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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article attempts to define comprehensively the technical framework and the principle configurations of land transport across the Greco-Roman world. The capacities that animals offer with respect to carrying and dragging burdens were considerable and were well known from the Neolithic era onward. General categories of portage and harnessed transport are described. The capability for transport is in practice more a capacity for organizing means of transport than of technological limitations. In the Greco-Roman world transport in all its forms took part in all the surrounding economic systems, satisfying the demands made of it without any particular handicap. The Greek and Roman cultures had at their disposal a technical capacity for land transport that was real and varied, even innovative, inscribing its own rhythms and inflections on the long-term patterns of preindustrial societies.

Keywords: land transport, Greco-Roman world, animals, portage, harnessed transport, Greek culture, Roman culture

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