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Thread: Sprawlus urbus: Romans in ancient Britan often lived in suburbs

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
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    Sprawlus urbus: Romans in ancient Britan often lived in suburbs

    From the Discovery Channel: Romans in ancient Britan often lived in what were the equivalent of suburbs.

    Jan. 20, 2005 A spa treatment followed by a trip to the suburbs for a bit of shopping and dining sounds like a day in the life of a wealthy suburbanite, but it also could describe someone's schedule from around the 1st century A.D., as archaeologists in Bath, England have identified an ancient suburb located outside of Bath's main city center.

    Since suburbs dating to the Roman period also have been found around other major cities, such as London, the finding adds to the evidence that suburban living is not a modern phenomenon.

    Consider the etymology of suburb:

    The derivate suburb, suburbe before 1325, comes from the Latin word suburbium and dates back to the 14th century, but was only infrequently used before the 1800s. Suburban, another derivate, is borrowed from the Latin suburbanus (near a city). This word dates back to the 17th century. Before 1625 it had the meaning: of, relating to, or in a suburb.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Downtown Atlanta
    I just have one question: Did discus moms drive to these suburbs in SUCs (Sports Utility Chariots) that needed twice as many horses to pull as the normal chariot?

  3. #3
    Jan 2003
    Santiago, Chile
    Considering the fact that transportation wasn't very good at all in those times; "suburbia" in those times couldn't have been further than a couple of miles from a main city.
    Mostly suburbs would have been small fields with the house of the landlord; more like a precursor of the feudal times that would come later.
    AubieTurtle: Discus moms...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
    Nov 2004
    Where 8 Mile hits Lake M1
    Yes, and they stopped at the VII/XI on the way to the forum.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    May 2003
    City of Low Low Wages!
    According to Mumford, ancient Babylon had suburbs.

    I maintain that modern "suburbs" are not suburban at all, they're just a different type of urban development. A suburb is and always has been a zone of transition between the urban and the rural. How can a city like Schaumburg really claim to be a suburb when it's surrounded by at least 20 miles of urban development in all directions?

  6. #6
          abrowne's avatar
    Jan 2005
    I think it's another case of the nuances of a word's meaning being lost over time.

    Suburbs now are so far removed and sprawling because of the car... suburbs then would have needed to be very close in order for transportation to be able to reach them in a reasonable amount of time... in order to be considered a part of the city, even a far removed part of the city.

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