by Robert Harriss
A richly-detailed tribute to the engineers of Imperial Rome, and most especially the men who designed, built, and who for centuries maintained the sophisticated system of aqueducts the brought water — and with it, civilization — to the towns and cities of the Empire. This story of one engineer, a temporary aquarius sent to be superintendent of the Aqua Augusta after his predecessor disappeared. This system of aqueducts, mostly underground and at this point already decades old, served the naval base at Misenum (commanded by the irascible admiral Pliny) as well as Neapolis, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and neighboring towns. The year, unfortunately for Marcus Attilius, is 79 AD.