November/December 2758 auc

Fr. Apulo Caesare C. Popillio Laena consulibus

Certamen Petronium

Five Roman Boats

Roman Town Houses

Mines and Quarries

Ancient Roman Travel Series

Rhine River Patrol

Recipe, Columella's Preserved Turnip

Philosophy Efforts I

Public Virtues: Nobilitas

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Ancient Roman Travel Series

Australian author Tony Perrottet on retracing what may be the world's oldest grand tour — a multiyear Mediterranean itinerary originated by the ancients.

Nearly two millennia ago, Roman scholars, families, emperors, and a few well-heeled women kick-started what is now considered the world's largest industry — travel. Tourism was born in part because Augustus had rid the Mediterranean of pirates, highways were safe for travel, and inns and guides could be found throughout the ancient world's wonders — all of which made the exploration of Italy, Greece, Asia Minor (now Turkey), and Egypt possible for the first time ever.

NGA: What was it like to walk in the footsteps of these ancient tourists?
Initially I was shocked at the sheer whirlwind of tourism the Mediterranean has become. I went to Pompeii — where millions of people go every year — and it was incredible. I was thinking, Wow, I'm never going to be able to penetrate beyond this chaos.

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Marcus Minucius-Tiberius Audens
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