Literary sources for research on Rome’s Mediterranean ports (Garcia Casacuberta)

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Working Title: Literary sources for research on Rome’s Mediterranean ports

By Núria Garcia Casacuberta

Supervisors: Dr Simon J. Keay, University of Southampton, lead supervisor Dr Pascal Arnaud, University of Lyon 2 – Lumière, lead supervisor Dr Dragana Mladenović, University of Southampton, advisor

Abstract: My research is part of the Portus Limen Project ( http://portuslimen.eu/ ). The Project consists of research for a better understanding of Rome’s Mediterranean ports from a number of fields: archaeology, geology, iconography… My specific task is based on the analysis of the literary sources such as geographical descriptions, historical accounts, peripli… I shall contribute to the clarification of harbour vocabulary and context, especially by establishing the specific meanings of each port term: what is exactly a limēn? What is the difference between a hormos and a salos? What kind of infrastructure can we expect from an epineion? Some research has already been conducted on this subject, but the data nowadays is most incomplete, usually because it does not make a parallel between what we can find in texts and the tangible archaeological remains. Similarly, a number of articles have been written about very specific places or issues, but a global vision of Rome’s harbours is still not available. Thus, rather than a dictionary-like document, I wish to elaborate a catalogue with explanations of what is to be found in ancient literature and what those words correspond to in reality, including several case-studies in order to better illustrate each term. The final result, apart from my thesis, will include a database available at the website of the Project including as many ancient texts as possible, which will be interconnected with the other Portus Limen databases.

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