots of calls to be made but I don’t necessarily agree with some of the decisions. For example I wondered why Castra Regina wasn’t on there. OK, in 125 it was just a turf and timber legionary camp, it would only be built out in stone in the later 2nd century. But then again the exact same is true for Luguvalium, and that’s on there.


I had to look Luguvalium up! I was like, wait, Carlisle was a major Roman city?


Yeah, it’s always weird to realise which ones made it into thriving modern cities and which ones…became Carlisle.

Still, it fared better than Viriconium which is now a field in Shropshire.

Anyway the actual Roman underground (and urban railway system) is like this.


Because they opened a Domum Vectum and Domus Pancakes in Luguvalium and not in Castra Regina.


If you’re into minimalist, concise, elegant tube maps nothing can touch Helsinki’s.

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The city i was born into is featured on boing boing. Unbelievable. lookup for Sipia near Condate Redonorum. 700 citizens when i was born four decades ago. When a new soccer field was created, Tombs dating from one Fxxxxxx thousand years were found (presumably a battle occured near it). Visseiche was a small halt on the trail where you could sleep and get fresh horses. there is even Roman baths underneath our cemetery which weren’t dug up.


One wonders if there was panic on the streets there then.


Do they call in the Zipper?

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No idea. My go-to online dictionary says that would be vetoketjun which kinda has a certain ring to it.

A major Roman military base. Rapid reaction force for the wall.

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But like every legionnary fort it did develop into a city around the castrum.


By 125 it had had Roman military presence for over 50 years so it is a decent bet that it was more than a vicus, but for hotspots like it would have been the immediate area around the camp was generally kept clear, and you can see from modern maps that the city developed to the south.

This should spark some interesting Mornington Crescent variations.


Paging @vermes82

Zipper is vetoketju (veto = pull, ketju = chain) but AFAIK Helsinki Metro map doesn’t have a nickname.

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Sorry, this has been drilled into me so I can’t let it go despite this being nitpicking to the extreme but if it grew around a legionary camp it would be called a cannaba, not a vicus. At least in modern scholarship, the Romans probably wouldn’t have made such a rigid distinction.

But my point was that Castra Regina was in the exact same position (while also being more central in terms of transport geography, it’s on the freaking Danube!).

Edit: it’s canaba of course, thanks timd for the entirely deserved correction

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